“Future Lynx” now the AW159


AgustaWestland on Friday renamed the “Future Lynx” the AW159, bringing it in line with the other products in the Anglo-Italian company’s stable of commercial and military rotorcraft.

The company says the design of the AW159 builds on the heritage of the Lynx family of helicopters, “but delivers a much greater mission capability due to its high performance, new fully integrated advanced avionics system and mission equipment packages.”

The new multi-role military helicopter will now be marketed worldwide as the AW159.

Four examples of the current SuperLynx 300 serves in the South African Air Force.

At the ceremony in Yeovil on Friday AgustaWestland managing director Graham Cole said the AW159 “is now reality with production well underway and the first aircraft on target to fly in November this year.

“Rebranding the aircraft the AW159 confirms that the aircraft is now fully a part of AgustaWestland’s unrivalled range of military helicopters. Following in the success of the Lynx and Super Lynx, we see the AW159 becoming a highly successful product in the export market due to its exceptional performance and multi-role capabilities.”

At the same ceremony Lieutenant General Andrew Figgures, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Capability) also announced that the aircraft would be called the Lynx Wildcat in UK military service, following a long running tradition for the UK services to name its aircraft.

British Secretary of State for Defence (defence minister) John Hutton confirmed in December that the Future Lynx contract signed in June 2006 would proceed to full scale production. Sixty-two of the rotorcraft will be procured by the UK MoD, 34 for the British Army and 28 for the Royal Navy.

The AW159 programme for the UK MoD continues to be on time and on budget and was the first major project to be awarded under the Strategic Partnering Arrangement signed by the UK Ministry of Defence and AgustaWestland in June 2006.