The Army is to pay special tribute as one of its most ubiquitous aviation assets bows out of service.
The Lynx helicopter has had a long and distinguished career with the British Army stretching back nearly 40 years. Described as a primary battlefield utility helicopter, the venerable Lynx entered service in 1978 and since then has been used to: destroy tanks, evacuate the wounded, gather intelligence, provide humanitarian support, rescue those in peril, wow the crowds at air shows and much more besides. It’s proven itself across the globe in such exacting locations as: the freezing plains of Northern Canada, the steaming jungles of South East Asia and Central America, the sub-zero environment of the Arctic to the dust bowls of the Middle East and has supported British troops on active service in Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.
However, age has finally caught up with the Lynx and although it’ll be a tough act to follow, Wildcat will replace the Lynx. With its superior avionics uprated engines and improved capability it too will prove a formidable force over any battlefield of the future.
To mark the Lynx’s decommissioning from British Army service, the Army Air Corps are to fly five of the last remaining airframes from RAF Odiham in Hampshire, where they are based, on a commemorative tour (please see accompanying flight plan map) around England taking in some of the sites and locations to which the aircraft is most fondly associated: Middle Wallop, Upavon, Yeovil, Wattisham to name a few. The flight will culminate in an impressive V5 ‘air procession’ along the length of the River Thames over Central London.
The aircraft will be departing RAF Odiham at 09:00hrs precisely. In the event of poor weather, a fall-back date of the 23rd January 2018 will be used.
Lynx Mk9 Helicopter fact file:
• Entered service with the British Army in 1978
• Holds the world record for the fastest helicopter – 412.93 km/h set on 11th August 1986
• Range of 280 Nautical Miles
• Maximum all up weight – 5330kg
• Crew: pilot, co-pilot and rear crewman
• Can carry six troops with kit
• Can be armed with either a 7.62 General Purpose Machine Gun or a M3M 50 Cal heavy machine gun
• Has served in: Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland
• Lynx has been fitted with TOW missiles as a tank destroyer
• Lynx has been and still is operated by countries across the globe including: Brazil, Denmark, Norway and Germany to name just a few.
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