Background and History
The Westland Sea Lynx Mk 88 was one of the primary helicopters that were utilized by the naval air arm of the German navy starting the the 1980’s and were the primary ship based helicopter for the German navy. The Mk 88 lynx was an export variant of the British Lynx HAS. 3 which had a number of changes made to the design which included the deletion of the folding tailboom and featured its own dipping sonar. The Mk 88 in service would be utilized primarily from the newer German frigates which were built with dedicated hanger spaces to store the helicopters which would be utilized it for a variety of roles such as battlefield utility (troop transport, close air support), maritime surveillance, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue (SAR). The major advantage for the Germans was that compared to their older Mk 41 Westland Sea King was that due to their much smaller size they were able to be carried on ships more easily as the Sea King in comparison was much larger and were small enough that the German frigates could carry 2 Sea Lynx’s.
In total the Germans would order a total of 19 airframes with the first being delivered in 1981. Each given the airframe number of 83 followed by another number for each individual airframe with the serial numbers being between 83-01 to 83-19 for the original airframes. In service the German Lynx’s armament would be armed with a variety of anti shipping weapons with the primary weapons they could be found with were 2 torpedos located on 2 hard points, alternatively they could also carry 2 Sea Suka anti shipping missiles though most images show them never carrying more than 1 normally.
In the 990’s the Germans decided to modernize their remains Lynx’s along side with ordering additional Lynx’s to the modernized specification with a total of 17 Mk 88’s being modernized as the Mk 88A Super Lynx which saw much of the helicopter modernized with new systems and being described as little more than salvaging the airframes. The most noticeable changes was the nose of the aircraft and belly of the aircraft as the modernized helicopter saw the installation of a 360 degree radar as well as an FLIR optic on the nose which could be installed on the front of the nose which would be covered when not installed.
2 (Not including the sonar operator)
2 x Rolls-Royce Gem 42-1 turboshaft engines
1,000 / 890 shp (746 / 664 kW) (Per engine)
Length over rotors
Rear rotor diameter
Width incl. Suspension
Rotor circle surface
3,290 kg with radar and sonar
max external load
max starting mass
Maximum speed - 175 kn (201 mph, 324 km/h)
Max take-off weight: 4,763 kg
Rotor diameter: 12,80 m
Ceiling: 3200 m
2 x Hard-points for the following;
Sea Skua anti ship missiles
Mk 46 torpedoes