The Aérospatiale Alouette III (French for Lark) is a single-engine, light utility helicopter developed by Sud Aviation. It was manufactured by Aérospatiale of France, and under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India as Hal Chetak and Industria Aeronautică Română in Romania.
The Alouette III is the successor to the Alouette II, being larger and having more seating.
The first version of the Alouette III, the SE 3160 prototype, first flew on 28th February 1959. The SA 316A (SE 3160) entered production in 1961 and remained in production until 1968, when it was replaced by the SA 316B. The last and 1,437th Alouette III left the Marignane assembly lines in 1979, when the main production line in France was closed down. The last Alouette III from Aérospatiale was delivered in 1985.
Over 500 units were manufactured under licence in Romania, India and Switzerland. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) obtained a licence to build Alouette IIIs as the HAL Chetak in India. Over 300 units were produced by HAL as it continued to independently update and indigenize the helicopter over the years, and a variant is still in production though in diminishing volumes. Versions of the Alouette III were also either licence-built or assembled by IAR in Romania (as the IAR 316), F+W Emmen in Switzerland, and by Fokker and Lichtwerk in the Netherlands.
Production numbers are as follows:
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