The first of four Super Lynx 300 helicopters for South Africa took to the air for the first time on 24th April 2006 at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil factory in the UK. The successful first flight was witnessed by Mr Francois Kotze, Programme Manager, Armscor and Lt Col Rob Sproul, Project Officer, South African Air Force. Alan Johnston, Managing Director Military Programmes at AgustaWestland said “We are delighted that this important milestone has been achieved on time and we look forward to seeing the Super Lynx 300 enter service with the South African Air Force next year.”
The fully marinised Super Lynx 300 aircraft for South Africa are equipped with a range of advanced sensors including a 360 degree scan search radar, a nose mounted FLIR and an advanced Electronics Support Measures system. The aircraft also have a comprehensive communications suite comprising HF, V/UHF radios and a data link. The South African Navy Super Lynx 300 aircraft have a high level of South African sourced avionics and mission equipment making it the most advanced version of the Super Lynx 300 helicopter developed and produced so far. Pilot and ground crew conversion training will be conducted by AgustaWestland at its Customer Training Centre in Yeovil starting in early 2007 and will be completed prior to the delivery of the aircraft to the South African Air Force later in 2007. The aircraft will be based at Air Force Base Ysterplaat where they will be flown by South African Air Force pilots for the Navy and will be deployed on the South African Navy Valour class frigates performing anti-surface warfare, maritime patrol and SAR roles.
The contract for the four Super Lynx aircraft was placed in 2003 by the South African Government following a thorough evaluation of the aircraft and its competitors. South Africa is the forth country to select the Super Lynx 300 following Malaysia, Thailand and Oman who operate the aircraft in a range of maritime and land based roles. The Super Lynx 300 is the latest version of the Lynx helicopter family of which over 420 have now been ordered by 17 customers around the world. The Super Lynx 300 is powered by two 1015 kW (1361 shp) LHTEC CTS800-4N engines giving it exceptionally good hot weather and single engine performance. Flight and sensor information is displayed on a fully integrated six screen colour LCD cockpit display system, enabling greater crew effectiveness. AgustaWestland is also in the process of delivering 30 A109LUH helicopters to the South African Air Force, which are being assembled by Denel Aviation in South Africa.
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