Military


SE 316 Alouette III Chetak Multipurpose Helicopter

The Chetak Multipurpose Helicopter is an improved version of Alouette III and was awarded civil airworthiness certificate on 12 Dec 1961. It has a tricycle type undercarriage and can carry seven passengers including the pilots. The Helicopter Division manufactures the versatile and Multipurpose Chetak Helicopters for Civil and Military applications both for Domestic and International customers. The Chetak Helicopter is a multi-role, seven seater Helicopter, spacious and simple in design, the Chetak is highly maneuverable and well suited to flying over sea, tropical and desert conditions.

An important component of carrier operations is a helicopter which can be used for various purposes such as search-and-rescue operations when a plane-guard ship is not available, reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, and antiship operations using torpedoes and short-range missiles. With the finalisation of the acquisition of the Vikrant, the requirement of helicopters for the Fleet Air Arm was projected to the French naval authorities. The Alouette II, Bell G2 and Bell G3 helicopters were found to be superior to the British Dragonfly helicopters which had been offered by the Admiralty. The Alouette II was more reliable than the Dragonfly, was cheaper and had been fitted with gas turbine engines which would obviate the necessity of storing petrol on board, as was required for the Dragonfly. It was decided to acquire the latest version of the Alouette helicopter, the Alouette III, from Sud Aviation, France and the first two helicopters arrived in mid -1964 in crates. These were assembled by the Navy's air engineers with the assistance of a French technician at Cochin and embarked on the Vikrant in July 1964.

The Alouette III helicopter which was later converted to its new avatar, Chetak, the Medium -range Antisubmarine Torpedo Carrying Helicopter (MATCH). This helicopter was equipped with antisubmarine weapons comprising two depth-charges or two antisubmarine torpedoes or a mix of the two and was indigenously manufactured by the Hindustan Aircraft limited, Bangalore for operating off the deck of carriers as well as smaller ships such as tankers, frigates, destroyers and even survey ships. Equipped with folding blades, this helicopter was powered by a 8,700-shaft-horse-power turbine and had an endurance of 25 hours, with a maximum speed of 113 knots. It had a crew of three-pilot, copilot and an aircrew in rescue operations at sea.

The Chetak (SE 316 Alouette III) helicopter is a single engine turbine driven helicopter. It is a high performance all purpose all weather aircraft. It is an improved version of Alouette III and was awarded civil airworthiness certificate in 12 Dec 1961. It was originally manufactured in France. They are overhauled in India by M/s HAL Ltd. at their Bangalore division.

The Chetak features a single lifting rotor and antitorque tail rotor powered by a turbine engine. It can carry seven passengers including the pilots. It can be used for transportation of passengers casualty/evacuation, rescue, cargo carrying, reconnaissance weapon carrying and can land and take off snow or water with appropriate equipment installed.

The chopper can be effectively deployed for a variety of civil and military roles that include communication, rescue, aerial survey, cargo and passenger transport and combat. Armed with missiles and torpedoes, it also caters to the exacting requirements of anti submarine and anti tank warfare. The automatic starting system gives the Chetak an uncommon instant start capability cutting down the time from start to take off to less than a minute. With an all up weight of 2200 kg it can cruise at 1 85 kmph covering a range of 500 km and has endurance of 3.40 hours.

An important component of carrier operations is a helicopter which can be used for various purposes suchassearch-and-rescue operations when a plane-guard ship is not available, reconnaissance, antisubmarine warfare, and antiship operations using torpedoes and short-range missiles. With the finalisation of the acquisition of the Vikrant, the requirement of helicopters for the Fleet Air Arm was projected to the French naval authorities.

In 1986 the Government of India formally constituted the Army's Aviation Corps and most Chetak and Cheetahs were transferred from the Air Force on 1st November 1986. The Air Force continued to fly armed Chetaks in the anti-tank role as well as for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and general duties while the lighter Cheetah is operated for Forward Area Control (FAC) flights.

Artouste III B Engine powers both Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. The engine manufacture commenced in 1962 under licence from Turbomeca, France. The engine has side air intake, one axial and one centrifugal compressor connected to a three stage turbine. The power output is 550 SHP at 33500 RPM. The reduction gear box in the front transfers the power to helicopter. More than 665 engines have been manufactured and 2950 engines overhauled & repaired for various customers. Main Characteristics Maximum diameter (m) 0.50 Length (m) 1.815 Weight (kg) 182 Power 550 Specific fuel consumption (kg / shp-hr) 0.346

In the early 1980s, HAL indicated that they were considering discontinuing the production of Chetak helicopters. Since the production of the replacement ALHs would take considerable time, HAL continued production. A total of 85 Chetaks had been inducted into the Navy till 2002, of which 19 have been lost, leaving 66 in service.

As of 2005, the HAL Chetak was scheduled to be replaced by the Dhruv ALH. As an alternative, the Chetak could be re-engined with the Turbomeca TM 333-2B engine. The Chetak was originally powered by Turbomeca's Artouste IIIB engine. The first test flight of the upgraded Chetak, dubbed "Chetan", was carried out in February 2005. According to Turbomeca, a minimum of 200 Chetak helicopters could be upgraded. A similar option exists to re-engine the HAL Cheetah to the Cheetal variant using the TM 333-2B engine as well.


Basic Data
Empty Weight 1230 kg
Total AUW 970 kg
Rate of firing 11.020 meters
Max. range (Gun)
12.897 meters
Max. range (Rockets)
2.602 meters
Performance
Max. speed 210 kmph
Service Ceiling 5400 m
Range 290 km
Endurance 2 hrs 30 min
Rate of climb (SL) 5.5 m/sec



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