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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Report: U.K.'s Future Lynx May Die

The United Kingdom reportedly is considering canceling its £1 billion ($1.98 billion) Future Lynx program. Citing Defence Ministry sources, the London newspaper The Telegraph said it is “highly likely” that the program to acquire 70 next-generation Lynx from AgustaWestland for the Army and Royal Navy would be canceled in as effort to balance the defense budget. That could lead to closure of the manufacturer’s design and production center in Yeovil, the loss of 800 jobs there, and the end of major helicopter manufacturing in the United Kingdom. AgustaWestland parent Finmeccanica has tied the fate of Yeovil to the Future Lynx contract. One option would be to buy H-60 Seahawks from Sikorsky Aircraft, which would be available within 12 months, the newspaper said. The Future Lynx is not slated to enter service until 2013. It is, of course, possible that the rumored cancellation is a ploy to provoke a political and public outcry to sustain the U.K. helicopter manufacturing base. For related news
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