Alouette III: Austrian Army replaces multi-purpose helicopter

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On May 24, 2024, Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner and Styrian Governor Christopher Drexler ceremoniously said goodbye to the long-serving Alouette III multi-purpose helicopter from the fleet of the Austrian Armed Forces. After 56 years of service, the Alouette III is being replaced by the modern Leonardo AW169.

The Aérospatiale SA-319 Alouette III, in service since 1968, played a central role in Austrian military aviation. Their areas of operation included, among other things, search and rescue missions, transport flights and support for disaster operations. The official cessation of flight operations will take place at the end of the first half of 2024, with operational flight operations ending on December 31, 2023.

The ceremony in Aigen im Ennstal was organized by the air support command and the multi-purpose helicopter squadron. The event marked the end of an era and honored the long and varied service of Alouette III.

With the procurement of the Leonardo AW169, the Federal Army is relying on more modern technology and better equipment in order to meet future challenges. The AW169 offers expanded capabilities and increased performance, better suited to the needs of today's military and civilian operations.

The introduction of the AW169 represents a significant advance in the aviation capacity of the Austrian Armed Forces. This modern helicopter will not only replace the Alouette III, but also contribute to the modernization and increased efficiency of the Austrian Armed Forces.

In her speech, Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner emphasized the importance of modernization for the operational readiness of the Armed Forces and praised the long and reliable service of the Alouette III. State Governor Christopher Drexler also praised the helicopter's achievements and the importance of air support for the region.

Alouette III in action (Photo: Armed Forces).
Alouette III in action (Photo: Armed Forces).