Military Factory logo

Aerospatiale Alouette III

France (1960)
Picture of Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter
Picture of Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter Picture of Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter
+ Images
This entry's gallery contains additional pictures. Click to View.

Despite its Cold War-era roots, the Aerospatiale Alouette III remains a multi-purpose light helicopter design.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 6/22/2018. 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.


Picture of the Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter
Picture of the Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter



Any available statistics for the Aerospatiale Alouette III Light Multirole Helicopter are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






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.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (130mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Aerospatiale SA 316 Alouette III's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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
2100
2100


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: France
Year: 1960
Type: Light Multirole Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Aerospatiale - France
Production: 2,100
Status: Active, In-Service
Global 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
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Aerospatiale SA 316 Alouette III model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
42.13 ft


Meters
12.84 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
36.15 ft


Meters
11.02 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.84 ft


Meters
3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,474 lb


Kilograms
1,122 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
4,850 lb


Kilograms
2,200 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine developing 570 horsepower while driving the main three-blade rotor and a three-blade tail system.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
130 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
210 kph


Knots
113 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
298 mi


Kilometers
480 km


Nautical Miles
259 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
7,379 ft


Meters
2,249 m


Miles
1.40 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
885 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
270 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-tank guided missile
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

Mission specific armament can include any of the following:

1 x 7.62mm machine gun (mounted on tripod in right-side doorway).
1 x 20mm cannon fixed to left-side of fuselage
2 or 4 x AS.11 anti-tank missiles
2 x Mk.44 Torpedoes
Variants: Series Model Variants
• SE 3160 Alouette III - First Designation Model
• SA 316A Alouette III - Initial Production Designation; Features Turbomeca powerplant.
• SA 316B Alouette III - Improved transmission, increased takeoff weight.
• SA 319 Alouette III Atazou - Features Turbomeca Astazou turboshaft engine generating 600shp.
• IAR 316 - Locally-produced (under license) Romanian Air Force model based on the SA 316B.
• IAR-317 "Airfox" - Romanian-produced attack helicopter prototype based on Alouette III.
• "Chetak" - Indian production version of the SA 316B model.