Photos New Lynx Mk9A in Afgan

John A Silkstone

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Military chiefs welcomed the arrival of the Lynx Mk9As, which boast more powerful engines and the ability to operate all year round in the extreme weather over Helmand Province.

The Lynx Mk9A is fitted with a more advanced communication system, improved surveillance equipment and the M3M machine gun, capable of firing more than 850 rounds a minute, the Ministry of Defence said.

Rotor blades have been fitted and familiarisation flights took place before operational sorties began in earnest earlier this month.

Major Max Lytle, officer commanding 672 Squadron, said: "We are now in Afghanistan, playing an important role in protecting our ground forces and carrying out surveillance, boosting performance in Afghanistan's challenging conditions."

The MoD said there will eventually by 22 Lynx aircraft upgraded to the Mk9A standard.
 
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