Service history of the Westland Wasp AH-12A
with the MLD
The increasing development of the
submarine after WWII resulted in a weapon with increased range and
speed. Countering this threat led to the development of early detection
systems and the development of a standoff weapons system able to
countermand this treat. That weapons system was the Westland Wasp, a small
first-generation, gas-turbine powered, shipboard anti-submarine
Based on the earlier piston-engine Saunders-Roe Skeeter the Westland Wasp
fulfilled the requirement of the Royal Navy for a manned torpedo
carrying helicopter whose sole purposes was to destroy submarines.
Equipped with no Sonar of its own and small enough to land on the deck
of a frigate and carrying a useful load of two homing torpedoes the
was the perfect stand-off weapon.
Delivery to the Royal Netherlands Navy
A requirement for a anti-submarine
helicopter developed in the Dutch navy after a fire aboard the aircraft
carrier Karel Doorman in 1968. After the fire it was decided that the
cost of the repair where to high as her withdrawal was planed for the early 1970s.
This was to coincide with the arrival of long range maritime patrol aircraft that were to take
over the ASW role of the Karel Doorman. After this a order was placed for twelve
Westland Wasp AH-12A helicopter to be operated from six Van Speijk class
frigates in the anti submarine wore fare role.
The first twelve Westland Wasp AH-12A , a complete squadron, where
delivered between November 1966 and June 1967. One attrition replacement
Westland Wasp was ordered en delivered in 1974.
The Royal Netherlands Navy received twelve Westland Wasp helicopters between November
1966 and June 1967, operated from Van Speijk class frigates as AH-12A's
and flown in the ASW role.
The introduction started in the spring off 1966 as a group off pilots
and engineers left fore the Westland factory in Yeovil for a
introduction in the Westland Wasp. After this introduction course the
first three Westland Wasp were deployed to Culdrose NAS. With the
additional training completed
860 Squadron started operations from de Kooy NAS
During the operational liver of the Westland Wasp the shore base was at
de Kooy NAS. It was the parent unit for deployments to the Van Speijk Class Frigates. During the latter half of 1974, there were a number of ships flight assignments to RNAS Portland.
The Westland Wasp was primarily
flown in the ASW role, it also operated in the SAR and transport role.
The last of the Dutch Westland Wasps were eventually withdrawn from service in
1981 when they were replaced by the Westland Lynx.