RAF Centenary Sea King 2018 UK £2 Gold Proof Coin
The Royal Mint commemorates 100 years of the RAF.
Limited Issue: 1000
The fourth coin in the Royal Mint’s RAF Centenary collection of 2018 to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force honours the Sea King. The reverse design is by Rhys Morgan and features the inscription Sea King RAF 1918-2018.
The Sea King
The RAFs Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force (SARF or SAR Force) provided round the clock aeronautical search and rescue cover the UK, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands. The rescue force was established in 1986 when the Marine Branch was disbanded, and the air rescue aspects retained as the SARF.
The yellow Westland Sea King is a recognisable symbol of air search and rescue. The Royal Navy also operated a search and rescue service with the same aircraft in a red and grey livery. The Sea King performed many roles within the RAF, including wartime service in the Falklands War, the Gulf War, the Balkans Conflict, and the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Whilst differing considerable, the Sea King is a British license-produced version of the American Sikorsky S-16 helicopter which also bears the Sea King name. Despite this, the engines anti-submarine systems and flight controls are all unique to the British built specification.
For its service as a search and rescue aircraft, a dedicated SAR (search and rescue) version was developed for the SARF with updated systems, advanced digital navigation systems and modernised avionics. Similar search and rescue versions were produced for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Germany Navy and the Belgium Air Force.
In 2009, following in the footsteps of his uncle Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge became a full-time pilot with the RAFs Search and Rescue Force. He served as a Sea King pilot until he retired from the forces in 2013 and went on to spent two years as an Air Ambulance pilot in East Anglia.
The RAF supported the UK search and rescue until October 2015 when the role was handed over to a civilian contractor. A parade to mark the disbandment of the SAR Force took place in February 2016 in front of the most famous of all the SARF pilots, The Duke of Cambridge.
The RAF Centenary Collection
As part of the RAF100 celebrations, the Royal Mint united with the Royal Air Force (RAF) to mark 100 years of service. For the centenary anniversary, five official UK £2 coins have been struck in recognition of the brave men and women of the RAF and to celebrate the most iconic aircraft in the world. The collection is officially licensed by the Royal Air Force and the only coins struck to mark the 100th anniversary.
RAF Centenary Sea King 2018 UK £2 Gold Proof Coin Specification
- Denomination: £2
- Quality: Proof
- Country of issue: United Kingdom
- Year of issue: 2018
- Composition: Gold
- Weight: 15.97g
- Diameter: 28.40mm
- Reverse designer: Rhys Morgan
- Obverse designer: Jody Clark