Posted 2 декабря 2022, 09:21
Published 2 декабря 2022, 09:21
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
The new package, in addition to 10 thousand artillery shells and 125 anti-aircraft guns and equipment to combat drones for a total of 50 million pounds, included three WS-61 Sea King helicopters (“Sea King”).
The dispatch of transport helicopters decommissioned back in 2018, created by the American company Sikorsky in the late 60s of the last century, has no special military significance. Simply, in London they decided to make a beautiful propaganda gesture. The appearance of the "Sea Kings" in the Ukrainian steppes is a clear demonstration of the willingness of the British government to provide Kiev with any weapons and even sophisticated Western aviation systems, which other countries have so far refrained from.
On the other hand, the British can be understood - retired helicopters only take up space, and their disposal costs money. In Ukraine, they can still serve. In addition, the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom announced that they would train 10 Ukrainian crews, as well as technicians to service these vehicles. The number of crews, apparently, indicates the willingness of London to continue to get rid of old cars.
The British are handing over a licensed version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name to Ukraine. Since 1969, 344 of them have been built by the British company Westland Helicopters. Many of them are still flying in a number of countries. In 2007, the company installed new blades made of composite materials and a five-blade tail rotor on British machines. These upgrades allowed the helicopter to fly in the mountains of Afghanistan.
But even without the latest upgrade, the helicopter was very different from the American version. Westland Helicopters reduced its size, thereby increasing maneuverability. Instead of the American General Electric engine, the British installed two of their smaller Rolls-Royce Gnome. The helicopter uses British anti-submarine warfare systems and a fully computerized flight control system.
First of all, the Sea King was intended to fight submarines, but the British company, commissioned by the Egyptian armed forces, created a variant of the Sea King Commando, which is probably sent to London and sent to Ukraine. This helicopter is capable of lifting 2.5 tons of cargo or transferring 27 fully equipped military personnel. But in the British army, it was mainly used as a truck, in particular, 105 mm L118 howitzers were transported on an external sling. The helicopter is equipped with the Sky Guardian-2000 radar warning system, which notifies the crew of the approach of anti-aircraft missiles and installations for launching false targets.
In the landing version, machine guns of 7.62 mm caliber are mounted in the doorways, and in the anti-submarine version it can carry torpedoes and depth charges.
But the “Sea King” is good, first of all, with the ability to make long-distance flights. The maximum flight range is 1230 kilometers, which it overcomes with a cruising speed of 190 kilometers per hour.
According to Ukrainian media reports, one helicopter has already been delivered to the site and, as soon as it is assembled, it will try to take off.