Taken at the Abingdon air show on the 6/5/2012
The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants. The Lynx went into operational usage in 1977 and was later adopted by the armed forces of over a dozen nations, primarily serving in the battlefield utility, anti-armour, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare roles. The Lynx was the world’s first fully aerobatic helicopter. In 1986 a specially modified Lynx set the current Fédération Aéronautique Internationale’s official airspeed record for helicopters. The helicopter is now produced and marketed by AgustaWestland.
The initial design (then known as the Westland WG.13) was started in the mid-1960s as a replacement for the Westland Scout and Wasp, and a more advanced alternative to the UH-1 Iroquois.2 As part of the Anglo-French helicopter agreement signed in February 1967, the French company Aérospatiale were given a work share in the manufacturing programme.3 Aérospatiale received 30% of production with Westland performing the remainder.4 It was intended that France would buy Lynxes for its Navy and as an armed reconnaissance helicopter for the French Army, with the United Kingdom in return buying Aérospatiale Gazelles and Pumas for its armed forces. The French Army cancelled its requirement for Lynxes in October 1969.3
XX153 which broke the Helicopter speed record in 1972
The original Lynx design was powered by two Rolls-Royce Gem 2 turboshaft engines, and used many components derived from the Scout and Wasp. However, the rotor was new, being of a semi-rigid design with honeycomb sandwich blades.56 The first Lynx prototype took its maiden flight on 21 March 1971.47 In 1972, a Lynx broke the world speed record over 15 and 25 km by flying at 321.74 km/h (199.92 mph). It also set a new 100 km closed circuit record shortly afterwards, flying at 318.504 km/h (197.91 mph).8
The British Army ordered over 100 Lynxes, designated the Lynx AH.1 (Army Helicopter Mark 1), for different roles, such as transport, armed escort, anti-tank warfare (with eight TOW missiles), reconnaissance and evacuation. The Army has fitted a Marconi Elliot AFCS system onto the Lynx for automatic stabilisation on three axes.5 Deliveries of production Lynxes began in 1977.4 An improved Lynx AH.1 with Gem 41-1 or Gem 42 engines and an uprated transmission was referred to as the Lynx AH.5; only five were built for evaluation purposes. The AH.5 led to the Lynx AH.7, which added a new tail rotor derived from the Westland 30, a reinforced airframe, improved avionics and defensive aids. These later received upgrades such as British Experimental Rotor Programme (BERP) rotor blades.9
The initial naval variant of the Lynx, known as the Lynx HAS.2 in British service, or Lynx Mk.2(FN) in French service, differed from the Lynx AH.1 in being equipped with a tricycle undercarriage and a deck restraint systems, folding main rotor blades, an emergency flotation system and a nose-mounted radar. An improved Lynx for the Royal Navy, the Lynx HAS.3, had Gem 42-1 Mark 204 engines, an uprated transmission, a new flotation system and an Orange Crop ESM system. The Lynx HAS.3 also received various other updates in service. A similar upgrade to the French Lynx was known as the Lynx Mk.4(FN). Many different export variants based on the Lynx HAS.2 and HAS.3 were sold to other air arms.9
In 1986, the former company demonstrator Lynx, registered G-LYNX, was specially modified with Gem 60 engines and BERP rotor blades.10 On 11 August 1986 the helicopter was piloted by Trevor Egginton when it set an absolute speed record for helicopters over a 15 and 25 km course by reaching 400.87 km/h (249.09 mph);1 an official record it currently holds.111
Super Lynx and Battlefield Lynx
ZD252 a Royal Navy Lynx HMA.8 about to land
Announced in 1984, the Lynx-3 was an enhanced Lynx development, with a stretched fuselage, a redesigned tailboom and tail surfaces, Gem 60-3/1 engines and a new wheeled tricycle undercarriage.9 The Lynx-3 also included BERP rotor blades, and increased fuel capacity.12 Both Army and Naval variants were proposed.5 The project was ended in 1987 due to insufficient orders.12 Only one Army Lynx-3 prototype was built.9
A development of the Lynx AH.7 with the wheeled undercarriage of the Lynx-3 was marketed by Westland as the Battlefield Lynx in the late 1980s.9 The prototype first flew in November 1989 and deliveries began in 1991.13 This variant entered British Army service as the Lynx AH.9.9
In the early 1990s, Westland incorporated some of the technology from the Naval Lynx-3 design into a less-radical Super Lynx. This featured BERP rotor blades, the Westland 30-derived tail rotor, Gem 42 engines, a new under-nose 360-degree radar installation and an optional nose-mounted electro-optical sensor turret. Royal Navy Lynx HAS.3s upgraded to Super Lynx standard were known in service as the Lynx HMA.8, and several export customers ordered new-build or upgraded Super Lynxes. Later, Westland offered the Super Lynx 200 with LHTEC CTS800 engines and the Super Lynx 300, which also had a new cockpit and avionics derived from the AgustaWestland EH101. Both of these models have achieved several export sales.9
Future Lynx/Lynx Wildcat
Main article: AgustaWestland AW159
The British Army and Royal Navy Lynx fleets are due to be upgraded to a new common advanced Lynx variant based on the Super Lynx 300, with a new tailboom, undercarriage, cockpit, avionics and sensors.9 Initially referred to as the Future Lynx, this type has since been renamed by AgustaWestland as the AW159 Lynx Wildcat.
