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.
The UK MoD initially ordered 160 Westland Lynx helicopters: sixty Lynx HAS.2 for the Royal Navy and hundred Lynx AH.1 for the British Army.
Over the years, the AAC - Army Air Corps, operated Westland Lynxes in
the main variants: Lynx AH.1; Lynx AH.5;
Lynx AH.7; Lynx AH.9 and Lynx AH.9A. Lynx AH.1 (Army Helicopter Mark 1) - initial production version for the British Army Air Corps,
with skids, powered by Roll-Royce Gem 2 turboshafts. Entered service in 1978, and deliveries
continuing until February 1984. Used for tactical transport, armed escort, reconnaissance and casualty evacuation; Lynx AH.1 (TOW Lynx ) - from 1981, sixty Lynx AH.1s were retrofitted for anti-tank warfare with eight TOW missiles
(Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missile); Lynx AH.1GT - Interim conversion of the AH.1 to partial AH.7 standard with uprated engines and revised tail rotor; Lynx AH.5 - upgraded version with Rolls-Royce Gem 41-1 engines and uprated gearbox;. Lynx AH.5X - trials aircraft for UK MoD; Lynx AH.7 - upgraded version with Rolls-Royce Gem 41-1 engines and uprated gearbox of
Lynx AH.5 and new, larger, composite tail rotor. Later refitted with BERP type rotor blade
design, developed under the British Experimental Rotor
Programme. Twelve new build, with 107 Lynx AH.1s; Lynx AH.9 ( Battlefield Lynx ) - Utility version
based on AH.7, but with wheeled undercarriage and
further upgraded gearbox. Sixteen new-built plus eight converted from AH.7s; Lynx AH.9A - AH.9 with uprated Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company CTS800-4N turboshaft engines. 22 are to be upgraded.
In 2009, the re-engine the remainder of the Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx AH. 9 helicopters to bring them up to
Mk 9A standard started. The out of service date for the Lynx Mk 9A has been extended to 2016.
In December 2008, the MoD announced that the AAC will get a replacement for its current Lynx helicopter. The
replacement will be supplied by AgustaWestland; the AW159 Lynx Wildcat. The initial budget for the aircraft was announced as
£1billion for 70 aircraft; with a mix of both navy and battlefield reconnaissance helicopters. This was then adjusted to 62 aircraft.
The AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat programme will deliver a fleet of 62 new light helicopters for the Army and Royal Navy from 2014 and 2015 respectively.
On 16 May 1980, Westland Lynx AH.1 XZ643 was flown first and entered service with the AAC on 14 June 1980. Since, the XZ643 was upgraded to a Lynx AH.7.
Westland Lynx AH.7 XZ643 was in service with 1st Regiment Army Air Corps ( 1 REGT AAC) when seen at Gütersloh Air Base in Germany on 30 June 2010.