Following a statement by British Defense Secretary Mr. Ben Wallace, Ukraine will receive a new shipment of Western weapons. The British newspaper The Times also confirmed the information. It is about three Westland WS-61 Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters from the Royal British Navy’s inventory.
Delivery is critical for both Ukraine and the United Kingdom. It is the first British-manned weapon system sent to help Ukraine’s armed forces. According to The Times, one of the three helicopters has already been delivered to Ukraine and is undergoing operational training. This helicopter will soon be fully operational.
The delivery of these three helicopters is part of a new military aid package from London to Kiev. Aside from the three helicopters, the 10,000 artillery rounds are the standout weapon in this pack.
Despite being in the Royal Navy’s inventory, the helicopters were decommissioned nearly four years ago. According to British media sources, Ukraine was aware of the delivery but kept it a secret. According to the same sources, Ukrainian pilots have already passed the test and received a certificate to operate this type of helicopter. The training, which lasted at least six weeks, took place in recent months. Ten Ukrainian aircrews were trained to fly the Westland WS-61 Sea King, according to The Times.
These helicopters are well-suited to a variety of tasks. In addition to reconnaissance and combat operations, helicopters are ideal for search and rescue missions. The helicopter is built in the style of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter. It has fought in several major conflicts, including the Falklands War, the Persian Gulf War, the Balkan Conflict, and the Iraq War. This helicopter is no longer in production, but it can still be purchased for around $6 million.
This helicopter produced approximately 350 units. The Westland WS-61 Sea King is also used in Germany and India, in addition to the United Kingdom. Two or four people make up the helicopter crew. Powered by two 1,660 shp [1,240 kW] Rolls-Royce H.1400-2 Gnome turboshaft engines.
It has a cruise speed of 112 knots [129 mph, 207 km/h] [max cruise at sea level] and a range of 664 nautical miles [764 miles, 1,230 kilometres]. The helicopter’s armament consists of four torpedoes, which can be Mark 44, Mark 46, or Sting Ray torpedoes, or four anti-submarine warfare [ASW] depth charges.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Britain has been sending weapons to its Ukrainian allies in solidarity since the beginning of the war, which began with the invasion of Russian territory on February 24. Earlier this month, London delivered to Kyiv upgraded Brimstone 2 precision-guided missiles.
Britain has sent over 7,000 NLAW anti-tank missile systems, over 100 armored vehicles, Stormer self-propelled anti-aircraft guns armed with Starstreak missiles, several dozen M109 howitzers and L119 towed guns, M270 rocket launchers, over 1600 armored vehicles, artillery shells, idle ammunition, and 4.5 tons of plastic explosives since the start of the war.