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Agusta Bell AB-412SP
 
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Westland (Super) Lynx
AAC XZ643 Marine 83+20
Marine 83+23 RNethNavy 277
283 Westland Lynx SH-14D c/n 219 - Royal Netherlands Air Force VSQ 860 - Rotterdam The Hague Airport in Holland - 9 September 2012 Grumman US2N Tracker 159'V'

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.

Over the years, the Royal Netherlands Navy - Koninklijke Marine ordered a total of twenty-four Westland Lynx helicopters: six Mk.25; ten Mk.27 and Lynx Mk.81s.
Lynx Mk.25 - designated UH-14A in MLD service - version for the Royal Netherlands Navy of the Lynx HAS.2 with Roll-Royce Gem 2 turboshafts;
Lynx Mk.27 - designated SH-14B in MLD service - version with Rolls-Royce Gem 4 turboshafts. Equipped as anti-submarine helicopter with an with Alcatal DUAV-4A sonar;
Lynx Mk.81 - designated SH-14C in MLD service - version with Rolls-Royce Gem 42-1; no sonar but fitted with towed MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection System);
Lynx SH-14D - from 1993, the Lynx UH-14A;SH-14B and SH-14C in MLD service were upgraded under the STAMOL programme to the Lynx SH-14D, a common standard by the Royal Netherlands Navy with Rolls -Royce Gem FR4R engines, FLIR 22 and provision for DUAV-4 active/passive directive sonar for submarine surveillance and location.
On 30 June 2000, the Netherlands ordered twenty NH90 NFH's to replace the Lynx helicopters in service with the Marine Luchtvaartdienst. Changed needs led to a revised requirement and the order was changed to twelve fully-equipped
NH90 NFHs and eight NH90 TNFHs (Transport NATO Frigate Helicopter). The Lynx SH-14D helicopters are all phased in September 2012.

The MLD (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) was the air arm of the Koninklijke Marine or Royal Netherlands Navy. In the period 1976-1978, six Westland Lynx UH-14A entered service with the MLD 7 squadron. The Lynx UH-14A helicopters were used for SAR training and utility tasks and replaced the Agusta Bell AB.204B / UH-34J helicopters in MLD service after joint training with Royal Navy's 700L squadron in the winter of 1976-77. In 1978 and 1979, ten Westland Lynx SH-14B helicopters entered service with the MLD 860 squadron. The Lynx SH-14Bs were used as anti-submarine and transport helicopter and replaced the Westland Wasp HAS.1 / AH-12H helicopters in MLD service. In 1979, eight Westland Lynx SH-14C helicopters entered service with the MLD 860 squadron. These Lynx SH-14Cs were equiped as anti-submarine helicopters with a towed MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection System) sonar and were as the Lynx SH-14B operated as board helicopter on frigates and destroyers of the Royal Netherlands Navy. From 1993, the Lynx UH-14A;SH-14B and SH-14C in MLD service were upgraded under the STAMOL programme to the Westland Lynx SH-14D, a common standard by the Royal Netherlands Navy. Westland SH-14D Lynx c/n WA194 was testflown as G-17-26 and entered service with the Marine Luchtvaart Dienst as a Westland Lynx SH-14C on 31 October 1980. In 1993, the helicopter was upgraded to a Westland Lynx SH-14D and returned in service in October 1993. On 4 July 2008, merged with the Maritime Helicopter Groep (MARHELI) merged with the THG-Klu (Tactische Helikopter Groep - Koninklijke Luchtmacht) and the Defence Helicopter Command (DHC) was created. From 4 July 2008, all military helicopters in the Netherlands belong to the Defensie Helikopter Commando, which falls under the CLSK (Commando Luchtstrijdkrachten). The DHC had two Lynx squadrons: 7 squadron - tasked with training and SAR and stationed at De Kooy Naval Air Base and 860 squadron that operated from Naval ships for SAR, Special Forces, transport, anti-submarine and surface warfare operations. The CLSK (Commando Luchtstrijdkrachten) at Maritime Air Station De Kooy. On 11 September 2012, Westland Lynx SH-14D '283' operated the last flight of the type in Royal Netherlands Air Force services. Two days before, the helicopter was present at the Wereldhavendagen 2012 in Rotterdam and seen in its special coulours at Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

page last updated: 11-09-2012
Photo Copyright © Ernesto Bauer, the Netherlands
 

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