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Westland / AgustaWestland Lynx Multi-role Helicopter / Anti-Submarine / Anti-Ship (1978)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 2/26/2014

Main versions of the Westland Lynx included army and navy variants, roles that proved the type's adaptability to varying mission specifications.

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The Westland Lynx (AgustaWestland since 2000) was designed to a British Army requirement and initially consisted of four planned projects that included an army, navy, 2-seat attack and civilian passenger versions. The main idea of the planned four designs revolved around utilization of differing airframes centered around the same powerplant components making for one economical and reusable solution. In the end, only the army and navy versions were ever actually completed but both types went on to see extensive usage in military forces of various nations, taking on other roles in the process and spawning a myriad of variants as needed. The Lynx is currently in active service - a sound testament to the original 1960's era design.

Development
Lynx began as the Westland WG.13 (Westland numbered each of their designs in this consecutive format meaning that it had already completed some 12 other designs previous to WG.13), intended to replace the aging "Scout" and gangly "Wasp" platforms, both past Westland products themselves. This system was also intended to challenge the role currently held by the American Huey UH-1 Cobra helicopter in the attack role. Initially, the helicopter endeavor included Aerospatiale of France (to make up some 30% of the Lynx production), with France looking to purchase both army and navy versions of the Lynx while Britain was to take deliveries of Aerospatiale products in turn (Gazelle and Puma). The 1967 coproduction agreement led to nowhere as the French bowed out so Westland proceeded on the Lynx design on their own, achieving first flight on March 21st, 1971. A total of 6 prototypes were eventually built (along with 7 preproduction models) while production of the Lynx line was handled at Westland in Yeovil, Somerset, England.

Despite its origins as a naval attack platform, the Lynx was quick to showcase its performance capabilities and roomy cabin, offering more potential for the system than originally envisioned for armed service. The aircraft was quite capable of performing loops and could roll and handle much like a traditional fixed-wing aircraft thanks to its main rotor design - making it quite responsive. In 1972, the Lynx set a new helicopter speed record by achieving 321.74 km/h and would later best this number by hitting 400.87 km/h on August 11th, 1986, the latter thanks to new rotor blades (complete with swept tips) via the British Experimental Rotor Program (or BERP). This particular Lynx was the 102nd production AH.Mk 1 model but modified with twin auxiliary tail fins and water-methanol boosted engines. The converted AH.Mk 1 model was later reconfigured back to its army status with standard equipment eventually retired to the UK Helicopter Museum.

The Lynx has appeared in both land-based and naval variants, both stemming from the two original army and navy designs. Land-based variants included the initial British Army AH.Mk 1 - which took on a variety of tasks during service - and the AH.Mk 7, an improved version of the AH.Mk 5 for the Army Air Corps and Fleet Air Arm featuring an IR suppressor over the exhaust, the BERP main rotor arrangement and Sky Guardian radar warning receiver (RWR). 100 of the original AH.Mk 1's were ordered. The AH.Mk 9 (or "Battlefield Lynx") became the British Army version of the "Super Lynx" and featured a retractable wheel undercarriage.

Naval variants began with the HAS.Mk 2 (HAS = Helicopter, Anti-Submarine) and could be fielded as an anti-ship or anti-submarine warfare role. The HAS.Mk 2 achieved first flight in February of 1976. The HAS.3 was an improved version and featured sub-variants. The HMA.Mk 8 "Super Lynx" (HMA = Helicopter, Maritime Attack) was an upgraded attack model for maritime usage while other HMA.Mk 8 sub-variants appeared with improved technologies.


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Specifications for the
Westland / AgustaWestland Lynx
Multi-role Helicopter / Anti-Submarine / Anti-Ship


Focus Model: Westland / AgustaWestland Lynx AH.9
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Manufacturer: Westland / AgustaWestland - UK
Initial Year of Service: 1978
Production: 415


Crew: 2 + 12


Length: 43.44ft (13.24m)
Width: 42.06ft (12.82m)
Height: 12.24ft (3.73m)
Weight (Empty): 7,705lbs (3,495kg)
Weight (MTOW): 11,299lbs (5,125kg)


Powerplant: 2 x Rolls-Royce Gen 42-1 turboshaft engines driving a four-blade main rotor and a tail rotor.


