The Westland WG13 Lynx is a military two-engine, multi-purpose, ASW and
transport helicopter designed by the British manufacturer Westland
Helicopters, in cooperation with Aérospatiale in France. In fact, the
origins of the Lynx go back to early 1957, when Bristol Helicopter began
developing their Type 203, a single engined, eleven-seat Sycamore and
Whirlwind replacement. The basic design was scaled up in 1959 to the
twin-engined Type 214. The following year Bristol Helicopter Division
merged with Fairey's and Saunders-Roe under the Westland banner and in
1963 the research and development that had gone in the Type 203 and Type
214 resulted in the WG.3. The Westland Helicopters' development programm
initially consisted of four planned projects that included a civillian
helicopter as a replacement for the Whirlwind and Wessex helicopters; an
army helicopter; a navy helicopter and a two-seat attack helicopter. The
Westland WG.3 aimed at replacing the Whirlwind, Sycamore, Scout and
Wasp. Further development of the helicopter resulted via the WG.3C in
the WG.13D as a replacement for the Aérospatiale Alouette II; Westland
Scout and Westland Wasp helicopters in service by the British Navy and
Army Air Corps. The two-seat attack helicopter was ultimately not
developed and the civillian helicopter project resulted in the
development of the Westland WG.30 Super Lynx, later known as Westland
30. The original Westland WG.13D evolved to the WG.13 pre-producion
design. The WG.13 Lynx used many components derived from the Scout and
Wasp. Among the new features was the design of the rotor head, blades
and gearbox. The rotor itself was new, being a semi-rigid titanium rotor
head with honeycomb sandwich blades. The first of 13 development Lynxes, prototype
00-01 "XW835", flew first at Yeovil on 21 March 1971. The XW835 was
powered by two Rolls-Royce BS.360 turboshaft engines, specifically
developed for the Westland Lynx helicopter and known as the Rolls-Royce
Gem. The first production example, Lynx HAS Mk.2 c/n 001 "XZ227" the ASW
version for the Royal Navy, flew on 10 February 1976. The Westland Lynx
AH Mk.1, the British Army Air Corps utility version, flew first on 11
February 1977. From the first Westland WG.13 Lynx protototype, a wide
range of Lynx variants were developed. The latest development is the
AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat that flew first on 12 November 2009.
In 1979, the first of 26 Westland WG-13 Lynx HAS.2(FN) entered service with the French Naval Air Arm
(Aéronautique Navale de la Marine Nationale - Aéronaval; over the years followed by 14 improved Westland
WG-13 Lynx HAS.4(FN) helicopters. The Lynx served with the Aéronavale Flotille 31F; 34F; 35F and Escadrille
de Servitude 20S. The 40 Westland WG-13 Lynx helicopters for the French Navy were built under licence by SNIAS in France:
- Lynx Mk.2 (FN) - designated HAS.2(FN) in service with the French Navy it was powered by two Roll-Royce Gem 2
turboshafts; fitted with wheeled undercarriage, folding rotors and tail and deck lock. The HAS.2(FN) was equipped with a
French radar and dipping sonar. When it was used in the anti-submarine role, it could carry two torpedoes or depth charges.
For anti-surface warfare, it was equipped with four AS.12 missiles (French Navy).
- Lynx Mk.4 (FN) - designated HAS.4(FN) in service with the French Navy it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Gem 4 turboshafts.
In 2019, the French Navy announced plans to retire the Lynx by 2020, and the type carried out its
final operational deployment, aboard the frigate Latouche-Tréville, in July 2020. The Lynx was formally retired
from French service on 4 September 2020.
On 26 April 178, Westland WG-13 Lynx HAS.2(FN) s/n WA-051 was testflown with the Royal Air Force serial XZ267.
On 15 May 1978, the Lynx helicopter entered service with the Marine Nationale as XZ267. After some time, the XZ prefix of it's British
'XZ267' serial was deleted. In service with the French Navy, Westland WG-13 Lynx HAS.2(FN) '267' was modified to an HAS.4(FN). After
Lynx '267' was withdrawn from service by Flotille 34F it was preserved: on 15 October 2020, the helicopter was flown by a crew of
Flotille 31F to Musée de l'Aéronautique Navale at Rochefort.
On 13 September 1997, Westland WG-13 Lynx HAS.2(FN) '267' of Marine Nationale was seen at Valkenburg Naval Air Station near Leiden in the Netherlands.