The Aérospatiale Alouette II (French, Lark) is a French light helicopter. It is the first production helicopter to be powered by a gas turbine engine instead of the conventional heavier piston powerplant. In 1955, the prototype performed its maiden flight. The Alouette II was a very popular military and civilian helicopter. It was mostly used for military purposes in observation, photography, air-sea rescue, liaison and training, but it has also carried anti-tank missiles and machine guns.
In return for Israel’s cooperation with France during the 1956 Suez Crisis, France provided some of the most modern military equipment they had to offer including the Alouette II. The Alouette II’s were very popular with the IAF and took part in every military operation unitl being retired in the 1980’s. The compact cockpit was provided with a dome-shapred windscreen which provided for excellent levels of external visibility. It was the first helicopter worldwide to be equipped with anti-tank munitions in the form of the SS.11 wire-guided anti-tank missile. It could also be armed with machine guns.