A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter (photo: A Oxley)

Britain is sending helicopters to Ukraine for the first time, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced.

Three ex-military Sea Kings are being extradited – one is already in Ukraine – in an escalation in aid to Kiev.

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It is the first crewed aircraft to be shipped from Britain since the Russian invasion began in February.

Wallace also said an additional 10,000 artillery shells will be sent to help Ukraine secure the areas it has recaptured from Vladimir Putin’s invading forces in recent weeks.

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The new support comes after Rishi Sunak announced a further £50 million in defense aid over the weekend.

On a visit to Norway, Mr Wallace said: “Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery shells will help Ukraine secure the land it has recaptured from Russia.”

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The Royal Navy has been training for six weeks on Sea Kings in the UK for Ukraine’s armed forces and engineers, the Defense Ministry said.

It follows a commitment to provide 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles and 125 anti-aircraft guns.

Wallace is in Norway to meet the Allied defense ministers on the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said France refused “to the last minute” when Russian troops crossed the border.

He added that Germany wanted to lose Ukraine quickly for “all sorts of reasonable economic reasons” rather than a long war.