November 1, 2000
Danish Air Force Takes Delivery of First Super Lynx
VAERLOSE AIR BASE, Denmark ( GKN-Westland Press Release ) -
The first of the Royal Danish Navy's newly upgraded Super Lynx was handed over on November 1st in a ceremony at Vaerlose Air Base, Headquarters of Denmark's Air Materiel Command. The aircraft is the first of eight in the fleet to receive an upgrade and life extension contract to Super Lynx standard that was awarded in 1997.
The aircraft was handed over to the Head of Air Materiel Command, Major General Lars Fynbo, by Alan Johnston, Chief Operating Officer of GKN Westland Helicopters, in a ceremony at the Royal Danish Naval Squadron attended by more than a hundred representatives from the Danish Armed Forces, Danish Industry and GKN Westland Helicopters.
During the ceremony, Alan Johnston emphasised the advantages of extending an aircraft's life. "We are delighted that the Royal Danish Navy and the Royal Danish Air Force have expressed their confidence in the Lynx by extending the aircraft's life through re-airframing," he said. "GKN Westland has always recognised the importance of maintaining aircraft in service for as long as they meet the demanding needs of operators around the world. We have worked closely with our customers to update and upgrade their fleets cost-effectively to provide the required capability. The programme has demonstrated an example of close collaboration between customer and manufacturer, resulting in an opportunity to introduce a unique solution to the life extension of Lynx."
The contract, worth in the region of £17 million, covers the manufacture by GKN Westland of replacement airframe structures into which the existing fleet's engines, flying controls, hydraulic systems, avionics and electrical systems will be transferred. Upgrades and modifications to the main rotor blades, tail rotor and fuel systems complete the conversion to Super Lynx Mk90B standard. The programme has included a trial installation to verify the modification on the first aircraft. The remaining series conversions will be completed in Denmark with support and technical assistance from GKN Westland. The contract also includes the supply of associated logistic support.
This is the first Lynx upgrade and life extension contract to include the supply of new airframe structures. This innovative approach offers operators whose Lynx are nearing the end of their certified life a cost-effective, short lead-time approach to extending the aircraft in service for many years to come. Annual maintenance costs are also likely to be very much reduced. With many operators satisfied that the Super Lynx will meet their maritime helicopter needs well into the next century, the re-airframing option offers an attractive means of maintaining capability and minimising the demands on reduced defence budgets.
The contract with GKN Westland Helicopters included a 100%, six year programme of industrial co-operation commitment to Denmark. 46% of this obligation has been met with the programme almost two years ahead of target. The work to date has included high technology and related aerospace and defence manufacturing by Danish industry.
The Royal Danish Navy first introduced the Lynx into operational service in 1980. The aircraft are used on fishery inspection duties in the Greenland and Faroes areas, operating from Thetis Class inspection ships. This hostile operating environment, typically at sea state six or above, demands the high manoeuvrability and robustness of the Lynx which was, from the outset, designed for severe operating conditions and small decks. Between them, the eight Lynx in service with the Royal Danish Navy have accumulated in excess of 45,000 flying hours.
The upgrade and life extension programme will enable the Danish Super Lynx to remain in service with the Royal Danish Navy until 2015 and beyond.
Over 400 Lynx have been sold to twelve operators around the world since it first entered service with the UK's Royal Navy in the mid 1970s. In addition to the Danish contract, GKN Westland is also upgrading to Super Lynx standard seventeen existing German Navy Mk88 Sea Lynx. The German Navy has also placed an order for seven new Mk88A Sea Lynx. Super Lynx is in service with the Republic of Korea, Portugal and Brazil. Malaysia became the twelfth customer in September 1999 and South Africa has selected the Super Lynx 300 for its maritime helicopter requirement.
In parallel with work on its existing contracts, GKN Westland is also making excellent progress on the first Super Lynx 300. This latest variant of the Super Lynx incorporates LHTEC CTS800 engines in place of the Rolls-Royce Gem 42 that powers existing fleets. The CTS800 has over 30% more engine power than the Gem, which greatly increases twin, and single engine performance in high ambient temperatures. A dual channel FADEC provides fully automatic engine starting, rapid engine acceleration and tight control of rotor rpm.
The Super Lynx 300 also incorporates a full night vision goggle compatible 'glass' cockpit, with six liquid crystal flat panel colour displays and digital core avionics. It takes advantage of the extensive experience GKN Westland has gained in the design and development of the Royal Navy Merlin HM Mk1 and Lynx Mk8 cockpits.
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