Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Sea King Mk4 final landing on a warship

Final landing of Sea King Mk4 on warship
20 March 2016
Royal Navy Fleet Amphibious Flagship HMS Bulwark has waved farewell to a long-serving military helicopter – the ‘Junglie’ Sea King Mark 4 for the very last time.

The final landing onto the flight deck at sea took place off the South West coast 36 years after a ‘Junglie’ Sea King landed on her namesake Commando Carrier for the very first time.

The Sea King Mark 4 – wearing its distinctive dark camouflage and nicknamed the Junglie because it is designed for operations over jungle and similar environments, is scheduled to cease all flying and leave operational service on Monday 21 March.  

Several of these aircraft will say a final farewell with a tribute flight in formation over the south west, starting in then morning from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset and also flying over Devon and Cornwall.

Just before this two aircraft of 848 Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Yeovilton paid a short visit to HMS Bulwark as she was operating off the Devon coast, representing the final ever landing of this type of helicopter at sea.

The ‘Junglie’ Sea King has given fantastic service to the British Armed Forces over the last 36 years all over the world

Captain James Parkin RN, Commanding Officer of HMS Bulwark

Captain James Parkin, the captain of HMS Bulwark said: “The ‘Junglie’ Sea King has given fantastic service to the British Armed Forces over the last 36 years all over the world, ranging from the Falklands War, through Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

"It’s been great to see a ‘Junglie’ Sea King at sea for one final time, and I look forward to the ‘Junglie’ Merlins becoming just as familiar a sight on our deck in the future.”

Air Traffic Control Officer Lieutenant Steph McInnes from Glasgow said, “We’ve had a fantastic couple of weeks of training and it’s been great to see both the first Bulwark deck landing of a Junglie Merlin and a real honour to help say goodbye to the Junglie Sea King.”

The visit was particularly poignant, not only because the very first deck landing at sea by a ‘Junglie’ in January 1980 was to the previous HMS Bulwark (the 1948-built Commando Carrier known as the ‘Rusty B’) just before the ship retired from the Fleet, but also because the current HMS Bulwark saw her first ever deck landing of the new type of ‘Junglie,’ the Royal Navy’s new Merlin Mark 3, only last week.

HMS Bulwark has just completed Exercise “South West Sword”, an intensive two week training period for the United Kingdom’s High Readiness Amphibious Forces.  

During the period numerous Wildcat, Merlin and Chinook helicopters completed over 250 day and night deck landings and the Royal Marines in the ship’s Landing Craft were a familiar sight on a number of Cornish beaches.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.