The AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat (previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat) is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. In British service, common variants are being operated by both the Royal Navy and British Army to replace their ageing Lynx Mk.7/8/9 rotorcraft. The AW159 has also been offered to several export customers, including the Republic of Korea Navy which placed an order for 8 in 2013.
The AW159 Wildcat is the successor to, and a further development of, the Westland Lynx. While the AW159 shares broad similarities in appearance to the Lynx, it has significant design differences and is heavily modernised and adapted to gain new attributes and functionality. The AW159 comprises 95% new components; the remaining 5%, consisting of such items as the fuel system and main rotor gearbox, are interchangeable with the Lynx AH7 and HMA8 variants. The AW159 is the first helicopter by AgustaWestland to be designed inside an entirely digital environment. Among other changes, certain external elements of the Wildcat, such as the tail rotor, have been redesigned for greater durability and stealth qualities.
Both Army and Navy variants are based on a common airframe, which is suitable for marine use and equipped with a wheeled undercarriage. The AW159 is powered by two 1,362 hp (1,016 kW) LHTEC CTS800 turboshaft engines, and has a new composite tailboom, tailplane, tail rotor, nose structure and avionics suite. The naval version is also equipped with a SELEX Galileo Seaspray 7000E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and L-3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optical/infrared nose turret.
SELEX Galileo Seaspray 7000E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar L-3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optical/infrared nose turret
- Wildcat HMA2
- Initial maritime model, total of 28 ordered by the Royal Navy. It is to perform maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue, anti-submarine and anti-surface roles.
With Browning M3M
Wildcat ASW with FLASH Compact sonar and sonobuoys
- Philippine Navy (2 on order)
- Republic of Korea Navy (8 on order)
General characteristics Data from Future Lynx brochure, AW159 page
- Crew: 2 pilots
- Capacity: 5 passengers, including door gunner
- Length: 15.24 m (50 ft 0 in)
- Height: 3.73 m (12 ft 3 in)
- Max takeoff weight: 6,000 kg (13,228 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × LHTEC CTS800-4N turboshaft, 1,015 kW (1,361 hp) each
- Main rotor diameter: 12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)
- Main rotor area: 128.7 m2 (1,385 sq ft)
2 × LHTEC CTS800-4N turboshaft, 1,015 kW (1,361 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 311 km/h (193 mph; 168 kn)
- Range: 777 km (483 mi; 420 nmi)
- Ferry range: 963 km (598 mi; 520 nmi)
- Endurance: 2 hr 15 min (4 hr 30 min with auxiliary fuel tanks)
- Pintle mounted machine gun, e.g. FN MAG (Army) or Browning M3M (Navy).
FN MAGBrowning M3M
Air-to-Surface Missile systems:
- up to 20× Thales Martlet (Lightweight Multirole Missile), formerly Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Light).
- up to 4× MBDA Sea Venom, formerly Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy). Physically similar replacement for the Sea Skua, a combined design with France’s Anti-Navire Léger to disable or destroy vessels up to 1000 tonnes.
- Sting Ray torpedo and depth charges
Thales Martlet (Lightweight Multirole Missile)MBDA Sea VenomSting Ray torpedo
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