French Navy made a surprising decision and revised plans about the life-cycle of Lynx helicopters. They are planning to retire them at 2020, 2 years earlier than scheduled.
Although the Lynx Mk 4(FN) had been planned to retire in 2022, support costs rising the decision has now been made to bring forward the type’s out of service date by two years as a savings measure. Lynx helicopters are now very expensive to maintain.
Early retirement of the Lynx will leave a capability gap as the type, equipped with the DUAV-4 active dipping sonar, constitutes the primary anti-submarine rotorcraft on board the French Navy’s last two F70-class frigates, La Motte-Picquet (D645) and Latouche-Tréville (D646).
The decision to bring forward the Lynx out-of-service date means that Latouche-Tréville will have to operate with another helicopter type from mid-2020 – most probably the AS565 Panther – but this stopgap will not be equipped with a dipping sonar.