Background and History
The Westland Super Sea Lynx Mk.88A was a modernized variant of the existing German Mk.88 Sea Lynx which entered service in the 1990’s and introduced a variety of upgrades into the airframe to the point that it can be described as little more than salvaging the old airframe and took the standard of the German Sea Lynx to the levels of a Super Sea Lynx. These upgrades were quite extensive and the main external feature most noticeable was the bulge on the bottom of the airframe which housed a new 360-degree Seaspray 3000 radar as well as GEC MST FLIR which could be placed on the nose of the aircraft or otherwise be removed and instead have a cover on the section of the nose where the FLIR was located. Internally the helicopters also had new avionics installed as well as new rotor blades with the bolted rotor head.
Originally German had purchased a total of 19 Lynx’s from the British back in the 1980’s which were based on the HAS.3 Sea Lynx with some differences such as a non folding tail boom as well as a dipping sonar, however during their time in service in the run up to the modernization the Germans ended up losing 2 airframes being written off (One source states 4 however most state just 2 were lost) leaving only the remaining Lynx’s to all undergo modernization and along with this they also ordered 7 new airframes from the British to be built to the modernized specifications. Another interesting note is that alongside the modernization of the Sea Lynx the Germans also had 7 of their existing Westland Sea Kings modernized to supplement them in the anti-surface role which gave them the ability to carry anti ship missiles.
One area where the modernization didn’t change was surprisingly the armament as they could have 2 hard points for Sea Skua anti ship missiles or for 2 torpedos, though at some point in service they did have the addition of a mount for a 12.7mm M3M machine gun as they began to be used in anti piracy operations though this was only ever installed (based off images) on the left side of the helicopter as the other side was taken up by the retractable hoist that was installed to allow for search and rescue operations. By the 2010’s the German navy announced its plans to replace the Sea Lynx and Sea King with the newer NH90 helicopter in the long term however during the same time looked into further of the Sea Lynx and in 2013 Germany announced the start of another modernization to have integrate new electro-optical/infrared sensors installed on the helicopters.
2 (Not including sonar operator or door gunner)
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
Seaspray 3000 radar
GEC MST FLIR
2 x Hard-points for the following;
Sea Skua anti ship missiles
Mk 46 torpedoes
1 x 12.7mm machine gun (operated by door gunner)