The Japan Coast Guard is the lucky first user of the new Sikorsky S-76D in search-and-rescue (SAR) configuration, the American helicopter manufacturer announced on 14 July 2014 at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow in England.
Deliveries for 11 JCG S-76Ds go through the Mitsubishi Corporation. The Japan Coast Guard is quite comfortable with the type, since it has already been flying various older S-76C models. Among other essential equipment crucial to the SAR mission, the Japan Coast Guard aircraft will feature a fully coupled, four-axis autopilot to reduce pilot workload and enhance overall mission safety.
Sikorsky delivered the first ever S-76D aircraft to Bristow Group for offshore oil worker transport in December 2013. Since 14 July 2014, Sikorsky has also started delivery of the VIP / Executive Transportation version of the S-76D, which will be followed by the operational debut of the Emergency Medical Services version before the end of this year.
Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters to customers globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6.5-million-plus fleet flight hours total.
The S-76D helicopter’s baseline equipment includes the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines, an Thales TopDeck integrated avionics system and four-axis autopilot, a Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) incorporated into fleet monitoring and analysis, active vibration control and all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades. A Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) for all-weather capability will be available as an option.