Corgi AA39003 Royal Navy Westland Lynx HAS2 Helicopter - XZ725, HMS Brilliant, South Atlantic, April 1982 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The Westland Lynx is a British helicopter designed by and built 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, which went into operational usage in 1977 and were later adopted by the armed forces of over a dozen nations, where it primarily serves in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare roles. The helicopter is now produced and marketed by AgustaWestland.
The initial design (then known as the Westland WG.13) was started in the mid-1960s as a replacement for the Westland Scout and Wasp, and a more advanced alternative to the UH-1 Iroquois. As part of the Anglo-French helicopter agreement signed in February 1967, the French company Aerospatiale were given a work share in the manufacturing programme. Aerospatiale received 30% of production with Westland performing the remainder. It was intended that France would buy Lynxes for its Navy and as an armed reconnaissance helicopter for the French Army, with Britain buying Aerospatiale Gazelles and Pumas for its armed forces. The French Army cancelled its requirement for Lynxes in October 1969.
The Lynx design used many components derived from the Scout and Wasp. However, the rotor was new, being of a semi-rigid design with honeycomb sandwich blades. The first Lynx prototype took its maiden flight on March 21st, 1971.
In 1972, a Lynx broke the world record over 15 and 25 km by flying at 321.74 km/h (199.92 mph). It also set a new 100 km closed circuit record shortly afterwards, flying at 318.504 km/h (197.91 mph). In 1986, a Lynx specially modified with BERP (British Experimental Rotor Programme) rotor blades, registered G-LYNX and piloted by Trevor Egginton set an absolute speed record for helicopters over a 15 and 25 km course by reaching 400.87 km/h (249.09 mph).
Over 100 Lynxes were ordered by the British Army as Lynx AH (Army Helicopter) Mk.1 for different roles, such as transport, armed escort, anti-tank warfare (with eight TOW missiles), reconnaissance and evacuation. The Army has fitted a Marconi Elliot AFCS system onto the Lynx for automatic stabilization on three axis. Deliveries of production Lynxes began in 1977.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Royal Navy Westland Lynx HAS2 Helicopter then embarked upon the HMS Brilliant during the 1982 Falklands Conflict.
Rotor Span: 6-1/2 inches
Length: 7 inches
Release Date: November 2010
Historical Account: "Operation Corporate" - The Lynx of the RN had their combat debut over the South Atlantic during the Falklands War (Operation Corporate) in 1982. Some 27 Lynx from No.815 Squadron went south" where they operated in a wide variety of roles. Many were hastily fitted with Sea Skua missiles, even though the missiles had not completed their acceptance trials with the Fleet Air Arm.
It was not only the Sea Skuas use which was hasty, many of the HAS Mk 2s heading south with the Task Force were not uniformly equipped Electronic-Counter Measures, thermal imagers and MAD were only carried by a handful of aircraft.
Many Lynx were fitted with door-mounted GPMGs for Close-Air-Support, an unofficial installation which proved popular with crews.
One of the most celebrated actions involved two Lynx from HMS Brilliant, which attacked the Argentine submarine Santa Fe on April 25th, 1982. One launched a torpedo, expecting the vessel to submerge, which it didn't. The sub was then unable to submerge due to the circling torpedo beneath it; the Lynx attacked with their 7.62mm machine-guns eventually putting the submarine out of action.