The Lynx HAS. Mk 2 was the
baseline Royal Navy Lynx, a dedicated ASW
platform optimised for “small ships”
The Lynx would mainly rely on the ship to
acquire its target.
Had a fixed wheeled tricycle undercarriage,
“deck-lock” harpoon, a two-bag flotation
system and folding tailboom. The low profile
main rotor gearbox and wide track gave the
aircraft a low centre of gravity, which in
turn resulted in good stability on a rolling
The basic Lynx´s rotor system was also
well-suited to small ship operations,
providing quick response to control inputs
and high control power, both useful for
precise positioning over a rolling flight
deck and ensuring an accurate and firm touch
The new naval version also had hardpoint and
pylons to allow the carriage of weapons,
including two Mk 44 or Mk 46 torpedoes, or
two Mk 11 depth charges (each with an 80
kg/176 lb warhead), or up four Sea Skua
Its bulged nose housed radar in the form of
a Seaspray Mk 1 monopulse I-band radar,
though the prime purpose of the set was to
provide illumination for the semi-active
radar homing Sea Skua missile, and improve
all-weather capability by giving helicopter
crew a system wish would help them find the
ship in foul weather. It was not really
intended to find and track target
Like the AH. Mk 1, he had the original
two-pinion main gearbox, rated at 1.380 shp
(1029 kw), and were powered by 900 shp (671
kw) Rolls-Royce Gem 2 Mk 100 engines.
The HAS. Mk 2 introduced simple manual
folding for the main rotors and the tail
rotor pylon, reducing overall length to 34
ft 10 in (10,62 m) small enough for the most
confined ship’s hangar, and often small
enough to allow two Lynxes to be carried.
The first operational deployment took place
from 08 February 1978, aboard the “Leader”
class frigate HMS “Phoebe”. Was subsequently
deployed aboard “Tribal”, “Leader” and Type
21 frigates, and Type 42 destroyers.
In service, soon demonstrated an impressive
degree of reliability, maintainability and
rapid reaction from being fully secured in
the hangar, a Lynx could be loaded, armed,
moved onto deck, rotor spread and airborne
within 12 ½ minutes, with an engine start
button to airborne time of 90 seconds, even
under operational condition. Under combat
conditions the Lynx has achieved 95% mission
ready rates for months on end, flying up to
12 hours per day, and requiring some 2.7 MMM/FH
(maintenance man hours per flying hour).
Refuelling and rearming the Lynx with four
Sea Skua is possible within four minutes,
with rotors running.
As the maritime
threat to the Royal Navy evolved and
intensified, the Lynx HAS. Mk 2 were
modified to fulfil new roles, including the
ASUW missions, autonomous ASW and the
Electronic Counter Surveillance measures
task, Sea Skua ASMs, a towed MAD bird and
ESM, were all retrofitted to most HAS. Mk 2
after delivery, to allow them assumes their
Lynx HAS Mk 3
The Lynx HAS. Mk3 was
a modesty-improved derivative of the RN HAS.
Mk2, with transmission, dynamic system and
powerplant improvement, (but without the
reverse direction tail rotor introduced to
the RN with the Mk8). These improvements
included the 1,120 shp (836 kw) Gem 42-1 Mk
204 engines and a three pinion MRGB, and
conferred a 1000 lb (454 kg) increase in AUW
(to 10,750 lb/4876 kg).
The new variant’s improved
performance and payload capabilities
equipment, including Racal Decca MIR-2Orange
Crop ESM (also retrofitted to HAS. Mk2).
The aircraft was fitted with a
new four-bag floatation system, and was
fitted with new towed MAD (Magnetic Anomaly
Detector), ESM and the Sea Skua ASM that had
already been retrofitted to many HAS. Mk2.
An initial batch of 20 new
build HAS. Mk3s was produced. Second and
third batches comprised three HAS. Mk3, (to
replace Falkland losses) and seven more.
These were delivered between
March 1982 and April 1985. They were
augmented by the conversion of all surviving
Lynx HAS Mk 3GM
There were three
standards of “Gulf Modification” among the
14 aircraft deployed during Operation
Granby, of 18 or 19 originally “Granby
Modified” and all re-designated as HAS.
Mk3GM. All aircrafts are understood to have
been fitted with MIR-2 ESM.
LORAL Challenger IR jammers
were fitted above the cockpit doors, but
these were removed in theatre to save
weight, because Naval lynxes were not felt
to face a credible threat from
shoulder-launched SAMs. Ericsson AN/ALQ-167
Yellow Veil dual D/J-band ASM radar jamming
pods were fitted, carried on the outboard
common carrier, and a GEC Sandpiper FLIR was
also fitted below the port forward fuselage
on the inboard port common carrier. The
latter proved immature, but did demonstrate
the usefulness of a “Passive Identification
Device”, and influence the later HAS. Mk8
(later HMA. Mk8). The aircrafts were also
fitted with Tracor M130 chaff/flare
dispensers, Mode 4 IFF and GPS.
