Portugal selected the Super Lynx to meet its
requirement for a shipborne ASW helicopter,
in preference to the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite.
Always the preferred choice of the
Portuguese Navy, the Super Lynx fitted the
hangars of Portugal´s Meko 200 frigates
better than the Seasprite, and had a
deck-lock system, dipping sonar and
provision for the Vesta ship datalink.
The Westland aircraft also enjoyed much
better maintenance and performance
characteristics. The USA countered these
“Lynx advantages” by allocating FMS funding
of $69 million towards five SH-2s when it
signed the Lajes agreement in 1990. The move
was futile, however, and Portugal ordered
five Super Lynx on 2 November 1990.
Although designated as a “Super Lynx” by
Westland, and though nominally “based on the
HMA. Mk8”, the Portuguese Navy Lynx Mk95s
lacks the distinctive overnose Passive
Identification Device (PID) associated with
third-generation RN Lynxes, or the overnose
FLIR associated with Mk88A. The aircraft
does have a Racal RNS252 GPS-aided INS and
Doppler 91, together with Bendix
AN/AQS-18(v) “dunking” sonar and Bendix RDR
1500 radar in an undernose radome, and was
the first Super Lynx variant with these
features. The Korean Mk99 had the undernose
radome, but is not, strictly speaking, a
true Super Lynx.
Vesta transponder antennas are fitted on the
spine of the tailboom and above the nose,
immediately of the windscreen. The Lynx Mk95
is powered by the 1,120shp (836kw) Gem 42-1
and has a maximum AUW of 11,300lb (5126kg).
In export “Super Lynxes” the take-off power
rating of the Gem 42-1 is extended to 30
Five Mk95s were produced for service on
Portugal´s “Vasco Gama” class (Meko 200)
frigates, and are shore-based at Montijo,
Three of the Portuguese Super Lynx are new
build, but the first two were produced
though conversion of ex-RN HAS. Mk3.
The first converted Mk95 (9201) made its
maiden flight on 27 March 1992. The first
new build aircraft (9203) flew for the first
time on 9 July 1993.