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Sea King

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Mk4 Sea Kings of 845 Sqn

Developed by Sikorsky, the first flight of the Westland Sea King HAS1 (Helicopter Anti-Submarine Mk1) took place on 7th May 1969, with the first production aircraft entering Royal Navy service that same year. The basic ASW Sea King has been upgraded numerous times, becoming the HAS2s, 5s and 6s - the latter of which has been replaced by arguably the most advanced ASW helicopter currently in the world, the Westland Merlin.

The marks are:

  • HAS1 - RN ASW
  • HAS2 - RN ASW
  • HAR3 - RAF SAR
  • HC4 - RN transport
  • HAS5 - RN ASW
  • HAS6 - RN ASW
  • AEW7 - RN AEW

The Airborne Early Warning variant Mk7 has recently been re-designated ASaC7 (Airborne Surveillance and Area Control) as some clown at the MoD had an afternoon to spare.

It is also used by the RAF in the Search And Rescue role as the HAR3 (Helicopter Air Rescue) since it replaced the Whirlwind and Wessex. Sometimes known by hikers as 'the big yellow taxi' and almost as expensive as a real taxi to flag down. SAR is rumoured to be come re-designated as Public Emergency & Disaster Support sometime next Wednesday afternoon.

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