Ex-Royal Navy Wessex
The Westland Wessex is essentially a licence-built Sikorsky S-58 fitted with one (or two) turboshaft engines in place of the original piston power plant, and converted to anti-submarine, utility and assault variants.
The Mk.31, a variation on the RN HAS.3, was ordered by the Royal Australian Navy for operations from the carrier HMAS Melbourne. Twenty-seven were delivered in the twelve months from November 1962. Some served in a training role at the Nowra shore base, and others with HS 817 Sqn. on the Melbourne. In 1969 the 23 surviving Wessex’s were upgraded to Mk.31B standard, identifiable by the bulged gear housing behind the main rotor.
Picture added on 08 June 2006