A King in a New Empire


Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lacordrick Wilson, U.S Navy

A British aircraft carrier crewman salutes a Royal Navy WS-61 “Sea King” helicopter as it departs the deck of the HMS Illustrious in the North Sea on April 3, 2014.

Ishan Pahwa, Staff Writer

   On Nov. 28, the government of the United Kingdom announced that they will be providing three Westland WS-61 “Sea King” helicopters as part of their ongoing support to the nation of Ukraine.  

   UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the deal over the week of Thanksgiving ahead of a regional meeting with European officials that aimed to discuss the continuing support given to the Slavic nation, according to AINonline

   As of today, the first helicopter has been delivered to Ukraine, with the Royal Navy providing training to the new crews. In addition, Wallace stated in the same conference that 10,000 additional rounds of ammunition for artillery pieces were being dispatched to Ukraine in order to assist forces in securing areas that were once held in the clutches of Russian forces.

   “Our support for Ukraine is unwavering,” Wallace stated in a visit to Norway. “These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia in recent weeks.”

   The Westland WS-61 is a licensed built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 and was originally designed as a transport and anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the United States Navy in efforts by the service to combat the ever-growing threat of submarines constructed by the Soviet Union during the beginning of the Cold War.

   Westland manufactured 341 “Sea Kings” between 1969 and 1995 under licence from Sikorsky. Unlike its American counterpart, the Westland vehicle is powered by two Rolls-Royce Gnome engines.