Warplanes: Pump It Up


April 8, 2010:  Britain is spending over $6 million each to upgrade 22 of its army Lynx helicopters to the Mk-9A standard. The most urgent need is more powerful engines for the Lynx scout helicopter. These were withdrawn from Afghanistan last year because the higher altitudes, and Summer heat there, proved too much for the current Lynx engine (which could not generate sufficient lift for safe operation.) The Chinook (CH-47D) will also get more powerful engines, which will improve their (currently) adequate performance in Afghanistan.

The five ton Lynx has been in service since the late 1970s. With a crew of two, the army version is armed with two 20mm autocannon, as well as 70mm rocket pods or eight TOW anti-tank missiles. The first Mk-9A versions are returning to Afghanistan this month.



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