The Lynx is a multi-purpose helicopter design with a side by side cockpit for pilot and observer. It features a large sliding crew door on each side giving access to the cabin which can be used to accommodate up to nine equipped troops dependent on seating configuration, or alternatively radio equipment when used in the command post role or surplus fuel for long journeys.9 Its twin Rolls-Royce Gem turboshaft engines power a four-blade semi-rigid main rotor system.914 The Lynx is an agile helicopter, capable of performing loops and rolls.
A Lynx HAS.3 of HMS Cardiff in March 1982 prior to the Falklands War practising search and rescue.
A British Army Lynx AH.7 in Bosnia during Operation Resolute in 1996.
The Lynx Mk.2(FN) entered service with the French Navy’s Aviation navale in 1979. The Lynx AH.1 entered service with the Army Air Corps (AAC) in 1979, followed by the Lynx HAS.2 with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) in 1981. The FAA Lynx fleet was upgraded to Lynx HAS.3 standard during the 1980s, and again to Lynx HMA.8 standard in the 1990s. Most Army Lynx were later upgraded to Lynx AH.7 standard.9
As of 2009, the AAC operate the Lynx AH.7 and AH.9 as utility helicopters. Army owned Lynx AH.7 and AH.9 are also in service with the FAA where they operate as attack/utility helicopters in support of the Royal Marines. Lynx HAS.3 and HMA.8 operate as anti-submarine warfare and maritime attack helicopters equipped with the Stingray torpedo, Sea Skua anti-ship missile and depth charges from Royal Navy warships. HAS.3 and HMA.8 are also capable of anti-trafficking and anti-piracy roles when carrying boarding parties and when fitted with the FN Herstal M3M pintle mounted heavy machine gun.
The HAS.2 naval ASW variant took part in combat operations in British service during the Falklands War in 1982. Although none were shot down, three were lost aboard vessels hit in Argentine air attacks (HMS Coventry, HMS Ardent and MV Atlantic Conveyor).15
Lynx helicopters used the Sea Skua to devastating effect against the Iraqi Navy during the 1991 Gulf War. The Lynx also saw service with British Army forces during that conflict.
In September 2000 the Lynx was used during an operation to rescue British soldiers in Sierra Leone.
The Lynx was used during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It has also seen extensive service during peacekeeping operations and exercises, and it is standard equipment for most Royal Navy surface combatants when they deploy.
A British Lynx from 847 Naval Air Squadron was shot down over Basra, Iraq on 6 May 2006. The helicopter was downed by a surface-to-air missile (using a Man Portable Air Defence System) killing all five on board. This was the first British helicopter and only the second British aircraft downed (the first was an RAF Hercules) due to enemy fire in the war. A flight of either AAC or RM Lynx AH.7s are based at Basra Air Station under command of the Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq) on a rotational basis,16 but are restricted operationally during the summer months due to the very high daytime temperatures which affect lifting capacity and endurance dramatically.
The Super Lynx has been used extensively by the Portuguese Navy in Operation Ocean Shield. It operates from NRP Alvares Cabral and has been fitted with a FN M3M 12.7 mm machine gun.
On 28 February 2011, one Royal Netherlands Navy Naval Aviation Service Lynx was captured in Libya during an evacuation mission. Three navy personnel were taken prisoner by Libyan troops and two civilians were evacuated by other means.17
Army Air Corps Lynx AH.7 at RIAT 2010.
