H-34 (France)

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▄H-34
h_34_france.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
9.0/9.0/9.0BR
2 peopleCrew
3.9 tEmpty weight
6.0 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
6 000 mCeiling
Wright R-1820-84Engine
Speed of destruction
450 km/hStructural
420 km/hGear
Suspended armament
2 x AGM-22 missiles
6 x HVAR rockets
4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun
Setup 1
10 x 50 kg Type 61C
4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun
Setup 2
Economy
freeResearch
390 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png3 200 / 4 140/4 900 / 6 340/1 910 / 2 471Repair
110 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
390 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
1 800 Ge icon.pngAces
x 2.02 Rp icon.pngReward for battle

Description

GarageImage H-34 (France).jpg


The H-34 (France) is a rank V French utility helicopter with a battle rating of 9.0 (AB/RB/SB). This helicopter was introduced in Update 1.87 "Locked On"

The Sikorsky H-34 was manufactured as a piston-engined military helicopter originally intended for anti-submarine warfare, however, it also has seen service as a medium transport helicopter and as a combat helicopter. This tail dragging helicopter has the radial reciprocating engine mounted in the nose of the aircraft with the driveshaft traversing through the cockpit. Initial flight of this helicopter took place in March 1954 and the first to enter service with the U.S. Navy took place only six months later. The U.S. Army and Marine Corps also placed orders for this helicopter in 1955 and 1957. Other designations of this helicopter include SH-34, UH-34 and CH-34. For transport purposes, this helicopter can be configured to carry between 12 to 16 troops or if utilized in the role of MedEvac, up to eight stretchers.

French aviation company Sud-Aviation assembled a total of 135 H-34’s built in the U.S. along with a total of 166 H-34s produced by Sud-Aviation under license from Sikorsky for use in the French Air Force, Navy and Army Aviation (ALAT).

Due to the ruggedness of the H-34, it had an impressive track record under French command in the Algerian War where it garnered over 190,000 flying hours evacuating French troops from combat locations, including many nighttime operations.

Production of the H-34 terminated in 1968 by Sikorsky after building a total of 1,821 of these helicopters.

General info

Flight Performance

Describe how the helicopter behaves in the air. Maximum speed, manoeuvrability, speed and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Survivability and armour

Examine the survivability of the helicopter. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, how many engines the vehicle has. Describe the armour, if there is any, also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.

Armaments

Offensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)
  • 4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns (250 rpg = 1,000 total)

The helicopter's machine guns are mounted towards the nose of the helicopter in front of the landing gear struts. These machine guns can be loaded with one of four different ammo belts (Default, Universal, Tracers, and Stealth). However, owing to their small calibre, they are only effective for attacking very lightly armoured targets (< 10 mm maximum armour thickness), they have limited effectiveness against aircraft and are ultimately useless against armoured targets. Their relatively low rate of fire offers better aim controllability at the expense of total damage output.

Suspended armament

Option 1
Main articles: AGM-22, HVAR
  • 2 x AGM-22 missiles
  • 6 x HVAR unguided rockets

In this configuration, the H-34 is equipped with two AGM-22 ATGM pylons mounted alongside the nose of the aircraft, along with six HVAR unguided rockets mounted on a vertical rail on the left side of the helicopter.

The helicopter's six HVAR rockets with their 36 mm of high-explosive armour penetration are effective at crippling and possibly destroying enemy tanks with well-placed shots to the roof, engine deck, and tracks. However, their awkward placement on a vertical rail on the left side of the helicopter, as well as their relatively slower velocity and increased drop compared to most other unguided rockets, makes precisely aiming these rockets tricky.

A far more effective weapon versus armoured targets, the helicopter's two AGM-22 ATGM's with their 600 mm of armour penetration can easily damage and destroy enemy tanks and other armoured targets with a well-placed hit. However, this helicopter can only carry two of these missiles at a time, the smallest ATGM loadout of any helicopter in the game, which severely limits the helicopter's combat potential.

Option 2
Main article: Type 61C (50 kg)
  • 10 x 50 kg Type 61C Bombs

In this configuration, the H-34 is equipped with ten 50 kg Type-61C bombs, with six bombs loaded onto external pylons on the sides of the helicopter, and four bombs mounted on rails below the fuselage. These bombs can destroy enemy armoured vehicles when dropped within 2 meters of the target. Their small explosive mass requires particularly careful aim in order to effectively strike at ground targets. However, care must still be taken in order to remain out of the 67 m fragmentation radius of these bombs in order to avoid splash damage to the helicopter itself.

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in the helicopter, the features of using vehicles in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

Modules

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Compressor Flak jacket Offensive 7 mm
II Helicopter frame Type 61C
III Engine Replacing helicopter blades New 7 mm MGs
IV Cover

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Surprisingly fast, able to maintain speeds in excess of 322 kph (200 mph) in level flight
  • Decent structural durability, though this isn't saying much

Cons:

  • Large size makes it a large target
  • Sluggish handling characteristics
  • Weak engine and rotor transmission durability - a few hits from light-caliber rounds can quickly destroy them
  • Awkward HVAR rocket placement makes accurate aim tricky
  • Bomb loadout is inadequate against heavily armored targets

History

The H-34 was developed in the early 1950s as the successor to the H-19 Chickasaw. The new helicopter was enlarged and was overall more powerful than its predecessor, yet still retained some of the core design elements, such as the nose-mounted radial engine under the cockpit.

The H-34 performed its maiden flight in March 1954 and was adopted into service shortly afterwards, first with the U.S. Navy in 1955 and then U.S. Army in 1956.

However, the H-34 was also widely exported and built under licence by other nations. France was one of the earliest nations to adopt the H-34, with it entering service in 1956. France initially received a large number of American-built disassembled H-34s, which were then reassembled in France. Later on, the Sud-Aviation company acquired a licence to produce the H-34s locally. In the end, close to 300 French H-34s were built and used by the French forces. The vehicle was actively used during the war in Algeria, marking the first mass use of attack helicopters by the French army.

Of course, the H-34 Choctaw saw service with many more countries around the world and participated in numerous conflicts of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Although the helicopter was being phased out from military service with most operators by the 1970s, the H-34 (or S-58 if the civilian designation is used) is still being used for civilian operations today. In total, over 2,100 H-34s were built when taking into account all modifications of the type.

- From Devblog

Media

An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


France helicopters
Attack  ▄H-34
Utility  SA.313B Alouette II · SA.316B Alouette III · IAR 316B · SA.341F Gazelle · SA.342M Gazelle