Further lynxes were modified
to HAS. Mk3GM standards during and after the
war, some of witch deployed to the Gulf
after the end of Operation Granby.
Royal Navy Lynxes operating in
Desert Storm scored 17 direct hits with
their Sea Skua missiles and sank 12 Iraqi
Lynx HAS Mk 3S
The Lynx HAS. Mk3S was
re-designated with the addition of an “S”
for “Secur” suffix after the addition of
Dual GEC-Marconi AD3400 UHF secure speech
radios. It was reported that the third batch
of new buid HAS. Mk3s was delivered
All surviving HAS. Mk2s were
converted to new standard.
HAS Mk 3ICE
When the Lynx replaced
the Wasp in the “small ships” ASW role, it
was inevitable that it would also replace
the Wasp used aboard the Artic Survey/Ice
Patrol ship HMS Endurance. The RN has thus
equipped number of Lynxes for service in the
Artic, usually two at a time. The most
obvious modification is the application of
hight visibility international orange
patches on the nose and cabin door, though
the aircraft also carry a range of
specialised equipment. This includes a
vertical (survey) camera pod, and a
cabin-mounted periscope for sighting, while
Sea Skua equipment is also removed to comply
with the prohibition against armed aircrafts
HAS Mk 3S/ICE
When equipped with
AD3400 UHF Secure Speech radios, the
Endurance Flight Lynx HAS. Mk3ICEs are
designated as HAS. Mk3S/ICE.
During a seven-month voyage by
HMS Endurance into the heart of the
Antarctic in early 1999, two Lynxes became
the first helicopters to operate below 73º
S, exploring the carol inlet, taking aerial
photo and gathering scientific data.
HAS Mk 3GMS
When equipped with, or
when given provision for the various Granby
Modifications, secure speech capable HAS.
Mk3Ss are officially know as HAS. Mk3S/GMs.
The same designation is applied to HAS.
Mk3GMs when these are retrofitted with the
AD3400 radios which distinguish the HAS.
The HAS. Mk3S/GM represents
the normal operational configuration for
overseas and operational deployments, though
the HMA. Mk8 will soon take over that
HAS Mk 3CTS
The HAS. Mk3S has been
described as marking the “First Phase” of
the HMA. Mk8, if this is seen as a
three-phase programme. Such a interpretation
would make the HAS. Mk3CTS the second phase
of the upgrade. The heart of the HAS. Mk3CTS
lies in its new RAMS400 Central Tactical
System. This is designated to process,
integrate and display information from all
of the helicopter’s sensor (including Orange
Crop) on a colour tactical situation
display, and replaces a basic plotting board
and chinagraph pencil.
It incorporates a data
transfer device to allow mission data to be
directly loaded into the system prior to
launch. This helps reduce the very heavy
cockpit workload encountered in the Lynx
during combat. Sea Skua operation is
simplified, since the system can display the
bank angles, and bearing limits, necessary
to maintain guidance to a missile flight.
The prototype Mk3CTS (XZ236)
first flew on 25 February 1989, and was
followed by six further conversions for RN
trials. In addition to the CTS, these
aircraft had the four-bag flotation system
associated with later export aircrafts.
Royal Navy CTS trials were
undertaken by the Lynx Operational Flying
Trials Unit from April 1989, this
subsequently re-forming as Nº 700L Squadron
on 6 July 1990.
The Mk3CTS was never intended as
a front line variant in its own right, but
only as a tool for the development and
evaluation (including operation evaluation)
of the CTS, which also forms the heart of
the ultimate RN Lynx, the HMA. Mk8.
Lynx HMA Mk8
The next RN Lynx variant was
the HMA. Mk8, which represent a real
modernisation of the Navy Lynx design, and
which parallels the Army AH. Mk7 upgrade.
Designated HAS. Mk8 until late 1995, the
aircraft then became the HMA. Mk8. If the
HAS. Mk3 modernised the Navy Lynx for the
needs of the 1980.
The HMA. Mk8 transformed the type into a
state-of-the-art maritime helicopter for the
The new variant introduced 920shp (686kw)
Gem 42 Series 200 engines and a higher
(11,300lb/5125kg) maximum AUW and a improved
rotor system, combining BERP advanced
composite main rotor blades with the
improved (reverse direction) tail rotor of
the Army AH. Mk7. Westland Engineering
Composites received a £25 million contract
for 800 blades for surviving AAC and RN
Lynxes in April 1991. All up weight was
subsequently further increased to 11,750lb
(5329kg), through the addition of a new
bolted main rotor head, introduced to new
build aircraft with the Brazilian Mk21A.
