Over those five decades, the helicopter logged over 300,000 flight hours, operated by ‘Drones’, faithful custodians of all the traditions of the existing light helicopter squadrons in Portugal, since 1978. At the time of its decommissioning, the aircraft was operated by Squadron 552, the ‘Zangões’.
The Alouette III had carried out missions during the Colonial War and supported the peacekeeping mission in Timor. It also performed tactical transport and supported helicopter pilot training.
The helicopter will be replaced by the Leonardo AW119MKII Koala, which was ordered in 2018. The first two units were delivered in 2019, but three more are to arrive.