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Sea King HC4 (Commando)

The Sea King HC4 (Mk 4) Commando was a medium lift support helicopter flown by Royal Navy Air Squadrons (RNAS) of the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF). The CHF retired its last Sea Kings in March 2016, having transitioned to the Merlin Mk3.

The Commando could carry up to 27 fully laden troops or 6,000 lbs (2,720 kg) internally. Underslung loads up to 2.5 tonnes, such as Land Rovers or L118 105mm howitzers could be carried attached to an external cargo hook.

The cockpits of Sea King HC4s were compatible with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs).

Sea King HC4s were fitted with a Defensive Aids Suite comprising of:

  • Sky Guardian 2000 radar-warning receiver
  • Missile Approach Warning System
  • Infra Red Jammer
  • M130 / M147 chaff/flare dispenser.

Other avionics included :

  • Bowman secure communications suite
  • ‘Elmer’ secure speech radio
  • Mode ‘C’ identification friend or foe system

The CHF's fleet of HC.4s were upgraded in late 2007 with a new set of composite main rotor blades and a new set of 5-bladed tail rotors which enable the helicopter to operate in the mountains of Afghanistan. The upgraded aircraft was designate Seak King HC4+.

Sea King HC4 Specifications

Engine 2 Rolls Royce Gnome 1400-1 Turboshafts (1,400 shp each)
Rotor diameter 18.9m
Length 22m
Width 3.78m
Height 4.72m
Crew 3 (2 Pilots, 1 Aircrewman)
Cruising Speed 208km/h (129mph) at sea level
(laden with 27 troops)
246 miles (396 km)

sea king hc.4 helicopter
Sea King HC4 helicopters from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) on operations in Afghanistan,
Image by POA(Phot) Mez Merrill | © UK MOD / Crown Copyright 2023
Used under Open Government Licence

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