Superior Sea Kings

Qinetiq and ATEC have completed a 12-month, £5.25m Carson blades project to increase the capability of the Royal Navy Sea King HC Mk 4 helicopter.


Qinetiq, in a partnership with the MoD’s Joint Test and Evaluation Group (ATEC), has completed a 12-month, £5.25m Carson blades project to increase the capability of the Royal Navy Sea King HC Mk 4 helicopter.



The work, carried out for the Sea King Integrated Project Team (SK IPT) in support of an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR), now enables the Sea King HC Mk 4 to be deployed in support of Operation HERIC in Afghanistan.



The main rotor blades on the aircraft have been replaced by modified Carson composite blades produced by Carson Helicopter. The tail rotor was replaced by an AgustaWestland five-bladed tail rotor system.



A series of performance evaluation and flight-testing was then conducted by ATEC using a Qinetiq-owned Sea King test aircraft.



These confirmed initial predictions that the new system generates up to 2000lb increase in maximum hover mass at high altitude and enables an increase of up to 49 knots in maximum forward speed.