AgustaWestland is set to make a flying start to Farnborough week by firming up a long-awaited order from South Africa for four Super Lynx 300s and confirming more UK MoD funding for the Future Lynx programme.


The South African Government is expected to give the green light to the Super Lynx buy after ironing out funding issues which have held up the purchase for several years.

Meanwhile, the MoD will today approve money for the Royal Navy's Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft (SCMR) – bringing the development phase into line with the Army Air Corps' (AAC) Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter (BLUH) programme that won funding approval last year.

The South African order is viewed by AgustaWestland as another piece in the international jigsaw for the Super Lynx 300.

Important orders have already been secured in Thailand and Oman, while the number two aircraft destined for the Royal Malaysian Navy will be handed over at a ceremony this morning at Farnborough.

One of the keys to winning these international orders has been the integration of the LHTEC CTS800-4N engine to replace the Rolls-Royce Gem42. The CTS800 is the commercial version of the T800 turboshaft developed for the Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche.

"The engine gives us an aircraft that is capable of operating in any part of the world," says AgustaWestland's John Teasdale. "The T800 was vital in securing the Oman contract and it gives us a real step change in performance."

Teasdale says the growing international customer base for the Super Lynx 300 is important, but so too is the stable base of ‘home grown' contracts with the UK armed forces.


"Extending the life of the Lynx programme via BLUH and SCMR positions the aircraft for the next 20 years and is the foundation for everything else we are trying to achieve."

It is estimated that the AAC will take 60-70 rebuilt Lynx and the navy about 60. The existing helicopters' fuel, hydraulic and electrical systems, plus dynamic components will be installed in new 6,250kg (13,800lb)-capable airframes.

The Super Lynx 300's glass cockpit will also be integral to the design. AgustaWestland says maintenance costs will be around 40% lower than today's Lynx.

Source: Flight Daily News