AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Â£42 million contract extension by the UK Ministry of Defence for the upgrade of 10 more British Army Lynx Mk.9 helicopters with LHTEC CTS800-4N engines. The contract was announced by Quentin Davies MP, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, during a visit to AgustaWestlandâ€™s Yeovil facility today. The Minister also accepted delivery today of the seventh upgraded Lynx Mk.9A before handing it over Lt Col Mike McGinty, Commanding Officer 9 Regiment Army Air Corp, the first unit that will deploy to Afghanistan with the aircraft.
Giuseppe Orsi, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said during the visit â€œWe are delighted to have been awarded this follow on contract for the upgrade of ten more Lynx. This Lynx upgrade programme has demonstrated again how AgustaWestland, working in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, can deliver the capability required by the British armed forces rapidly and within budget.â€
This contract extension follows on from a contract signed in December 2008 for the initial upgrade of 12 aircraft, the first four of which were upgraded and delivered back to the British Army in just 12 months. Delivery of the additional ten Lynx Mk.9A aircraft back to the British Army will start in early 2011 and be completed in early 2012.
AgustaWestland has pulled forward AW159 Lynx Wildcat programme technologies to provide a rapid engine upgrade for the British Army Lynx AH Mk.9 aircraft. The new CTS800-4N engines produce 37% more power than the current Gem engines that are fitted to the Lynx AH Mk.9 giving the aircraft a significant increase in power which allows it to operate more effectively in extreme hot and high conditions. This latest contract will mean the entire British Army fleet of 22 Lynx Mk.9 helicopters will be upgraded to Mk.9A standard in a seamless conversion programme.
The major upgrade requires the top deck structure of the aircraft to be modified and fitted with new engine bays and cowls to accommodate the CTS800-4N engines. The cockpit is also modified to accommodate new engine controls and the engine instrument display system. Additionally minor changes are made to the transmission system and aircraft structure to enable the increased power of the engines to be fully utilised.
This year, less than 18 months after the original contract award, the first Lynx Mk.9A helicopters will deploy to Afghanistan to support British and coalition forces, where its exceptional hot and high performance will enable it to operate year round in the demanding environmental conditions experienced there.
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