Panel made for Future Lynx

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The first monolithic machined panel for the first AgustaWestland Future Lynx was manufactured last week at Oldland CNC's facility in Bristol.

Oldland CNC is manufacturing 83 of the 147 Future Lynx primary structure monolithic machined components and supplying them to GKN Aerospace for incorporation into the airframe prior to delivery to AgustaWestland.

‘The start of manufacture of the Future Lynx represents an important step in the evolution of the next generation of Lynx for the Ministry of Defence,’ said Graham Cole, managing director business, AgustaWestland. ‘As the first programme to be signed under the Strategic Partnering Arrangement I am delighted that every programme milestone has been met on time and we look forward to the first flight in late 2009.’

The first Future Lynx, a Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter (BRH) variant for the British Army, is scheduled to fly in 2009 and will be followed by the first surface combatant maritime rotorcraft (SCMR) variant for the Royal Navy.

The BRH and SCMR variants have over 90% commonality and are powered by CTS800-4N engines.

In June 2006 the Ministry of Defence awarded a contract valued at nearly £1bn to supply 70 Future Lynx helicopters comprising 40 BRH variants and 30 SCMR variants with options for a further 10 aircraft.

The BRH variant will enter operational service in 2013 and the SCMR variant in 2014. So far, more than 80 per cent of the project design activity has been completed with a full air vehicle critical design review scheduled to take place in April 2008.