The United Kingdom is sending Ukraine another aid in a new package to fight Russia, including Westland Sea King helicopters for the first time, and more ammunition for artillery, British defense secretary Ben Wallace announced on Wednesday.
Three former Sea King helicopters will be provided, with the first already in Ukraine, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defence. They are the first piloted aircraft to be sent by the UK since the Russian invasion began in February.
Wallace also said an extra 10,000 artillery rounds were being sent to help Ukraine secure the territory it has recaptured from the invading forces in recent weeks.
“Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia in recent weeks,” he said during a visit to Norway.
The Westland Sea King is a British license-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines (derived from the US General Electric T58), British-made onboard systems and a fully computerized flight control system.
The Sea King was previously used by both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, with the last craft being retired by the Navy in 2018.