Westland sea king

Derived from Sikorsky S-61 H-3

Westland sea king

The Admiralty was not satisfied with arrangements for British anti-submarine warfare in the mid 1960s. The Wessex HAS.3 was useful for hunting and finding submaines, but lacked the power to lift or capacity to deliver missiles or depth charges to engage with them. The latter role was that of the Wasp HAS.1, which whilst it could deliver the punch, could not also carry the equipment or have the endurance to find them. Thus two airframes, operating as a relay team were required to do the job.

The US Navy HSS-2 (SH-3A) provided this capability and would fit into hangars on board the 2 existing Tiger Class helicopter cruisers HMS Blake (C99) and HMS Tiger (C24). In 1967, Westland obtained a licence to build a version of the HSS-2 in the UK with all British avionics, including the proven Ekco radar/ Type 195 sonar combination from the Wessex HAS.3 and replacing the US engines with twin Gnome H1400s.

An initial order for 60 Sea King HAS.1s was placed for the RN on 27 Jun 1966 and the first UK built machine flew on 7 May 1969 from Yeovil.
At least 7 main versions of the Sea King developed for the UK armed forces, plus a further 7 near derivatives for export and 3 versions in the Commando tactical assault (and VIP transport) role.
Also export versions for at least Australia, Belgium, Egypt, Germany, India, Norway, Pakistan and Qatar.


Engine: 2 x RR Gnome
Capacity: 2 + 27
Length: (m) 17.02
Height: (m) 5.13
Blades: 5
Rotor diam.: (m) 18.9
Disc area: (m2) 280
Weight: (kgs) Empty: 6300
Speed: (km/h)     Max: 208
Range: (km)
Ceiling: (m)
Rate/Climb: (m/min)

Derivatives & Versions

Sea King HAS.1 1969 First anti-submarine version for the Royal Navy. 56 built. Survivors upgraded as HAS.2A, HAS/HAR/HU.5,6,7 and AEWs
Sea King Mk.41 1969 In 1969 Germany ordered 22 Sea Kings to replace H-34G and SH-34J Helicopters. The Mk 41s built for Germany were equipped with much the same navig ...
Sea King Mk.42 1970 Anti-submarine warfare version of the Sea King HAS.Mk 1 for the Indian Navy
Sea King Mk.43 1972 SAR variant similar to Mk.41 for Royal Norwegian Air Force on behalf of Norwegian Coast Guard.
commando 1973 Tactical assault derivative developed from the Sea King HAS.1, with all the AS gear removed (including the radome aft of the main rotor) fixed un ...
The Commando Mk.2 first flew January 16, 1975 (as G-17-12), was developed from the Sea King HAS.2, but with Anti-Submarine gear and sponsons remo ...
Sea King HAS.2 1974 Improved anti-submarine version for the Royal Navy. Many upgraded from HAS.1 standard. Survivors upgraded as HAS.2A, HAS/HAR/HU.5,6,7 and AEW/ASA ...
Sea King Mk.45 1974 Sea King HAS.Mk 1 variant for the Pakistan Navy. 6 built
Sea King Mk.50 1974 Anti-submarine warfare version of the Sea King HAS.2 for the Australian Navy.
Sea King Mk.47 1975 Anti-submarine warfare version of the Sea King HAS.Mk 1 for the Egyptian Navy, 6 built; one w/o in service; five returned to Westlands and curren ...
Sea King Mk.48 1976 Search and rescue version for the Belgian Air Force. 5 built
Sea King HAS.2A 1977 Surviving 48x Sea King HAS.1 modified to HAS.2A standard (very close to new build HAS.2 with improved Gnome H.1400-1 engines, increased fuel capa ...
Sea King HAR.3 1978 RAF search and rescue version
Sea King HC.4 1978
Sea King HAS.5 1979
Sea King Mk.42A 1979 Anti-submarine warfare version of the Sea King HAS.Mk 2 for the Indian Navy
Sea King Mk.43A 1979
Sea King AEW.2 1982 Airborne Early Warning variant rapidly brought into service during the Falklands/Malvinas conflict. The platform offered tactical control to the ...
Sea King Mk.50A 1982
Sea King HAR.3A 1984 Improved RAF search and rescue version, based on the HAR.3 but essentially a different aircraft to fly.
Sea King Mk.42B 1985 Anti-ship warfare version for the Indian Navy
Sea King Mk.42C 1986 Assault, Search and rescue and utility transport version for the Indian Navy
Sea King HU.5 1987 Before the Royal Navy phased the Wessex out of SAR service, work began to identify Sea King HAS.5 airframes which would not be needed for the HAS ...
Sea King HAS.6 1990 5 built of this type
more than 50 upgraded from other types
Sea King Mk.43B 1990
Sea King Mk.45A 1995
AW Sea King 2001

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