The Westland Sea King
has been something of an airborne workhorse since it first entered British service with the Royal Navy in 1970 and was regarded as one of the most versatile aircraft available to UK military forces, helping to cement the reputation of helicopters as indispensable assets in a constantly changing political world. As both RAF and Royal Navy Sea Kings also fulfilled the vital role of Air Sea Rescue from locations around the UK, these went on to become some of the highest profile aircraft in British military service and were usually the aircraft which the general public came into contact with most regularly. Bringing the professionalism of military flying to potentially life-threatening public rescue situations, these helicopters were viewed as angels on our shoulders, coming to our rescue when we needed them most. The vital Search and Rescue role was not only performed by the Sea King over the UK, but also during naval deployments across the globe and on the Falkland Islands, following the successful operation to recapture the Islands from Argentinian occupation in 1982.
Westland Sea King HAR.3, XZ586, No.78 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Mount Pleasant Airfield, Falkland Islands, January 1991
Westland Sea King Mk.43, No.330 Squadron, Royal Norwegian Air Force, 1996