|Country of Origin:France.|
|Type:Light utility helicopter.|
|Powerplant:One 425kW (570shp) Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, driving a three blade main rotor and three blade tail rotor.|
|Performance:Max speed 210km/h (113kt), max cruising speed 185km/h (100kt). Max initial rate of climb 885ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 7380ft/min. Range with max fuel 480km (260nm).|
|Weights:Empty weight 1122kg (2474lb), max takeoff weight 2200kg (4850lb).|
|Accommodations: Typical seating for seven.|
|Armament:Can carry one 7.62mm machine gun mounted on a tripod firing through right hand doorway, a 20mm cannon fixed to a left hand side of the fuselage, or four or six AS.11 anti armur missiles, or two Mk.44 torpedoes.|
|Operators:Operators include Argentina, Austria, Cameroon, France, Iraq, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, South Africa and Venezuela. In service with India and Nepal as Chetak.|
|History:The popular Alouette III is an enlarged development of the Alouette II series and remains in widespread service around the globe.
Like the Alouette II, the Alouette III traces back its development back to the Sud-Est SE 3101 piston powered prototypes, the first of which flew for the first time on July 31 1951. The largest member of Alouette series, the III flew as the S 3160 on Feburary 28 1959.
The SA-316A Alouette III remained in production for almost a decade until 1969, when it was replaced by the improved SA-316B, with strengthened transmission and a greater max takeoff weight, but the same Artouste III turboshaft.
Further development led to the SA-319 Alouette Astazou, powered by a 450kW (600shp) Turbomeca Astazou XIV turboshaft. The more powerful engine conferred better hot and high prformance and improved fuel economy. The SA-319 entered productio in 1968.
The SA-319 and SA-316B remained in side by side production through the 1970s and into the 1980s. HAL of India continues to licence build Alouette III as the Chetak. The Romanians also developed a two seat anti tank attack helicopter based on the Alouette as the IAR-317 Skyfox, but this flew in prototype form only.