Great Britain is ready to provide Ukraine with a new defense assistance package. This time aid includes helicopters – unarmed models, which are already on their way.
The details regarding the provision of new weapons and military equipment were announced today by the Defense Minister of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace during his speech in Oslo, Norway.
This is the first time the UK has provided this type of aircraft for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The model of the helicopter is Sea King, and the first of them has already arrived in Ukraine. Their fleet will be used in search and rescue operations.
Ukraine has prepared in advance for this delivery – the first 10 crews of pilots and maintenance specialists have been trained in the UK over the course of the recent six weeks. The exact number of provided helicopters was not officially disclosed.
Previously these helicopters were in service with the Royal Air Force and Navy. Defense Express mentions that the exact model is the Sikorsky S-61 Sea King transport helicopter, which began mass production in 1961, but more realistically it could be a modified license-built British version Westland WS-61 Sea King with a different engine model and a computerized flight control system.
Here is a brief list of the key performance characteristics of Sikorsky S-61/SH-3 Sea King:
- length – 16.69 m;
- height – 4.98 m;
- empty weight – 5,382 kg;
- maximum take-off weight – 9,752 kg;
- cruising speed – 219 km/h (136 mph);
- maximum speed – 267 km/h (166 mph);
- practical height – 4,480 m (2.8 miles);
- practical range – 1,005 km (625 miles).
Sea King WS-61 has slightly larger dimensions and is noticeably heavier. That is why it is slightly slower, but has a better range. Here is the list of its specs for comparison:
- length – 17.02 m;
- height – 5.13 m;
- empty weight – 6,373 kg;
- maximum take-off weight – 9,525 kg;
- cruising speed – 207 km/h (129 mph);
- practical range – 1,230 km (764 miles).
Within the scope of the latest military aid package from the UK, Ukraine will also receive 10 thousand artillery shells and winter gear for Ukrainian soldiers.