Prototype, first flight 21 March 1971. Thirteen prototypes built.18
Initial production version for the British Army Air Corps, powered by 671 kW (900 hp) Gem 2 engines,19 with first production example flying 11 February 1977, and deliveries continuing until February 1984, with 113 built.20 Used for a variety of tasks, including tactical transport, armed escort, anti-tank warfare (60 were equipped with eight TOW missiles as Lynx AH.1 (TOW) from 1981),21 reconnaissance and casualty evacuation.22
Interim conversion of the AH.1 to partial AH.7 standard for the Army Air Corps with uprated engines and revised tail rotor.23
Planned training version for Royal Air Force. Cancelled.23
Upgraded version for the Army Air Corps, with 835 kW (1,120 shp) Gem 41-1 engines and uprated gearbox.24 Three built as AH.5 (Interim) as Trials aircraft for MoD. Eight ordered as AH.5s for Army Air Corps, of which only two built as AH.5s, with remaining six completed as AH.7s.25 Four were later upgraded to AH.7 standard and one was retained for trials work as an AH.5X.
Proposed version for the Royal Marines with undercarriage, folding tail and deck harpoon of Naval Lynx. Not built.25
Further upgraded version for the Army Air Corps, with Gem 41-1 engines and uprated gearbox of AH.5 and new, larger, composite tail rotor. Later refitted with BERP type rotor blades. Twelve new build, with 107 Lynx AH.1s converted.26 A small number also used by the Fleet Air Arm in support of the Royal Marines.27 Now replaced by the WAH-64 Apache as the main attack helicopter.
AH.7 with Defensive Aids Subsystem.
Lynx AH.9 (“Battlefield Lynx”)
Utility version for Army Air Corps, based on AH.7, but with wheeled undercarriage and further upgraded gearbox. Sixteen new-built plus eight converted from AH.7s.28
Royal Navy Lynx HAS.3(ICE) supporting an Antarctic research base
Lynx HAS.2 / Mk.2(FN)
Initial production version for the Royal Navy (HAS.2) and the French Navy (Mk.2(FN)), powered by Gem 2 engines and with wheeled undercarriage, folding rotors and tail and deck harpoon. HAS.2 equipped with British Sea Spray radar, with Mk.2(FN) having French radar and dipping sonar. When it is used in the anti-submarine role, it can carry two torpedoes or depth charges. For anti-surface warfare, it is equipped with either four Sea Skua missiles (Royal Navy) or four AS.12 missiles (French Navy).31 60 built for Royal Navy,32 and 26 for France.33
Lynx HAS.3 of the Black Cats (Royal Navy) display team
Improved version of HAS.2 powered by Gem 42-1 engines and with upgraded gearbox. Thirty built from new, with deliveries starting in March 1982 and all remaining HAS.2s (53 aircraft) converted to HAS.3 standards.3435
Improved version of the HAS.3 for the Royal Navy fitted with secure radio systems.36
Modified helicopters for the Royal Navy, for service in the Persian Gulf, with improved electronic warfare equipment, revised IFF and provision for Forward looking infrared (FLIR) under fuselage. Originally deployed for 1990-91 Gulf War. Designated HAS.3S/GM when fitted with secure radios.36 (GM denotes Gulf Modification).
HAS.3 modified for Antarctic service aboard ice patrol ship HMS Endurance. Designated HAS.3SICE when fitted with secure radios.37
HAS.3 upgraded with avionics system proposed for HMA.8. Seven converted as test beds.37
Upgraded version for the Aéronavale, with Gem 42-1 engines. Fourteen built.37
Upgraded maritime attack version based on Super Lynx 100. Gem 42-200 engines, BERP type main rotors and larger tail rotor of AH.7. Fitted with FLIR in turret above nose, with radar moved to radome below nose.38
Digital Signal Processor.
Defensive Aids Subsystem. DSP aircraft were modified.
SATURN (Second-generation Anti-jam Tactical UHF Radio for NATO) Radio Upgrade. DAS aircraft modified. Incorporates SIFF (Successor to IFF).
Combined Mods Programme. SRU aircraft modified with improved communications and defensive systems.
Note: At the time of writing, all HMA.8 aircraft have been upgraded to CMP standard and as such HMA.8(CMP) aircraft have since been re-designated back to HMA.8(SRU). The Lynx HAS.8 fleet are currently undergoing further modifications, by the Lynx Operational Support Team, to improve self-defense, mission execution and survivability. These modifications will not affect the SRU designation.
