CONTENT PREVIEW
Air Platforms

Retirement of AH9A marks end of legacy Lynx in UK service

16 January 2018

The UK retired its last legacy Lynx helicopter on 16 January, with a farewell flypast around the country to mark four decades of service for the classic-variant rotorcraft.

Seen during its service in Afghanistan, the AH9A is the last legacy Lynx to be fielded by the UK military. (Crown Copyright)Seen during its service in Afghanistan, the AH9A is the last legacy Lynx to be fielded by the UK military. (Crown Copyright)

The retirement of the AH9A-model AgustaWestland Lynx from the British Army Air Corps (AAC) comes nine years after the variant was introduced into service in 2009, and about 40 years after the first AH1 platforms were delivered in 1978.

Introduced as an urgent operational requirement for Afghanistan, the Lynx AH9A was fitted with more powerful CTS800-4N engines to cope with the ‘hot and high’ conditions of that particular theatre (producing 37% more power than the legacy Rolls-Royce Gem engines), and came with modifications to the main gear box, top deck structure, rear fuselage, and to the cockpit.

In all, 22 Lynx AH9As were delivered to the AAC between 2009 and 2011 although just eight remained in service at the time of its retirement. One aircraft was lost in an accident in Afghanistan in 2014 with the loss of all five on board, although an investigation found that procedural errors were to blame rather than the platform itself.

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