Maximum Speed: 158mph (255kmh; 138kts)
Maximum Range: 426miles (685km)
Service Ceiling: 10,597ft (3,230m; 2.0miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 2,480 feet per minute (756m/min)


Hardpoints: 2
Armament Suite:
Variant-specific armament may include the following:

Attack Helicopter:
8 x TOW anti-tank guided missiles (set of two quadruple launchers)
2 x 70mm rocket pods
2 x 20mm cannon pods on fuselage sides

Anti-Submarine Warfare:
4 x Sea Skua anti-ship missiles (British Navy)
4 x AS.12 wire-guided anti-ship missiles (French Navy)

Anti-Surface Warfare:
2 x torpedoes (Mk 44, Mk 46, A244S or Stingray)
2 x Mk 11 depth charges

General Purpose Battlefield Role:
2 x 7.62mm general purpose machine guns (pintle mount side doors)


Variants:
WG.13 - Initial Westland Prototype Designation


AH.Mk 1 - Initial Production Version

AH.Mk 1GT - Conversion model for Royal Army based on AH.Mk 1 model.

HAS.Mk 2 - Naval model for Britain

HAS.Mk 2(FN) - French naval model designation

HAS.Mk 3(S) - Improved version of the HAS.Mk 2; Updated communications equipment.

HAS.Mk 3(GM(S)) - Persian Gulf Conversion Model for Royal Navy.

HAS.Mk 3(ICE(S)) - Cold Weather Conversion Model

HAS.Mk 4(FN) - French upgraded model

AH.Mk 5 - British Army trial prototype

AH.Mk 6 - Royal Marines proposed model

AH.Mk 7 - Attack Model for Royal Marines and Royal Army branches.

HMA.Mk 8 "Super Lynx" - An upgraded attack model based on the maritime version.

HMA.Mk 8DSP

HMA.Mk 8DAS

AH.Mk 9 "Battlefield Lynx" - Royal Army version of the AH.7 model.

Mk.21 - Brazilian Export Model (SAH-11) based on HAS.Mk 2 variant.

Mk.21A - Brazilian Navy Export Model based on the HMA.Mk 8 Super Lynx variant.

Mk.22 - Egyptian Navy Export Model

Mk.23 - Argentine Navy Export Model

Mk.24 - Iraqi Army Export Model (never produced).

Mk.25 - Royal Netherlands Navy Export Model (UH-14A).

Mk.26 - Iraqi Army Export Version (never produced).

Mk.27 - Royal Netherlands Navy Export Version (SH-14B).

Mk.28 - Qatar Police Export Model of the HAS.Mk 1 version.

Mk.64 - South African Air Force Export Model of the Super Lynx variant.

Mk.80 - Royal Danish Navy Export Model of the HAS.Mk 2 variant.

Mk.81 - Royal Netherlands Navy Export Model (SH-14C).

Mk.82 - Egyptian Army Export Model (never produced).

Mk.83 - Saudi Arabian Army Export Model (never produced).

Mk.84 - Qatar Army Export Model (never produced).

Mk.85 - UAE Army Export Model (Never produced).

Mk.86 - Royal Norwegian Air Force Export Model based on the HAS.Mk 2.

Mk.87 - Argentine Navy Export Model (never delivered).

Mk.88 - German Navy Export Model

Mk.88A - Upgraded Mk.88 German Navy Export Model

Mk.90 - Royal Danish Navy Export Model

Mk.90B Super Lynx - Upgraded Royal Danish Navy Model of the Mk.80 and Mk.90 versions.

Mk.95 - Portuguese Navy Export Model based on the HAS.Mk 8 variant.

Mk.99 - South Korean Navy Export Model based on the HAS.Mk 8 variant.

Super Lynx 300 - Export version of the base Super Lynx.

Battlefield Lynx - Proposed Export Model Designation.

Battlefield 800 - Proposed Export Model designation; Discontinued support for project.

Lynx ACH - Experimental Test Model

SH-14A - Royal Netherlands Navy Model based on the HAS.2 variant.

SH-14B - Royal Netherlands Navy Model

SH-14C - Royal Netherlands Navy Model

SH-14D - Royal Netherlands Navy upgraded model.

SAH-11 - Brazilian Navy Export Model Designation.

Westland 30 - Passenger seating for up to 22 personnel; enlarged fuselage; 40 examples produced.

"Future Lynx" - Model under development (2009) with arrivial estimated in 2014; WD.30 style tailfins; LHTEC CTS800-4N turboshaft engines; increased payload; digital cockpit with 4 x large MFDs; laser target designator; nose-mounted optical sensor turret; new tail rotor.


Operators:
Algeria; Argentina; Brazil; Denmark; France; Germany; Malaysia; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Portugal; South Africa; South Korea; Thailand; United Kingdom; Qatar