Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama

AéRospatiale SA 315B Lama

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Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama

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The Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama is a French single-engined helicopter developed to meet hot and high operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. It combines the lighter Alouette II airframe with Alouette III components and powerplant. The helicopter was licence built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India as the Cheetah.

An upgraded variant using the Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine is known as the HAL Cheetal.

Design and development

Originally designed to meet an Indian armed forces requirement for operation in hot and high conditions, the Lama combines the Artouste powerplant and rotor system of the Alouette III with a reinforced Alouette II airframe. First flown on 17 March 1969, the SA 315B received its French airworthiness certificate in 1970 and was introduced as the Lama in July 1971.

As with the Alouette series, the Lama can be fitted for various roles, such as light passenger transport or agricultural tasks. The military variants include liaison, observation, photography, air/sea rescue, transport and ambulance duties. The SA315B is particularly suited to mountainous areas due to its performance and can carry underslung loads of up to 1000&nbsp;kg (2,205&nbsp;lb).

In 2006-7, HAL proposed a variant known as the HAL Cheetal with an updated Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine for Indian Army operations on the Siachen Glacier. An...
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