PN Sea King fleet swells

Published in Show Daily 2018 - Day 2

The Pakistan Navy is operating eight Sea Kings – six Mk45s (seen here) have recently been upgraded with the extremely effective Leonardo Seaspray 5300E.

During late 2017 the Pakistan Navy (PN) took on three former United Kingdom (UK) military Sea Kings from the UK Ministry of Defence.

The trio comprised a yellow Royal Air Force (RAF) Search and Rescue Mk3A and two Royal Navy HC4s in early 2018. They were returned to flying service, having been retired a couple of years before by Vector Aerospace at Gosport, UK, under a contract from PN.

The company refurbished and air tested them inside eight months, before they were shipped to Karachi in December 2017. 

Another pair, a Mk3A and HC4 are used as non-flying spare aircraft by the PN and joined the three airworthy examples. Sadly one of the former ‘Junglie’ HC4s (No 18) was lost on 31 August during a close proximity manoeuvre with a navy frigate, the aircraft collided and ditched, regrettably with the loss of crew life. 

The ex-UK Sea Kings supplement the six veteran Westland SeaKing Mk45s, acquired in the early 1970s and operated by the PN’s 111 Squadron. They can be armed with the AM39 Exocet anti-shipping missile and MK46 Torpedoes. 

Their systems have recently been upgraded with the Leonardo Seaspray 5300E multi-mode surveillance radar and other advanced avionics. The Seaspray 5000E series of systems employs a Seaspray Airborne Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna that Leonardo claims ‘delivers a leading edge capability covering air- to-surface and air-to-air environments. This extremely capable system ensure this loyal servant continues to provide an important capability.