The UK Ministry of Defence has taken official delivery of the AgustaWestland Lynx Wildcat helicopter at the Farnborough air show, announcing a £250 million ($390 million) support and training contract for the programme.

The ceremony was presided over by UK defence secretary Philip Hammond and AgustaWestland chief executive Bruno Spagnolini.

Initial operating capability is planned for 2014 for the British Army - which received its first aircraft in April 2012, and 2015 for the Royal Navy. The UK will receive a total of 62 Lynx Wildcats, with roughly one aircraft to be delivered every month and final delivery planned for 2016. Hammond says the type is likely to serve until 2044.

The first phase of the Wildcat integrated support and training contract will run until March 2017. It comprises air crew, ground crew and maintainer training, and aircraft support at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.

Source: Flight Daily News