Germany has made a significant commitment to Ukraine, with the announcement that it will dispatch six ‘Sea King’ helicopters from its own military inventory to be delivered starting from the second quarter of this year.
This marks a historic first for Germany in providing such support.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius made this announcement during a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, a gathering that involves more than 50 states and organizations coordinating capabilities to support Ukraine’s frontline defense. Notably, since November, Germany and France have jointly led the coalition for air defense.
Minister Pistorius emphasized the versatility of these helicopters, stating, “The ‘Sea King’ is a proven and robust helicopter that will assist Ukraine in a wide range of roles, from conducting surveillance over the Black Sea to facilitating the transportation of soldiers.”
While the precise delivery timeline for these helicopters was not disclosed, it is worth noting that the German Navy is in the process of transitioning away from Sea King Mk 41 helicopters in favor of the NHIndustries NH90 Sea Lion.
It’s worth mentioning that Britain had previously taken a similar step by shipping its first Sea King helicopters to Ukraine in 2022. The Sea King had previously served in both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, with the last craft being retired by the Navy in 2018.