Westland Sea King Mk.48 in
belgium Force Aérienne Belge

Belgian Air Force

Del'd: 5 - 1976 to present


Force Aérienne Belge Sea King Mk.48

Sea King introduced to replace S-58 in the SAR role, following an order for 5x Mk.48 airframes placed on 22 Apr 1974. The small fleet included improvements made to RN HAS.2 and RAN Mk.50 in its initial design and has undergone at least three mid-life updates.

In 1987, the composite main rotors were replaced with all-metal units. In 1989, vibration problems were (almost) eliminated through a tail section strengthening programme. In 1994, an avionics and infra-red detection update improved overall SAR performance of the fleet. A sixth airframe was planned for acquisition in 1997 but was subsequently cancelled.

The Mk.48 was due for replacement around 2006.
In 2007, eight NH90 were ordered as their replacement: four each of the TTH (transport) and NFH (naval) variants with first deliveries expected by 2012. These aircraft will replace the remaining Alouette III as well.

As of 2011, 4 Sea King are still in service with RS01 retired in Dec 2008 to the Brussel museum. RS03 was retired Aug 2013. On Nov 2015 RAF Sea King ZH542 was obtained for spare parts

As of March 2016, near their 40 Anniversary, they have performed 3185 rescue sorties saving 1712 lives.

Scheduled to be retired at the end of 2018.

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Koksijde SAR Meet 2016, 07-Oct-16 : Belgium with Austria, Germany and Poland taking part of Search and Rescue SAR Meet 2016 at Koksijde, October 10-14


YearsUnitsbold : Current base of the Unit
1976Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy)
RNAS Culdrose
1976/now40 Squadron Koksijde / Coxyde

Construction Numbers Help Us

C/NBuiltID     In this OrganisationIn other Org

    wa 831 1975     RS01: Sea King Mk.48 ex G-BDNH, to Belgian Air Force Nov 1976 as R+
    wa 832 1976     RS02: 08apr76 first flight, ex G-BDNI/G17-2; 20may76 handed over, +
    wa 833 1976     RS03: Apr76 first flight, ex G-BDNJ/G-17-3; 28may76 handed over /+
    wa 834 1976     RS04: 07may76 first flight, ex G-BDNK/G17-4; 14jul76 handed over,+
    wa 835 1976     RS05: 07jun76 first flight, ex G-BDNL/G-17-5; 02jul76 handed over,+

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