Mk50 was the first fully uprated version of the Sea King HAS.1 to fly (30 Jun 1974), incorporating many features of the RN HAS.2. 10 ordered by Australian Navy, with deliveries from Autumn 1974. RAN Sea King serials are N16- plus the Westland airframe build number (as opposed to the c/n).
Sea King Mk.50 replaced the Westland Wessex HAS.31 as the RAN's ASW Helicopter. During the first five years of operation, a number of aircraft were lost due primarily to a loss of Main Gear box oil. Two more Sea Kings (the MK.50A) were acquired from Westlands in 1980 and had increased internal cabin space. Following the 1982 retirement of the carrier HMAS Melborne, by Jan 2004 Australian Sea Kings could still operate from the replenishment vessel HMAS Success (OR 304), the landing ship heavy HMAS Tobruk (L 50) and the amphibious transport ships HMAS Kanimbla (L 51) and HMAS Manoora (L 52).
RAN Sea King Mk50 typical fit included Racal ARI 5955/2 lightweight radar, Racal Navigation System RNS252, Racal Doppler 91, ADF Bendix/King KDF 806A and Tacan AN/ARN 118. All serving Mk50 airframes have been upgraded to Mk50A standard through a mid-life extension (LOTE) project, signed on 1 Jul 1994. The Sea King fleet was used in the anti-submarine warfare and submarine training role. In 1995, the AQS-13B sonar was removed and since then, the Sea Kings main role has changed to maritime utility support.
The last 5 operational Sea Kings withdrawn from service in December 2011
The remaining retired Sea Kings departed HMAS Albatoss (Nowra) on 9 Apr 2014, to return to the UK via Port Kembla. Shark 07 (shown above) was moved to the RAN FAA Museum in Jun 2011. The Sea King has been replaced by the MRH-90 in RAN service.
Australian Sea Kings shipped to UK, 01-Apr-14 : Shoalhaven residents had a last glimpse of 817 Squadron’s fleet of Sea King helicopters as the aircraft made their final journey from HMAS Albatross, on what was a suitably sombre, grey and rainy day.
RAN sells last Sea Kings, 29-Jan-13 : Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Navy’s remaining Sea King helicopters will be sold to Aerospace Logistics (ASL).
RAN Sea King 07 arrives at Fleet Air Arm Museum, 05-Apr-12 : Chief Petty Officer Simon Hustwit’s years of experience manoeuvring a 22.15 metre helicopter were obvious when he reverse-parked Sea King Shark 07 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum yesterday.
Sea Kings and 817 Squadron make their Final Flight, 15-Dec-11 : Residents of Sydney, Canberra and the Shoalhaven had their last chance to see the Royal Australian Navy’s Sea King helicopters in the air today as they said farewell to the nation with a formation flypast.
|Australia selling off its last Sea Kings, 08-Sep-11 : The Australian navy is selling off its remaining five Sea King helicopters and accessories, Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said.|
|Years||Units||bold : Current base of the Unit|
|1974||Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy) |
List of Aircraft
|C/N||Mod||Built||ID In this Organisation||In other Org|
|wa 787||mk50||1974|| N16-098: ff 30 Jun 1974, dd 2 Mar 1975 Ex G-17-1. First RAN Sea King+|
|wa 788||mk50||1974|| N16-100: ff 6 Aug 1974, dd 8 Apr 1975. Ex G-17-2; To HS817/902 by Jan+|
|wa 789||mk50||1974|| N16-112: ff 16 Oct 1974, dd 16 Apr 1975. Ex G-17-3, to G-BCHY, to RAN+|
|wa 790||mk50||1974|| N16-113: ff 24 Oct 1974, ex G-17-4, G-BCHZ. To RAN dd 22 Apr 1975 as +|
|wa 791||mk50||1974|| N16-114: ff 13 Oct 1974, ex G-17-5, G-BCIA, dd 11 Jul 1975 to RAN HS8+|
|wa 792||mk50||1974|| N16-117: ff 13 Dec 1974 as G-17-6. dd 27 Jan 1975 to RAN. To HS817/90+|
|wa 793||mk50||1974|| N16-118: RAN (9)07 817 sqd. ex G-17-7; deployed Middle East; deploye+|
|wa 794||mk50||1975|| N16-119: RAN 908, ex G-17-8; w/o 09may77 crashed into Sea off Cocos I+|
|wa 795||mk50||1975|| N16-124: RAN 909. ex G-17-9; w/o 30jul95 QLD |
|wa 796||mk50||1975|| N16-125: Jul10 pictured as 817 Sqn /Shark 10 on USS Essex (LHD 2) i+|
|wa 929||mk50a||1982|| N16-238: 24jun07 pictured as RAN 20 on USS Tortuga (LSD 46) under way+|
|wa 930||mk50a||1983|| N16-239: Westland Sea King Mk.50A, ff?; del RAN as N16-239, 1983.|
|wa 878||has.5||1979|| N16-918: mk50a dd 25 Jun 1996 to RAN as N16-918. Purchased as replacement f+|| XZ918: ff 3 Apr 1979, dd 6 Jun 1979, HAS.5 820Sq/020-N by Jan + |
28Oct82 noted RNAS Culdrose as N.020 of 820Squadron, HM+
820Sq/020-N, Squadron visit to Yeovilton, 17 Jan 1985
1994 HAS.5 type 706Sqn /CU-89
05jun94 HAS.5 type 706Sqn./589 Flypast Portsmouth harbo+
05Jun96 noted RNAY Fleetlands uncoded