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|Aviation Legere de L'Armee de Terre|
|French Army Light Aviation|
From 1943 several observation units had been formed with American assistance within the Free French Air Force, for artillery spotting using light aircraft. At the end of the war, these units were greatly reduced in numbers. The war in Indochina showed once again the importance of these units and in March 1953 a degree of autonomy within the Air Force was achieved with the creation of the Aviation Legere d’Observation d’Artillerie (ALOA). On 22 November 1954 these units became a wholly Army-maintained force called the Aviation Legere de L’Armee de Terre (ALAT). It’s main roles are reconnaissance, attack and transport.
|1943||Artillery observation units formed in FFAF.|
|3 March 1953||Aviation Legere d’Observation d’Artillerie created within AdlA|
|1953||First helicopters received – Bell 47D|
|22 November 1954||French Army air arm officially established|
The ALAT aircraft and helicopters are fully operational.
No plan known.
Current — Historical
Aircraft Serial Numbers
French Army aircraft carry French military serial numbers which are usually based on the manufacturers construction number for the airframe concerned, e.g. SA.330B Puma 1062. In addition, each aircraft carries a 3-letter code, e.g. AZE for the same Puma, which corresponds to it’s radio callsign – with letters in the range F-MAAA to F-MIZZ.
The radio callsigns carried by ALAT aircraft and helicopters were originally allocated in blocks to specific units, but in 2009 the ALAT started to switch over to allocating the blocks to specific aircraft types. Thus the unit can no longer be inferred from the callsign displayed.
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
Commandement de l’ALAT, 78129 Villacoublay-Air.
The basic unit of ALAT is the Regiment d’Helicopteres de Combat (RHC). Each of which comprises:
One Escadrille de Commandement et des Services (ECS – HQ Squadron)
One Escadrille de Soutien et de Ravitaillement (ESR – Supply and Provision Squadron)
One Escadrille d’Helicopteres de Reconnaissance (EHR – Recce Squadron)
One or two Escadrille d’Helicopteres d’Appui Protection (EHAP – Strike Helicopter Squadron)
Three Escadrille d’Helicopteres d’Attaque (EHA – Attack Helicopter Squadron)
One Escadrille d’Helicopteres de Manoeuvre (EHM – Assault Transport and Heavy Lift Squadron)
Regional liaison squadrons are designated Groupe d’Helicopteres Legers (GHL)
Current Order of Battle
Historical Orders of Battle
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
See Order of Battle listing.
All-Time Air Bases Used List
In addition to the main bases there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Army.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.
French Military Aviation by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
World Air Power Journal No.10 p.152
Air Forces Research Nos.10, 11 & 12