First upgraded Lynx flies with new engines

September 18, 2009
Sept. 18, 2009 – AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce the successful first flight of the British Army’s first Lynx AH Mk.9A fitted with more powerful CTS800 engines, just 10 months after contract award. The maiden flight, lasting 60 minutes, took place today at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility with the aircraft handling as expected.

Graham Cole, Managing Director, AgustaWestland, said after the flight “I am delighted that the first flight has been achieved in such a short period after contract award. The rapid progress we have been able to make on this programme highlights the benefits of partnering, under the framework of the Strategic Partnering Arrangement, which will see these aircraft being back on the front line supporting our troops in the shortest possible time.”

The first four of the 12 aircraft will be delivered in late 2009 and the remaining eight will be delivered in 2010. The CTS800-4N engines and associated equipment are being pulled forward from the AW159 Lynx Wildcat programme. The new engines produce 37% more power than the current Gem engines that are fitted to the Lynx AH Mk.9 giving the aircraft a significant increase in power which will allow the aircraft to operate in extreme hot and high conditions at high weights.

In December 2008 the UK Ministry of Defence signed a contract with AgustaWestland to pull forward AW159 Lynx Wildcat programme technologies to provide a rapid upgrade for 12 British Army Lynx AH Mk.9 aircraft with CTS800-4N engines to significantly improve the performance of these aircraft in hot and high operating conditions, such as those found in Afghanistan.

Under this Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) contract AgustaWestland commenced work even before contract award to ensure the programme could be completed as rapidly as possible. A written-off airframe supplied by the Ministry of Defence was used to trial the installation and changes required to the top deck structure of the aircraft, as a risk reduction exercise. Similarly AgustaWestland’s Super Lynx 300 demonstrator aircraft has been used to perform a range of trials in support of the programme to speed up the qualification process prior to entry into service.

The Lynx AH Mk.9A upgrade comprises the installation of CTS800-4N engines which require modifications to be carried out to the main gear box, top deck structure and rear fuselage. Additionally changes are carried out in the cockpit where the new engine controls and digital displays are installed.

AgustaWestland is also providing a comprehensive support for the Lynx AH Mk.9A aircraft including an initial spares package, integrated electronic technical publications and training. The training package includes training for aircraft and avionic technicians as well as aircrew and will be completed by the end of November 2009.

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