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30 Jan 02. The MoD has announced that it has given the go-ahead to the Assessment Phase for the UK’s Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter (BLUH) requirement. AgustaWestland’s Future Lynx has been selected on a single tender basis for this Assessment Phase.

The Future Lynx design is a development of the existing Lynx helicopter, which is in service with the British Army and Royal Navy. It incorporates an improved airframe, new engines and a modern avionics suite. The Future Lynx concept has been developed in order to provide a common air-vehicle to meet the Army and potential future Royal Navy requirements.

Under Smart Acquisition, the purpose of the Assessment Phase is to provide the necessary high confidence in the effectiveness of the aircraft, in programme timing and through-life costs before a commitment to Manufacturing. The Assessment Phase activity for Future Lynx will consist of engineering design and design proving work together with a focus on through-life support aspects, many of which will also directly benefit the current in-service fleet. The Assessment Phase is likely to take up to 18 months to complete.

Future Lynx builds strongly on the experience of recent export programmes which have proven the concept of developing existing aircraft and the performance enhancement from the new LHTEC CTS 800-4N engines, jointly developed by Rolls-Royce and Honeywell. For the modernisation of Lynx avionics, AgustaWestland will be working closely with Thales as its collaborative partner and also Smiths and BAE Systems.

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