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Fri, Dec 12, 2008

UK MoD Confirms Future Lynx Program

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 high conditions.

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.

FMI: www.agustawestland.com

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