Monday, May 24, 2010


Upgraded Army Lynx Mk9A helicopters have been sent from the UK and taken to the Afghan skies, the MoD announced today.

The Lynx Mk9As, with their increased firepower, more powerful engines and the ability to operate all year in the harsh hot and high Afghan environment have increased the total number of flying hours available to commanders.

New MoD pictures show the stripped down helicopters being transported by C-17 Globemaster aircraft from RAF Brize Norton to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. There, the rotor blades were fitted and familiarisation flights took place before operational sorties began in earnest earlier this month.

The Lynx Mk9A is fitted with a more advanced communication system, improved surveillance equipment and the M3M Machine Gun - a 0.50” calibre weapon, capable of firing over 850 rounds a minute.

The new helicopters are already performing a wide range of frontline tasks, including convoy overwatch, support helicopter escort, reconnaissance and surveillance and the movement of forces.

Major Max Lytle Army Air Corps, Officer Commanding 672 Squadron, said:

“We are now in Afghanistan, playing an important role in protecting our ground forces and carrying out surveillance, boosting performance in Afghanistan’s challenging conditions.”

The upgraded Lynx joins the other aircraft in Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan), commanded from Camp Bastion. This Force comprises helicopters from all three Services operating to support the multi-national coalition effort, including Chinooks, Merlins, Apaches and Sea Kings.

The Commanding Officer JHF(A), Wing Commander ‘Spats’ Paterson RAF said:

“I am delighted to see these highly capable aircraft arrive in theatre. They are an extremely valuable addition to the UK helicopter force and the modifications they carry make them an extremely effective platform.”

Army aircrews undertook extensive pre-deployment flight training on the new aircraft in Kenya to gain flying experience in similar hot and high conditions before the start of their first operational tour in the Lynx Mk9A.


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  2. Great pics, some serious engineering feats that have gone into these.