Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK
Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK

Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK

Four military helicopter pilots from the Portuguese Navy (Marinha Portuguesa) are currently undergoing qualification on the Lynx Mk.95A aircraft in the United Kingdom. This period will run for five weeks, corresponding to about 50 hours of flight and includes training and qualification in the areas of contact and instrument flight, operation of sensors and aircraft equipment. Acceptance tests will be carried out on the first modernized helicopter, which will be transported by land to Portugal. This qualification period results from the current contract between Leonardo Helicopters and the Portuguese Navy for the modernization of the five Lynx Mk.95 helicopters, which has been running since 2016 and is in its final stage.

The delivery of the first modernised Lynx Mk 95A helicopter to the Portuguese Navy has been pushed back to early January 2021. Leonardo was awarded a €69 million (then $76.45 million) contract in July 2016 to modernise the Portuguese Navy’s five Lynx Mk.95A helicopter. Under current scheduling, delivery of all five is expected to be completed in 2021. The first modernised helicopter completed its maiden flight on 14 February at Leonardo Helicopters’ facility in Yeovil, United Kingdom. The modernisation package includes the replacement of the original Rolls-Royce Gem 42 engines with more powerful LHTEC CTS800-4N turboshafts.

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Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK
Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK

The Portuguese Naval Aviation (Aviação Naval Portuguesa)) of the Portuguese Navy exclusively operates the Super Lynx Mk.95. In 1990, Portugal signed a contract for a total of five Super Lynx, two of them being refurbished ex-Royal Navy aircraft. Version of Super Lynx for the Portuguese Navy, with Bendix radar in undernose radome, dipping sonar but no FLIR. Three new build plus two converted ex-Royal Navy HAS.3s.A total of two Lynx can be operated from the flight deck of a single Vasco da Gama-class frigate; they typically accompany the vessels, including during long distance deployments for anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.

The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose twin-engined military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants. The Lynx went into operational usage in 1977 and was later adopted by the armed forces of over a dozen nations, primarily serving in the battlefield utility, anti-armour, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare roles. The Lynx is a fully aerobatic helicopter with the ability to perform loops and rolls.

Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK
Portuguese Navy Pilots Qualify on Upgraded Lynx Mk. 95A Helicopter in UK
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