Air International 2008-06
D.Calvert - Sea King /Aircraft of the RAF/ (3)
No 22 Squadron operates a mix of Sea King HAR3 and Sea King HAR3A helicopters. ZH543 is a HAR3A variant equipped with an automated hover system, which enables the helicopter to remain steady regardless of the conditions.
No 202 Squadron, with its headquarters at RAF Boulmer, operates the Sea King HAR3. All of the Sea King fleet have been equipped with a Star-Q Multi-sensor system, just visible under the wheel bay/sponson.
The Sea King Operational Conversion Unit is 203(Reserve) Squadron and is responsible for training all the crews. The unit has three Sea Kings assigned to it.
There are two versions of the Sea King operated by the RAF - the HAR.3 and HAR.3A. Both are principally tasked with rescuing military pilots, however they are regularly called upon for civilian emergencies.
A relatively recent upgrade has been installation of the Star-Q electro-optical camera which features a FLIR. The system is used day and night to assist in locating those in need of assistance. The turret is attached next to the port sponson.
A crewman monitors the images received from the Star-Q electro-optical TV camera and FLIR turret.