Allows Upgrades To Proceed On 12 Lynx AH Mk.9 Helis
It has been confirmed in a statement today, made by Defence
Secretary John Hutton, that the Future Lynx contract signed in June
2006 by the UK Ministry of Defence with AgustaWestland will proceed
to full scale production.
Sixty-two aircraft will be initially procured, 34 for the
British Army and 28 for the Royal Navy. With a common design,
sensor and weapon capability, Future Lynx will be optimized for
either the maritime or battlefield environments, with the
versatility and flexibility to be able to be rapidly switched from
one role to another. The aircraft will have a multi-role capability
able to perform a range of tasks including battlefield
reconnaissance, maritime surface attack and utility lift tasks.
The UK Ministry of Defence also intends to sign a contract
within the next few weeks with AgustaWestland that will pull
forward Future Lynx program technologies to provide a rapid upgrade
of 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. 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 will be
pulled forward from the Future Lynx program. 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
Graham Cole, Managing Director, AgustaWestland said after the
announcement, "We have worked extremely closely with the MoD, as
it's Rotary Wing Strategic Partner, to ensure that the armed
services get the new equipment they require as quickly as possible
and in the most cost effective way. I am very pleased to say that
Future Lynx remains a critical element of the UK armed forces'
helicopter plans and that the upgrade of the Lynx Mk.9 aircraft
will provide a major boost to the British Army's capability in the
short term. We also look forward to working with the MoD to provide
the training and support solutions for the Future Lynx."
AgustaWestland says the Future Lynx program continues to be on
time and on budget and was the first major project to have been
awarded under the Strategic Partnering Arrangement signed by the UK
Ministry of Defence and AgustaWestland in June 2006.
AgustaWestland has also signed partnering agreements with a
number of key supplier on the Future Lynx program including Selex
Galileo; GKN Aerospace, LHTEC - a partnership between Rolls-Royce
and Honeywell, General Dynamics UK, Thales UK and GE Aviation.
The first flight of the aircraft is on schedule to take place in
late-2009 with the first airframe having entered final assembly
last month ahead of schedule. Future Lynx deliveries will commence
in 2011, and enter operational service with the British Army in
2014 and the Royal Navy in 2015.