Thu, Jan 21, 2010
The Upgrades On Twelve Mk9s Were Ordered By The MOD A Year
The first four upgraded Lynx Mk9 helicopters, which are to be
sent to Afghanistan, have re-entered service, with three of the
aircraft now being used for training, prior to deployment, at 9
Regiment Army Air Corps in Dishforth, North Yorkshire.
The upgrades on initially twelve Mk9s were ordered by the MOD a
year ago, with upgrades on the remaining ten aircraft likely to
The Mk9a benefits from a considerably more powerful engine that
enables operation in the challenging hot and high conditions of
Afghanistan and the same engine is also being fitted to the new
Lynx Wildcat which is expected to be delivered to the military from
Lift capacity in the Mk9a is increased by 1 tonne over the
Other improvements include an updated instrument panel and
digital displays and a modified gearbox and rear structure to
accommodate the new powerplant. The remainder of the twelve
helicopters will be delivered over this next year from
AgustaWestland's factory at Yeovil, Somerset.
"The current Gem-powered Mk9, although a great aircraft for
European conditions, has not got the performance required for the
Afghan theater," said Captain Richard McElwaine, the MOD Lynx team
leader. "The upgraded aircraft will provide a valuable operational
enhancement that will directly benefit our troops on the front line
less than 18 months after contract award."
Three of the first four Mk9s are being used by the Army Air
Corps for training crews prior to an exercise deployment this month
and operational deployment in late spring. Their role will include
fire support, troop transport and casualty evacuation.
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