In 1968, Sud-Aviation received a request of the Indian Air Force for a helicopter capable of operate in high altitude.
Differences between the Alouette II includes three tail rotor blades, forward U/C dampers and strike guard over T/R drive shaft.
It was primarily built in India as HAL Cheetah and in Brazil as Helibras HB.315B Gaviao
On June 21, 1972 a Lama reach major altitude world record for an helicopter: 12.442 m ( ~ 41,000 ft )
It was the main rescue helicopter on both the asian Himalayas and southamerican Andes for decades, being succeeded from 1997 by the B3 variant of the Squirell
SA315 Lama differs from the SA313 Alouette II principally in its single Turbomeca Artouste IIIb engine. Hover performance (in and out of ground effect) was also improved by a factor of 5.
WWII plane rescue in the Andes Mountains, 21-Feb-00 : Argentine Lamas worked at 1947 plane crash site 2048 m (8,100 feet) high in the Andes Mountains to bring down remains of the Avro Lancastrian Star Dust missing for decades
Lama celebrates 30 Years, 15-Mar-99 : Marignane, France - On March 17, 1969 the SA315B Lama made its maiden flight. Three years later, on June 21, 1972, Jean Boulet reached an altitude of 12,442m, setting an outright world altitude record that remains unbeaten to this day.