Germany to send WS-61 Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine
Germany has pledged WS-61 Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine to support the invaded country against Russia.
Boris Pistorius, the German defence minister announced, Six Sea King helicopters would be sent. He did not disclose the delivery timeline of the aircraft.
“The Sea King is a proven and robust helicopter that will help the Ukrainians in many areas, from reconnaissance over the Black Sea to transporting soldiers,” Pistorius said during a Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting. “It is the first German delivery of this kind.”
The Westland WS-61 Sea King (UK designation Mk.45) is a version of the Sikorsky S-61 Sea King twin-engine, multirole, amphibious helicopter that was built under licence from 1969–95 for the UK Royal Navy and export customers in eight countries.
The German Navy has been planning to replace its 21 Sea Kings with 18 NHI NH90 NFHs, but the officially announced deadline of 2023 has slipped. It was not immediately clear what Germany was planning with the 15 remaining WS-61s.
Although NATO users are phasing their Westland Sea Kings out of service, some export customers will likely continue operating the type until 2030.
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