The Lynx was designed and built by Westland Helicopters in Yeovil. Both battlefield and naval variants were developed, entering operational usage in 1977, and many were later adopted by over a dozen nations, primarily serving in battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare roles.
The initial design (known as the Westland WG.13) was started in the mid-1960s, with a first flight on 21st March 1971. In 1972, a Lynx broke the world record over 15 and 25 km by flying at 321.74 km/h. Shortly afterwards it also set a new 100km closed circuit record, flying at 318.504 km/h. In 1986, a Lynx specially modified with BERP (British Experimental Rotor Programme) rotor blades, registered G-LYNX and piloted by Trevor Egginton set an absolute speed record for helicopters over a 15 and 25 km course by reaching 400.87 km/h.
The British Army ordered 100 Lynx AH (Army Helicopter) Mk.1 for various roles, including tactical transport, armed escort, anti-tank warfare (with eight TOW missiles) reconnaissance and evacuation.