Sea Lynx Mk.88
Sea Lynx of MFG 3 on approach to a naval vessel

(taken from: unknown Internet source)

The introduction of the new Type 122 Bremen-class Frigates, brought with it the need for the purchase of appropriate shipborne helicopters (Bordhubschrauber = BHS). Two of which were supposed to be operated from the ships.
The German Navy's decicison fell in favour of the British Westland Lynx helicopter. The Lynx was build for the needs of the Royal Army (AH) and Royal Navy (HAS). The Helicopter Anti-Submarine, as was the full designation of the HAS, was chosen and modified to meet the German demands.

Sea Lynx Mk.88 onboard a German Frigate

(taken from: Bordgemeinschaft Frigatte Emden Homepage)

The first Sea Lynx bound for the German Navy made it's first flight on 26th may 1981 and was handed over to the Marineflieger at Yeovil. Togehter with two other helicopters it was used for training of crews and personell. The remaining of the 19 ordered Lynxes were delivered between end of 1981 and 1988.
Operational use of the Nordholz based helicopters began with the landing of two Mk. 81s on the Frigate Bremen in july 1982. Since then a pair of two Lynxes is operated from the ships, needing a total personell of 18 seamen.
The helicopters are specially equipped to be operated from ships and herefore incorporate very sophisticated avionics, ebaling crews to operate under virtually all wheatherconditions or at night. Moreover, like it's big brother Sea King, the Lynx has an automatic flightstabalization system. This allows the helicopter to hover automatically. In contrary Luftwaffe and Heeres Bell UH-1Ds must during hovering be held in position by the pilot manually, thus fully relying on throttle, rudders and stick.
Changes were also made to the undercarriage. It was strengthened to withstand forces during the heavy landing on moving decks. The Lynx can land at angles up to 20° and is fitted with inflatable swimmers for emergency ditches.

Sea Lynx Mk. 88 deploying it's sonar bouje

(taken from: "Flugzeuge und Hubschrauber der Bundeswehr", Motorbuch Verlag")

Sea Lynx helicopters are used for a variety of missions. As every helicopter ever in use with the German Navy it has to play the roles of SAR helicopter, close-in Anti-Submarine Warfare and observation plattform for naval vessels. Next to advanced avionics and communication systems,
the Sea Lynx operates a Bendix AN/AQS 18 dive sonar to detect enemy submarines well without the reach of their own surface forces. The offensive weaponsload consists of up to two torpedos, two deep or shallow water tropedos respectively.
In addition to this all helicopters are equipped with a rescue winch to meet SAR requirements. Under theses circumstances a total of 7 persons can be carried next to the three man crew or 1360 kg of cargo.

(taken from: "Airwar Bosnia", Airlife)

The Bosnian war also meant the first "hot" missions for the crews of MFG 3. German Sea Lynx helicopters were used to bring up ships violating the embargo emposed over Yugoslavia. After the ships were brought to a halt by NATO vessels, Lynxes landed boarding parties on these ships in order to control the freight.
Since fall 1987 German Frigates and their accompanying helicopters deploy regularly to the Mediterranean as part of the Naval-on-call-Force-Mediterranean (NAVOCFORMED).

Super Sea Lynx

In 1996 the German Navy signed a contact with GKN Westland helicopters ordering seven new Mk.88A Super Sea Lynx helicopters. This would bring the fleet to a total of 24 aircraft - two Sea Lynx were lost in december 1993 and january 1994.
In addition, the remaining 17 Mk.88 airframes will be brought up to Mk.88A Super Sea Lynx standard. The helicopters will receive completely new fuselages but retain their original engines, flying controls, hydraulics, avionics and electrical systems.
The Super Sea Lynx incorporates the Marconi Sea Spray 3000 Radar, a multi-role turret (MRT) forward looking infra red and BAe Matra Sea Skua anti-shipping missiles. The first Super Sea Lynx bound for the German Navy had its roll-out on 14th july 1999.

The Sea Lynx overhaul programme is due to be finished in 2003. This means, the Lynx helicopters will remain in active duty until 2015, before they will be replaced by the NFH version of the NH90 (now MH90).

The second Mk.88A Super Sea LYnx of the Bundesmarine

(taken from: Flug-Revue Homepage)

Technical data:

Rotordiameter      : 12,80m
Length             : 10,60m
Height             :  3,60m
Weight empty       : 3100kg
max. Takeoff Weight: 4880kg
max. Speed         : 225km/h
Range              : 540km
Serviceceiling     : 11000ft
Rolls-Royce GEM 41-1
Thrust             : 1670kW
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