A boarding team rappel onto their ship from a Brazilian Navy Super Lynx Mk.21A
Lynx Mk.90B landing on Royal Danish Navy THETIS-class
Lynx of the German Navy
Cockpit of a Lynx of the German Navy
Super Lynx of the Brazilian Navy
Export version of the HAS.2 for the Brazilian Navy. Brazilian navy designation SAH-11. Nine delivered.39
Super Lynx Mk.21A
Version of the Super Lynx (based on HAS.8) for the Brazilian navy, with Gem 42 engines and 360° traverse Seaspray 3000 radar under nose. Nine new build helicopters plus upgrades of remaining five original Mk.21s.40
Unbuilt export version for the Egyptian Navy.39
Export version of the HAS.2 for the Argentine Navy. Two built. Grounded due to British embargo on spares following Falklands War. Single surviving helicopter later sold to Denmark.39
Unbuilt export utility version for the Iraqi army.25
Export version of the HAS.2 for the Royal Netherlands Navy. Designated UH-14A in Dutch service. Used for utility and SAR roles.39 Six built.41
Unbuilt export armed version for the Iraqi army.25
Export version for the Royal Netherlands Navy with 836 kW (1,120 kW) Gem 4 engines. Equipped for ASW missions with dipping sonar. Designated SH-14B in Dutch service. 10 built.34
Export version of the AH.1 for the Qatar Police. Three built.25
Export version of the Super Lynx for the South African Air Force.
Export version for the Royal Danish Navy based on the HAS.3 but with non-folding tail. Eight built.42
Upgraded ASW version for the Royal Netherlands Navy, powered by Gem 41 engines with no sonar but fitted with towed Magnetic anomaly detector. Designated SH-14C in Dutch service, and mainly used for training and utility purposes. Eight built.43
UH-14A/SH-14B/SH-14C Lynx upgraded to a common standard by the Royal Netherlands Navy under the STAMOL programme with Gem 42 engines, provision for dipping sonar and FLIR. 22 upgraded.4344
Unbuilt export version for the Egyptian army.25
Unbuilt export version for the Saudi Arabian army.25
Lynx Mk 84
Unbuilt export version for the Qatar army.25
Lynx Mk 85
Unbuilt export version for the United Arab Emirates army.25
Export SAR version of the HAS.2 for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.34
Embargoed export version for the Argentine navy. Two completed and sold to Denmark as Mk.904345 other six not built46
Export version for the German Navy with Gem 42 engines, and dipping sonar. Nineteen built.47 Super Lynx Mk.88A is an upgraded version with Gem 42 engines, under-nose radome with 360° traverse radar and FLIR above nose. Seven new build helicopters plus conversion of Mk.88s.4849
Export version of HAS.3 for the Nigerian navy. Three built.47
Export version for the Royal Danish Navy, modified from embargoed Argentine Mk.87s. Lynx Mk.90A is the upgraded version.47 The Lynx Mk.90 and Mk.90A were upgraded to Super Lynx standard and designated Mk.90B.4849
Version of Super Lynx for the Portuguese Navy, with Bendix radar in undernose radome, dipping sonar but no FLIR. Three new build plus two converted ex-Royal Navy HAS.3s.48
Super Lynx Mk.99
Version of Super Lynx for the South Korean Navy, with Seaspray 3 radar in undernose radome, dipping sonar, and FLIR, for anti-submarine and anti-ship operations.50 Twelve were built. Super Lynx Mk.99A is the upgraded version with improved rotor, with a further 13 built.5152 Hulls were produced in the United Kingdom while South Korea supplied domestic ISTAR, electro-optical, electronic warfare, and fire-control systems,535455 as well as flight control actuators56 and undercarriage.57
Super Lynx Mk.100
Super Lynx for the Royal Malaysian Navy, with 990 kW (1,327 hp) CTS-800-4N engines.58 Six built.59
Super Lynx Mk.110
Super Lynx 300 for Thai Navy. Four ordered.5960
Super Lynx Mk.120
Export version for the Royal Air Force of Oman. 16 built.59
Super Lynx Mk.130
Export version for the Algerian Navy. Four ordered.61
Super Lynx 300
Advanced Super Lynx with CTS-800-4N engines.58
Proposed training version for the Royal Air Force, not built.
Enhanced Lynx variant with Westland 30 tail boom and rotor, Gem 60 engines, new wheeled tricycle undercarriage and MIL-STD-1553 databus. Only one prototype built (serial/registration ZE477 / G-17-24) in 1984.62
Proposed export version of Lynx AH.9.
