Helis, December 10, 2022 - After 60 years of service, the Alouette III leaves active service in the French Navy.
On December 9, a farewell ceremony was held at the Lanveoc base with the last three remaining aircraft: 161, 302 and 997.
Between 1962 and 1964, 37 helicopters were delivered to 20S, 22S and 23S Squadrons where they served primarily as plane-guard ( “Pedro” ) aboard aircraft carriers and ship-borne anti-submarine (ASW) aircraft within 34F when squadron was created in 1974.
During its long career, the type carried out every task imaginable, including training, transport, and search and rescue of civilians, having logged 328,000 flying hours.
The Alouettes were gradually replaced by SA365/AS365 Dauphins.
The last service unit, 22S, began to retire the Alouette III in 2018.
The Alouette III completed last mission in November 2022 operating from supply ship Somme during NATO exercise Silent Wolverine.
Its final replacement, the H160M, won't be available until 2028, so the Navy leased more AS365N3 and H160 helicopters from the private sector as a stopgap.