Westland WASP HAS Mk 1 XT420 (G-CBUI)
Wasp G-CBUI was XT420 in service and is painted as ‘606’ of 829 Naval Air Squadron HQ Flight. She was built in 1964 and at various times served with 706 Naval Air Squadron (training) and the following ships flights of 829 Naval Air Squadron: HMS Nubian, HMS Hecate, HMS Aurora, HMS Ajax.
XT420 also served with HMS Hecla (Falklands) with red crosses painted on, in the casualty evacuation role. She was disposed of by the Royal Navy in April 1994.
The Wasp HAS Mk1 was introduced to service in 1964. It served in its primary role with 829 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), but also in training units to supply crews for the front line with 706 NAS between 1965 and 1967 and in 703 NAS between 1972 and 1981. Although effective as a submarine killer, it was best deployed paired with a Wessex HAS Mk3 submarine hunter. It was taken out of front-line service in the late 1970’s with the introduction of the Westland Lynx.
Single airframes also served for light liaison duties in the Commando Assault squadrons, 845 NAS and 848 NAS until 1973.
It was brought back into full operational service when war with Argentina broke out in in 1982 following the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Seven reserve frigates and their helicopters were recommissioned for active service in the South Atlantic.
On 25 April 1982 the Argentinean Submarine Santa Fe was spotted by a Wessex HAS Mk3 helicopter from HMS Antrim. The Wessex then attacked it with depth charges. HMS Plymouth launched a Westland Wasp HAS Mk1 helicopter, and HMS Brilliant launched a Westland Lynx HAS Mk2. The Lynx attacked the submarine with a Mk 46 torpedo, and also strafed it with its pintle-mounted GPMG; the Wessex also fired on the Santa Fe with its GPMG. The Wasp from HMS Plymouth as well as two other Wasps launched from HMS Endurance fired AS.12 anti-ship missiles at the submarine, scoring hits. Santa Fe was damaged badly enough to prevent her from submerging. The crew abandoned the submarine at the jetty at King Edward Point on South Georgia.
CREW – 2
Speed – 120mph or 104 knots
Range – 303 miles
Ceiling – 12,200 ft