Battlefield Lynx 800
Proposed export version of Lynx AH.9 with LHTEC T800 engines,63 the project was suspended in 1992.64 One demonstrator helicopter was built and flight tested.12
Proposed Advanced Compound Helicopter technology demonstrator, partly funded by the Ministry of Defence. Announced in May 1998, the ACH was planned to be powered by RTM322 engines with variable area exhaust nozzles and a gearbox from the Westland 30-200, have wings attached at cabin roof level and BERP rotor blades. It was predicted to fly approximately 50% faster than a standard Lynx.65
medium helicopter based on the Lynx, using some dynamic systems with a new, enlarged fuselage for up to 22 passengers.
AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat
a development of the Super Lynx with two LHTEC CTS800 engines; previously known as the Future Lynx.
NOTES: AH = Attack Helicopter, HAS = Helicopter, Anti-Submarine, HMA = Helicopter, Maritime Attack, IFF = Identification Friend or Foe, (GM) = Gulf Modification, (S) = Secure speech radio, and SIFF = Successor to IFF.
Lynx of the Royal Danish Navy
Lynx of the Portuguese Navy
Westland Super Lynx Mk.21A of the Brazilian Navy
Algerian Air Force: 4 Super LynxMk.130
Brazilian Navy: 12 Lynx Mk.21A
Royal Danish Air Force: 8 Super Lynx Mk.90Bs used for various missions. These were originally operated by the Royal Danish Navy until January 2011.
French Navy: – French Naval Aviation: 31 Lynx HAS.4
German Navy: 22 Sea Lynx Mk.88A
Royal Malaysian Navy: 6 Super Lynx Mk.100
Royal Netherlands Navy: 20 Super Lynx SH-14D. Originally received 6 search and rescue (UH-14A/Mk.25) and 18 anti-submarine warfare models (SH-14B/Mk.27 and SH-14C/Mk.81), which have all been upgraded to SH-14D standard for both SAR and ASW duties.
Royal Norwegian Air Force: 6 Lynx Mk.86 – operated on behalf of the Norwegian Coast Guard. 337 Skvadron operates from the Nordkapp Class cutters.
Royal Air Force of Oman: 15 Super Lynx Mk.120
Portuguese Navy 5 Lynx Mk.95 – operated from the “Vasco da Gama class frigates”.
British Army Air Corps AH.7 at RIAT 2010.
Republic of Korea Navy: 12 Super Lynx Mk.99 and 13 Super Lynx Mk.99A.52 Used for anti-submarine and surface warfare.
Royal Thai Navy had 2 Super Lynx 300s in use in January 2010.68 Operated by 203 Squadron at U-Tapao RTNS, Chonburi Province, Thailand.
British Army – Army Air Corps: 120 Lynx AH.1 / AH.5 / AH.7 / AH.9.
Royal Navy – Fleet Air Arm: 80 Lynx HAS.2 / HAS.3 / HMA.8.
Former military operators
Argentine Navy: The Argentine Naval Aviation ordered ten Mk.23s but only two were delivered before the outbreak of the Falklands War and the ensuing arms embargo imposed by the British. To make up for the undelivered aircraft, the Argentines ordered the Eurocopter Fennec. The two delivered helicopters in addition to the undelivered helicopters were later sold to the Danish Navy and Brazilian Navy.
Nigerian Navy: 3 Lynx Mk.89 (One caught fire and was destroyed) – used for anti-submarine warfare. Retired from service.
Pakistan Navy – Pakistan Naval Air Arm: 3 Lynx Mk.3 – used for anti-ship / anti-submarine / transport duties. These aircraft have been retired from service since 2003.
Law Enforcement operators
Qatar State Police
Specifications (Super Lynx Series 100)
Data from Flight International World Aircraft and Systems Directory (3rd ed.)
Crew: 2 or 3
Capacity: 10 troops
Payload: 737 kg[clarification needed] ()
Length: 15.241 m (50 ft)
Rotor diameter: 12.80 m (42 ft)
Height: 3.734 m for mk7; 3.785 m for mk9 (12.25 ft for mk7; 12.41 ft for mk9)
Disc area: 128.71 m² (1,385 ft²)
Empty weight: 3,291 kg (7,255 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 5,330 kg (11,750 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Gem turboshaft, 835 kW (1,120 shp) each
Maximum speed: 324 km/h (201 mph)
Range: 528 km (328 miles) with standard tanks
Naval: 2 x torpedoes or 4x Sea Skua missiles or 2 x depth charges.
Attack: 2 × 20mm cannons, 2 × 70mm rocket pods CRV7, 8 x TOW ATGM69
General: 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (AH.7 and AH.9), Browning AN/M3M .50 calibre heavy machine gun (HAS.3 and HMA.8)
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