Algerian Navy about to receive first Super Lynx 300s

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The Algerian Navy will soon take delivery of the first of six Super Lynx 300 helicopter following the conclusion of armed flight trials of the first aircraft by AgustaWestland at the company factory in Somerset, United Kingdom.

According to Flight International, an Algerian Navy Super Lynx was pictured in flight trials while carrying a full load of eight Mokopa air-to-surface missiles made by South African arms manufacturer Denel Dynamics. According to United Nations data, Algeria last year received eight air-to-surface missiles/launchers from South Africa, which presumably were Mokopas.

The recently spotted Super Lynx is the first of the six ordered by Algeria in 2012 to conclude fully-armed flight trials.

Although there has been no official comment on the test-flights from AgustaWestland, it is believed that the Super Lynx 300s will be delivered to Algeria before the end of this year to be deployed in support of the Navy’s two new Meko A200 class frigates, which were ordered in March 2012.

In addition to supplying Mokopas, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) noted that in 2012 Algeria selected Denel Dynamics’ Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missile for its frigates, which also arm the South African Navy’s Meko vessels.

The Super Lynx 300 is powered by twin LHTEC CT800-4N engines and can cruise at a speed of 224 km/hour. It can accommodate up to 3 crew members and a maximum of 7 passengers.

The aircraft is also fitted with 360° multi-mode surveillance radar, Electronic Support Measures System, data link, dipping sonar and a defensive aids suite. The Super Lynx 300 is also equipped with folding main rotor blades and a folding tail to facilitate storage as well as a deck securing system, emergency flotation system, waterproofed cabin and rescue hoist.

The Algerian Navy is already operating four Super Lynx 130s, which were delivered between September 2010 and January 2012. It also flies six recently delivered AW101 search and rescue helicopters.