A British licence development of the Sikorsky S-58, the Westland Wessex was a multi-role all-metal helicopter produced by Westland Aircraft Ltd. The Wessex HAS.1, powered by a Napier Gazelle turboshaft engine, first flew in June 1958 and the type began performing anti-submarine duties three years later, operated by the Royal Navy. A more powerful version, the HAS.3, with improved avionics and a radome on the rear fuselage, was introduced in 1967. In total, 140 HAS.1 helicopters were built, while 45 HAS.3 machines existed (all but three were conversions from HAS.1s).
In 1963 the Royal Australian Navy acquired a total of 27 Wessex helicopters designated the HAS.31A, of which 23 were later upgraded to Mk.31B standard, similar to that of HAS.3.
The RN Wessex HAS.1 and HAS.3s continued in service until 1979 and 1983, respectively, while the RAN’s HAS.31Bs served in ASW, SAR, utility and ambulance role until the end of 1989.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Wessex HAS.1, White XM840/300-R, No.815 NAS, Royal Navy, HMS Ark Royal, mid-1960s
2) Wessex HAS.1, White XM841/510-PO, No.771 NAS, Royal Navy, RNAS Portland (HMS Osprey), Dorset, 1973
3) Wessex HAS.1, White XS863, Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, 1973
4) Wessex HAS.31A, White WA215/825, No.723 Sq. Royal Australian Navy, RANAS Nowra (HMAS Albatross), New South Wales, Australia, 1963