UK Ministry of Defence has awarded AgustaWestland a $62.5
million contract extension for the upgrade of 10 more British Army
Lynx Mk.9 helicopters with LHTEC CTS800-4N engines. The contract
was announced Thursday by Quentin Davies MP, Minister for Defence
Equipment and Support, during a visit to AgustaWestland's Yeovil
facility. The Minister also accepted delivery of the seventh
upgraded Lynx Mk.9A before handing it over Lt Col Mike McGinty,
Commanding Officer 9 Regiment Army Air Corp, the first unit that
will deploy to Afghanistan with the aircraft.
British MP Quentin Davies Accepts
This contract extension follows on from a contract signed in
December 2008 for the initial upgrade of 12 aircraft, the first
four of which were upgraded and delivered back to the British Army
in just 12 months. Delivery of the additional ten Lynx Mk.9A
aircraft back to the British Army will start in early 2011 and be
completed in early 2012.
AgustaWestland has pulled forward AW159 Lynx Wildcat program
technologies to provide a rapid engine upgrade for the British Army
Lynx AH Mk.9 aircraft. The new CTS800-4N 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
allows it to operate more effectively in extreme hot and high
conditions. This latest contract will mean the entire British Army
fleet of 22 Lynx Mk.9 helicopters will be upgraded to Mk.9A
standard in a seamless conversion program.
The major upgrade requires the top deck structure of the
aircraft to be modified and fitted with new engine bays and cowls
to accommodate the CTS800-4N engines. The cockpit is also modified
to accommodate new engine controls and the engine instrument
display system. Additionally minor changes are made to the
transmission system and aircraft structure to enable the increased
power of the engines to be fully utilized.
This year, less than 18 months after the original contract
award, the first Lynx Mk.9A helicopters will deploy to Afghanistan
to support British and coalition forces, where its exceptional hot
and high performance will enable it to operate year round in the
demanding environmental conditions experienced there.