AgustaWestland has performed the 1h first flight of a re-engined Lynx AH9 utility helicopter for the British Army, and will deliver an initial four of the modified aircraft before year-end.

Now dubbed the Lynx AH9A, the aircraft has had its Rolls-Royce Gem engines replaced with Honeywell/R-R LHTEC CTS800-4Ns, already elected to equip the army's future fleet of Lynx Wildcat helicopters. The new propulsion system delivers a 37% increase in power output.

Lynx AH9A - AgustaWestland 

 Lynx AH9A aft - AgustaWestland

Both images © AgustaWestland
The AH9A features more powerful CTS800-4N engines

Being conducted under an urgent operational requirement deal contracted last December, the work will see a total of 12 AH9s upgraded through 2010 to enable them to operate in hot and high conditions, such as those encountered in Afghanistan. Other modifications include changes to the aircraft's main gear box, top deck structure and rear fuselage, AgustaWestland says.

 Lynx AH9 - Craig Hoyle
© Craig Hoyle/Flight International
The baseline Lynx AH9 uses Rolls-Royce Gem engines

The company will complete a package of training for army personnel in November and deliver its first four AH9As "in late 2009". It had previously been expected to fly the development for the first time during July, and to make its first batch of deliveries by late October.

The army will receive a total of 34 new-build Lynx Wildcats from around 2012. The type is also being offered to export customers as the AW159.

Source: Flight International