Lynx Mid-Life Upgrade

Lynx Family Mid-Life Upgrade Program

The Lynx family of Helicopters has been in service with the UK MoD and International Operators for over 40 years and its reputation of best in class small ships helicopter is world renowned. As part of Leonardo Helicopters ongoing commitment to its customers we offer Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) solutions designed to extend the operational life and mission effectiveness of in-service aircraft. The MLU modifies the in-service Lynx aircraft and introduces reliable modern systems as required by operators. The core elements of the MLU include engine, cockpit and avionic upgrades. The resulting aircraft has enhanced functionality, improves performance and reduces obsolescence such that operational capability is significantly improved and on-going cost of ownership reduced – a value for money use of the available airframe life.

Current Situation

At the heart of the MLU is a new Avionics core, based on the latest model of the Lynx Family, the AW159 (known as the Wildcat in the UK MoD). The avionics improvements include new large Integrated Display Units as well as a Tactical Processor that integrates all the new and legacy mission systems. For those Lynx 100 Series customers the MLU also includes an engine upgrade from the Rolls Royce GEM family to LHTEC CTS-800; a modern FADEC controlled engine that provides a step change in performance (used on the AW159 and Super Lynx 300).  The engine change is underpinned with structural, transmission, hydraulic and electrical system revisions necessary for integration, to overcome obsolescence and improve reliability and maintainability.
The MLU also presents the opportunity to revise and refresh other avionic, mission or weapons systems based on individual customers’ changing needs.


Lynx Upgrade Highlights

Uk Army Mk9 to Mk9A – Engine and associated airframe structure changes, semi-digital cockpit.
Brazil MK21A to Mk21B – Engine and associated airframe structure changes, fully digital cockpit (3 off 10x8 Integrated Display Units), and Tactical Processor, TCAS II, DAS and Electrical Hoist.
Portugal MK95 to Mk95A - Engine and associated airframe structure changes, fully digital cockpit (3 off 10x8 display units) with Tactical Processor.





The Objective

The Leonardo Helicopters AW159 systems and avionic architecture represent a core family configuration that can be exploited within Lynx MLUs. These include the latest mission systems and integrated digital cockpit display.
Leonardo Helicopters will work with the Customer to understand their current operations and define future operational requirements within the MLU acquisition phase and integrate applicable mission systems based on the wealth of experience of both Lynx MLUs and AW159 design and production activities.
Where the Customer has multiple Lynx family configurations Leonardo will identify cost effective upgrade paths that can combine Lynx and AW159 aircraft systems and parts that support a converging common configuration, delivering further through-life cost of ownership advantages.


Pre-MLU Configuration Post MLU Configuration Existing LH Capability  
Rolls-Royce Gem LHTEC CTS800 Proven Lynx upgrade
Analogue Cockpit Digital Glass Cockpit Proven Lynx upgrade
Bendix AQS-18 Dipping Sonar Integrated Thales Compact FLASH Proven on Lynx and AW159
FLIR Systems EO/IR Integrated WESCAM EODS MX-15Di Proven on Super Lynx 300 and AW159
Legacy Weapons Systems Multiple options including Spike NLOS, Sea Venom, Martlet, Mokopa, MU90, Blue Shark Proven on Super Lynx 300 and International AW159. Ongoing on UK MoD Wildcat


MLU Key Benefits

  • Capital expenditure is significantly less than a new aircraft acquisition;
  • Retention of high value dynamic components;
  • Manages obsolescence;
  • Provides a cost effective way of extending life for  15 – 20 years;
  • Pull through of Lynx Family Design;
  • Only differences training needed, minimising impact to on-going operation;
  • Retention of existing infrastructure, stock assets, GSE and tooling.