STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Aerospatiale - France
OPERATORS: Albania; Angola; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bangladesh; Belgium; Biafra; Bolivia; Burkina Faso; Burma; Burundi; Cameroon; Chad; Chile; Republic of the Congo; Ivory Coast; Denmark; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Equatorial New Guinea; Ethiopia; France; Gabon; Ghana; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Jordan; Laos; Lebanon; Libya; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Malta; Mexico; Morocco; Mozambique; Nepal; Netherlands; Nicaragua; Pakistan; China; Peru; Portugal; Rhodesia; Romania; Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; South Vietnam; Spain; Sri Lanka; Suriname; Swaziland; Switzerland; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Upper Volta; Venezuela; Yugoslavia; Zaire; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Chile; United States
LENGTH: 42.13 feet (12.84 meters)
WIDTH: 36.15 feet (11.02 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.84 feet (3 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,474 pounds (1,122 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 4,850 pounds (2,200 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine developing 570 horsepower while driving the main three-blade rotor and a three-blade tail system.
SPEED (MAX): 130 miles-per-hour (210 kilometers-per-hour; 113 knots)
RANGE: 298 miles (480 kilometers; 259 nautical miles)
CEILING: 7,379 feet (2,249 meters; 1.40 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 885 feet-per-minute (270 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter.
Entry last updated on 9/12/2018.
Authored by JR Potts, AUS 173d AB. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Aerospatiale Alouette III, is French for Skylark having a single-engine and to be used as a light utility helicopter and was developed by Sud Aviation and manufactured by Aerospatiale of France. The first version of the Alouette III, the SE 3160 prototype flew in 1959. Production of the SA 316A (SE 3160) began in 1960 and remained in production until 1968. It was replaced by the SA 316BThe Alouette III is the successor to the Alouette II, with a larger engine and having more seating.
The Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine was the original variant produced, the Alouette III is recognized for its mountain rescue and adaptability for land and ship based applications. The Argentine Navy purchased 14 helicopters, 3 of the original design SE3160, 7 with the more powerful engine and strength upgrades in the SA316B and 4 machines of the SA319B with more power than the other two versions.
The Alouette III entered in service with the French Armed forces in 1960. Many were used by the Foreign Legion from 1964-1967. Three machines were delivered from France for local assembly in Australia, and were used by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Pakistan purchased 35 machines and used them in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Two planes of the PAF were shot down in the war, and the Portuguese Colonial War, during 60's and 70's used large numbers of helos in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea, where it proved its qualities for use in dusty and hot flying conditions. One SA316B purchased by Argentina was on board the ARA General Belgrano when she was sunk by the HMS Conqueror S48 during the Falklands War with Great Britain in 1982.
The SA 316B and the SA 319B both remained in series production up to the early 1980s, when the main production line in France was closed down. However, HAL of India continues to licence-build Alouette IIIs as the Chetak. In 2004, most of the Alouette III was retired from the French Air Force after 32 years of successful service. It will be replaced by the Eurocopter EC 355 Ecureuil 2. In the same year, the Swiss Armed Forces announced the retirement of the Alouette III, from the front line by 2006, and entirely by 2010. Venezuelan Air forces retired their Alouette IIIs in the late 90s. Currently many units are still in use in Africa with parts available from India.
August 2018 - The Austrian government has approved plans for the Austrian Air Force to replace its aging fleet of Alouette III light utility helicopters. The fleet is scheduled for retirement before the end of 2022.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (130mph).
Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Aerospatiale SA 316 Alouette III's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units