Qatar and Pakistan completed a military sale of the entire fleet of Westland Commando helicopters to the Pakistan Bharia (Pakistan Navy).
The deal is reported to comprise a total of ten helicopters, consisting of seven or eight Commando Mk3 Anti-Submarine/Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) and two or three Commando Mk2A troop carrier/utility helicopters.
Some of these Commandos have not been seen in active service with the QEAF for a number of years. See the overview from the Scramble Magazine database. The first helicopters were already delivered to Pakistan in July 2021.
It is not clear if the acquired Commandos will be used for spare parts for the Pakistan Navy’s existing fleet of Westland Sea Kings or will be put into service after overhauling and maintenance. Most likely it will be a combination of the two.
The Westland Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61, built by Westland Helicopters. The helicopter differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines (derived from the US General Electric T58), British-made anti-submarine warfare systems and a fully computerised flight control system.
The Sea King was primarily designed for performing anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. A Sea King variant was adapted by Westland as troop transport known as the Commando.
According to the Scramble Magazine database the following QEAF aircraft are candidates:
Commando Mk2A: QA20*, QA21 and QA22
Commando Mk3: QA30*, QA31, QA32, QA33, QA34, QA35, QA36 and QA37
QA20 was last noted February 2011 and QA30 was last noted December 2014.
Photos: Pakistan Strategic Forum and Martin Fox (Scramble Archive)