The aircrafts gained a number of new systems
which enhanced its surveillance and ASUW
capabilities, and which gave a higher degree
The Super Lynx was originally to have
featured a new 360º Seaspray Mk3 radar in an
undernose radome, and to have had an
internal an internal CAE AN/ASQ-504(v) MAD
in the tail, but the HMA. Mk8 as actually
derived has relocated 180º Seaspray Mk1
radar in the chin position, and the internal
MAD is not fitted. Both items were dropped
by the MoD as part of a cost-saving
exercise. This is perhaps a shame, since the
360º radar, in particular, would
dramatically enhance the tactical
flexibility of the aircraft, allowing the
Sea Skua missile to be supported even while
the aircraft turned away from the target. At
present, the helicopter has to remain
roughly pointing in the general direction of
the target, and certainly cannot turn tail
and “run away” in the opposite direction.
The HMA. Mk8 will at least introduce digital
radar processing for the old 180º Seaspray,
this upgrade resulting in a change of
designation to HMA. Mk8 DSP (Digital Signal
Processing) or HMA. Mk8(DP).
The RN HMA. Mk8s are now able to use the FN
Herstal 0.50 in heavy machine gun pod HMP,
regularly used by HAS. Mk3GM, thought it is
unclear whether such a weapon has received a
formal release to service. The Lynx HMA. Mk8
also has a new GEC Sensors Sea Owl, Passive
Identification Device, in an articulated
turret above nose, this having
magnifications of x5 or x30 and being
steerable from +20º to -30º in elevation,
and through 120º on each side of the
centreline in azimuth. This is fitted with
its own wash/wipe system.
The HMA. Mk8 also uses the same RAMS 4000
Central Tactical System as has been tested
on the HAS. Mk3CTS.
Navigational accuracy is heavily emphasised,
with a RACAL RNS252 Super TANS navigation
system and TNL8000 GPS.
The aircraft also features an autochange IFF
Some have described the HMA. Mk8 programme
as a three-phase upgrade. The HAS. Mk3S, is
widely seen as marking Phase I of the HMA.
Mk8 conversion, with the HAS. Mk3CTS
representing the second phase. The third
phase consisted of the new PID and the rotor
and dynamic system improvements.
Three former HAS. Mk3CTS development
aircrafts were used for HAS. Mk8 development.
XZ236 was used for CTS development and
integration, ZD266 served as an avionics
development aircraft, and ZD267
flight-trialled the new undernose radome and
Westland received a contract for the
conversion of the first seven (of a planned
44 conversions) in May 1992, was
subsequently received a follow-on contract
for four more, as well as a contract to
bring the development aircraft ZD267 to full
The HMA. Mk8 made its first sea
deployment (aboard HMS Montrose) in late
Lynx HMA. 8DSP
Digital Stores Processor (DSP) is a upgrade
introduced to HMA Mk 8, the modification
integrates GPS into navigation system and
replaces analogue radar processor with
digital unit. DSP significantly enhances
radar display. New equipment has increased
max take-off weight to 5,3330kg. In 2002 new
Avionics Cooling System (ACS) introduced in
small numbers for operations in hot climates.
DSP Modified. AN/AAR 47 Missile Approach
Warning System (MAWS), M147 Counter Measures
Dispensing System (CMDS), 1 Payload Module
each side (60 squibs), ALQ-144A (V) Infra
Red Jammer (IRJ).
Lynx HMA. 8SRU
modified, in 2004 upgrades for the HMA Mk8
are SATURN upgrades for integration of
dual-VHF/UHF radios, Successor
Identification Friend or Foe (SIFF), Health
and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS). SATURN
will also resolve obsolescence issues with
CTS, with new tactical situation display,
Talon radios, KY100 secure radios.
Self-protection upgrades fielded under
UOR in 2005 with integrated Defensive Aids
Suite (DAS) for protection against MANPADS
with Alliant Techsystems AN/AAR-47 Missile
Approach Warning System (MAWS), some SRU/CMP
have AN/AAR-47 BAE SYStems ALQ 144A (V)
Infra-red Jamming System (IRJ) and Thales (Vinten)
Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff/flare dispensers
one or two each side (60 or 120 squibs).
Latest modifications for SRU/CMP include
ballistic protection for the pilot and same
Mods Programme. (SRU aircraft modified with
improved comms and defensive systems). Alliant
Techsystems AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach
Warning System (MAWS).
All SRU aircraft have been modified to
CMP standard and as such HMA.8 CMP aircraft
have since been re-designated back to HMA.8
The first CMP entered service in late