SA.342M Gazelle

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This page is about the French utility helicopter SA.342M Gazelle. For other versions, see Gazelle (Family).
SA.342M Gazelle
sa_342m.png
GarageImage SA.342M Gazelle.jpg
SA.342M Gazelle
AB RB SB
9.3 9.3 9.7
Research:380 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 000 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

A member of the Gazelle helicopter family, the SA.342M Gazelle is a French Army anti-tank helicopter equipped with a Turbomeca Artouste Astazou XIV engine and a Fenestron tail rotor. It is equipped with up to four HOT missiles and a SFIM APX M379 stabilised sight, making it the primary anti-tank gunship of the Gazelle family. The SA.342M can also switch to an anti-air role by mounting Mistral missiles, becoming the Gazelle Mistral variant.

It was introduced in Update 1.87 "Locked On". The Gazelle is a versatile helicopter that can perform different roles depending on the loadout. It can destroy tanks with ATGMs or rockets, or shoot down aircraft or helicopters with AAMs and cannon. It relies on stealth and cover to avoid detection and enemy fire, as it has no radar warning receiver and limited armour.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 0 m288 km/h
Max altitude5 000 m
EngineTurbomeca Astazou XIV
Power580 hp
Take-off weight2 t

The Gazelle is a fast and agile helicopter which can do tight turns and barrel rolls at a relative altitude. It has similar flight performance as the EC-665 Tiger helicopters, but with a more sluggish flight. The weight and small size make the Gazelle one of the fastest accelerating helicopters in the game, even with full payload.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - at sea level)
Max altitude
(metres)
AB RB
Stock 265 249 5000
Upgraded 301 285

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural310 km/h
Gear320 km/h

The Gazelle has low survivability even against flak, not only because the cabin has low thickness, but also because the cabin glass takes a lot of the cabin surface. Thus, even low-calibre machine gun fire is able to take the Gazelle down with no issues at all.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB10 225 → 13 711 Sl icon.png
RB3 433 → 4 603 Sl icon.png
SB5 849 → 7 843 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications297 000 Rp icon.png
436 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 600 Ge icon.png
Crew training290 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces950 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 300 / 430 % Sl icon.png
220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods cd 98 main rotor.png
Replacing helicopter blades
Research:
22 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
25 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods heli flak jacket.png
Flak jacket
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods heli structure.png
Helicopter frame
Research:
22 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
48 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
71 000 Sl icon.png
730 Ge icon.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
HOT
Research:
22 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
32 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
HOT-2
Research:
25 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
25 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
ATAM
Research:
48 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
71 000 Sl icon.png
730 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Night vision devices
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Suspended armament

The SA.342M Gazelle can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 14 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 4 x HOT-1 missiles
  • 4 x HOT-2 TOW missiles
  • 4 x Mistral missiles
  • 2 x Mistral missiles + 7 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 2 x Mistral missiles + 2 x HOT-1 missiles
  • 2 x Mistral missiles + 2 x HOT-2 TOW missiles

This version of the Gazelle removes the 20 mm autocannon and replaces it with two additional pylons which can be used to carry double the ordnance. It has a really low ordnance capacity compared to other helicopters at the tier but compensates it with the agility and speed, specially when compared with Mi-24's. Both HOT-1 and HOT-2 do not have really long ranges, meaning the Gazelle has to enter within the SPAA range. However, SPAA can be countered by flying low and staying behind cover, specially trees and mountains. It carries a really low amount of rockets but can be deadly if aimed correctly. It also has access to air-to-air missiles, the Mistral missile.

Usage in battles

This helicopter has three main playstyles, centred around the selected loadout.

  • Anti-Tank: Using ATGMs, get within 4 km of a target, while remaining hidden by trees or buildings, and guide your missile to the target. Focus on tanks without reactive armour, as they may render your missiles ineffective, and waste your time. After expending your missiles, it is best to return to the helipad and resupply.
  • Rocketeer: Using unguided rockets, fly low over the battlefield and assault a single tank with a precise salvo, and then retreat behind cover.
  • Air defence: Using AAMs, sneak behind enemy lines, and land in an obscured area, or behind cover, and wait for aircraft or helicopters to get near your allies. Then surprise attack them with your missiles and cannon fire. This will make short work of any helicopter, and most slow-flying aircraft.

Overall, you want to avoid direct line-of-sight to your enemies, as they likely can spot you faster than you can spot them, and engage you at longer range. Surface-to-air missiles are a serious threat, as they can take you by surprise, and you have no radar detector to warn you of their presence. The same applies to radar-guided anti-aircraft guns.

In Helicopter Battles (Heli EC) the Gazelle is notably better than either of the two preceding helicopters, finally unlocking AAMs with a greater range (5.5km) than 3/4km ATGMs.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • One of the smallest helicopters, easier to hide, and harder to hit at high speed
  • Mistral air-to-air missiles
  • Has access to flares and thermal optics
  • Can be equipped with HOT-1 and HOT-2 AGMs

Cons:

  • Surprisingly hard to manoeuvre at speed, and has a tendency to over-roll
  • No armour, easy to damage critical components and eliminate crew
  • Starts off with one of the weakest stock loadouts for helicopters
  • No gun armaments
  • Very low unguided rocket count

History

The SA.342M Gazelle was the anti-tank version of the SA.342F Gazelle, the Gazelle utilised by the French army. It was fitted with the Astazou XIV engine, as well as with the Euromissile HOT-2 TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile. In order to increase the anti-tank capabilities, it was fitted with SFIM APX M397 stabilized sight.

Media

Skins
Images

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 helicopter;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


Aérospatiale
Utility  SA 313B Alouette II · SA 316B Alouette III · SA.341F Gazelle · SA.342M Gazelle
Export  ◄SA 313B Alouette II · HKP2 · SA.342L Gazelle

France helicopters
Attack  ▄H-34 · EC-665 Tiger HAD · Tiger HAD Block 2 · EC-665 Tiger HAP
Utility  IAR 316B · SA 313B Alouette II · SA 316B Alouette III · SA.341F Gazelle · SA.342M Gazelle