UK's next generation Wildcat helicopter completes sea trials
A Lynx Wildcat helicopter (also known as the AW 159) has successfully completed 20 days of sea trials aboard the British frigate HMS Iron Duke off the coast of southern England and northern Scotland.
Developed and built by AgustaWestland under a £1 billion Ministry of Defence contract as part of the Future Lynx program launched in 2002, the £16 million Lynx Wildcat is a twin-engine, multi-purpose combat helicopter.
The aircraft was put through tests involving more than 400 daytime and nighttime take-offs and landings from the Iron Duke in testing weather conditions in order to check the mission systems, night-vision equipment and navigation systems.
These were the latest in a series of trials set for the helicopter before it can enter into active service with the Royal Navy and the British Army, when it will replace the older Lynx combat helicopter, which has been in service with the British Army and Royal Navy for 40 years.
Further trials are scheduled for throughout the year, including missile firing exercises, and tests of the radar systems, electro-optics and navigational kit.
Photo Credit: Chris Lofting, released under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.