SA 316B Alouette III
|This page is about the French utility helicopter SA 316B Alouette III. For other versions, see Alouette (Family).
Based on the SA 313B, the Alouette III was developed by Sud-Aviation and later built by Aerospatiale, the larger SA.316A took its maiden flight on February 28, 1959, with production following in 1961. It was a larger design that allowed being attached with heavier armament, being used as a decent light attack helicopter, however its main task was for transport of both troops and cargo, being capable of insane amounts of power at high altitudes for the time thanks to its 570 hp engine. Thus, it remained as a very trusted and respected helicopter for search and rescue operations. This good reputation was also due to its good reliability, ease of maintenance, and low price tag. The military variants were fitted with all sorts of armament, from 7.62 mm machine guns, to fixed 20 mm cannons, SS.11 ATGMs, Mk.44 torpedoes and rocket pods.
Introduced in the update Update 1.87 "Locked On". The SA 316B Alouette III is slow, very sluggish and a very big targets. This poses a threat to the player, since it's very easy to shoot down by enemy SPAA if it's not played properly, thus is recommended for players that already have experience in flying helicopters. Its main asset is the SS.11 ATGM and its decent range for its BR. It may lack the thermal sight of other helicopters of its agility or in their mobility but rather than that this should be compensated with player ability. Excellent situational awareness is essential to staying alive, use the terrain and hide behind trees and hills, peak up just to launch your ATGM, if possible ask a team member to mark the potential targets using the map or even better, a scout drone if possible.
The SA 316B Alouette IIIis a very early helicopter, and compared to faster and more agile attack helicopters like the AH-1G at similar BR, the Alouette suffers a lot, with cruise speed that rarely exceeds 180 km/h, you would be one of the slowest helicopters out there, and you will also lose a lot of speed while manoeuvring as is common in all helicopters.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - at sea level)
| Max altitude
Survivability and armour
The Alouette III has no armour to speak off, and with a cockpit made almost entirely of glass, it's very easy being pilot sniped by enemy SPAA or even roof-mounted MGs from tanks and APCs in helicopter Arcade Battles. Also, since the engine has no protection and it's very exposed outside of the fuselage, it's possible being set on fire if the enemy has incendiary projectiles.
Modifications and economy
- Flak jacket (To reduce chances of pilot snipe)
- Helicopter frame (To increase structural integrity)
- All the mobility modifications (Since the Alouette is a very slow and sluggish helicopter)
The SA 316B Alouette III can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 4 x AS.11 missiles
The Alouette III can only be equipped with the AS.11 missile, a very slow and early ATGM. Compared to the TOW or HOT-2, it's very sluggish and does not like to turn, avoid drastic changes of course and launch it from higher altitude to increase its firing range.
Usage in battles
It's a very sluggish and slow helicopter, and it is outmatched by others like the Mi-24A and the AH-1G that are very common at that BR. Its cruise speed at 190 km/h in AB makes it capable of reaching enemy convoys or formations only if it's close, but it's able to take out the enemy SPAA with its relatively long range SS.11 ATGMs, so that the rest of the team can finish the combat and go to the next objective.
Against player controlled ground targets, the Alouette also struggles. Compared to the Z-11WA that sits at a very similar BR, it's less agile, slower, and has worst armament, while enemy SPAA can be very lethal up to 5 km in a neutral matchmaker. Thus it is crucial to stay behind cover, use the hills and terrain to your advantage and only peek above the terrain to launch your AS.11 missile.
Ask team members for help locating targets, if possible, communicate with one of your team members or squadmates so that, with a scout drone, they mark the best targets to take out with the SS.11, especially high priority targets like heavy tanks and other dangerous opponents that can pose a threat to your team.
Pros and cons
- Carries air-to-surface missiles that are deadly against ground targets at mid-range
- Good range for the ATGMs if launched from higher altitudes
- Starts with ATGMs and there is no need to investigate them as a modification
- No guns for close combat
- Has just access to mediocre ATGMs
- No armour and slow speed, pilots and engine can be sniped with ease
- Very big target, easier to hit for enemy SPAA
Built off of the successful SA.313B Alouette II, the SA.316B Alouette III has been a proven and reliable airframe much like its predecessor. Developed by Sud-Aviation and later built by Aerospatiale, the larger SA.316A took its maiden flight on February 28, 1959, with production following in 1961. Production of the initial variant lasted until 1968 when it was eventually replaced by the SA.316B model. Powered by the Turbomeca Artouste IIIB outputting 570 HP, the Alouette III has incredible power at high altitudes, and has been an invaluable asset in militaries as a light-transport helicopter as well as search & rescue services throughout the world. With its larger size and excellent all-around visibility from the enclosed, rounded glass cockpit as well as the more powerful engine it proved invaluable as a light-attack helicopter as well. Some mission-specific armament can include mounting of a 7.62 mm machine gun on a tripod fitted to the right-side doorway, 20 mm cannon affixed to the left side as well as 2-4 AS.11 anti-tank missiles or 2 Mk.44 torpedoes as required.
The SA.316B was produced in France from 1961 until 1985 when French factories were shut down, although production continues as of 2021 by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the Chetak, extending the service life of the Alouette III in multiple militaries well into the future with new parts continuing to be manufactured under the HAL name. Many air forces over the years have claimed usefulness of the SA.316B including France, Argentina, India, and Austria, including some former operators are South Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and Upper Volta to name a few. Notably, Argentina was seen using them in the Falklands war in 1982, with one having been present on the deck of the ARA General Belgrano (formerly the USS Phoenix (CL-46) in US Navy service) during her sinking at the hands of the HMS Conqueror (S48) Churchill-class nuclear submarine. Although it has been retired in service with France, the helicopter is still seen flying in militaries around the world, and will continue to be seen well into 2022 and beyond providing light-attack as well as transport roles whenever needed.
- [Devblog] SA.316B Alouette III: The High-Flying Skylark
- [Military Factory] Aerospatiale Alouette III
|SA 313B Alouette II · SA 316B Alouette III · SA.341F Gazelle · SA.342M Gazelle
|◄SA 313B Alouette II · HKP2 · SA.342L Gazelle
|▄H-34 · EC-665 Tiger HAD · Tiger HAD Block 2 · EC-665 Tiger HAP
|IAR 316B · SA 313B Alouette II · SA 316B Alouette III · SA.341F Gazelle · SA.342M Gazelle