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Ukraine conflict: Germany pledges Sea King helicopters

Germany is to donate six of its retired Sea King helicopters to Ukraine. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Germany has pledged to send Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine as part of a wider raft of military support for Kyiv.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius made the announcement on 23 January, saying that six Sea King helicopters would be sent.

“The Sea King is a proven and robust helicopter that will help the Ukrainians in many areas, from reconnaissance over the Black Sea to transporting soldiers. It is the first German delivery of this kind,” Pistorius said during a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

The minister did not disclose a delivery timeline for the helicopters.

The German Navy is retiring its Sea King Mk 41 helicopters in favour of the NHIndustries NH90 Sea Lion. Janes World Navies lists the Marineflieger aviation branch of the service as having 21 such helicopters remaining in its inventory.

Similar in size and capabilities to the Mil Mi-8/17 ‘Hip' and Airbus Helicopters Cougar already fielded by the Ukrainian armed forces, the Sea King has a 28 m³ cabin that can carry up to 28 fully equipped troops or more than 3,500 kg of cargo. With a full internal load, the helicopter has a range of approximately 400 km.

For more information on Sea Kings to Ukraine, please seeUkraine conflict: Surplus UK Sea Kings operating in Ukraine .

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