BORN of NECESSITY

The deadly Exocet attack on HMS Sheffield brought home the need to rapidly regenerate airborne early warning in the Royal Navy, which had disappeared with the Fairey Gannet. As the service’s last Westland Sea Kings are retired, we recall Project LAST — the programme that brought the helicopter into operation in this role

AEW SEA KINGS

Old and new: the first Sea King AEW2, XV704, and Gannet AEW3 XL500 — then operated by Dowty- Rotol on noise trials — fly together near St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.
ROYAL NAVY

The evening of 4 May 1982 saw Britain numbed by the news that the Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield had been crippled by an Argentine anti-ship missile attack in the waters off the Falkland Islands.

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