|The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants. The Lynx was the world's first fully aerobatic helicopter. In 1986 a specially modified Lynx set the current Fédération Aéronautique Internationale's official airspeed record for helicopters.
Royal Netherlands Navy
For the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Lynx is a maritime helicopter that often operates from on board a frigate. With its radar and sonar, the Lynx reconnoitres the fleet's surroundings in search of hostile surface ships and submarines. The Lynx can also be used to transport troops and for search-and-rescue missions.
In cooperation with ships, the Lynx is used for engaging opposing surface units. Its dipping sonar (which is suspended under the helicopter and dipped in the water) can locate submarines. The forward-looking infrared camera makes it possible to patrol at night (e.g. for counter-drugs missions in the Caribbean).
To disable submarines, the Lynx can deploy 2 target-seeking torpedoes. A 7.62 mm machine gun can be mounted in the door opening.
Search and rescue
The Lynx helicopter has an important search-and-rescue role: A helicopter is on standby 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at De Kooy Air Base to respond to emergencies in the North Sea. A winch can be used to pull people out of the water and to lift patients off ships. In those cases, a physician goes along.
The Lynx also has transport tasks, ranging from transporting materiel and personnel between ships in the fleet to placing a boarding team onto a suspect ship.