Kovozavody Prostejov 1/48 SOKO GAZELLE HN-45M GAMA (JRV)
The Aérospatiale Gazelle (company designations SA 340, SA 341 and SA 342) is a French five-seat helicopter, commonly used for light transport, scouting and light attack duties. It is powered by a single Turbomeca Astazou turbine engine and was the first helicopter to feature a fenestron tail instead of a conventional tail rotor. It was designed by Sud Aviation, later Aérospatiale, and manufactured in France and the United Kingdom through a joint production agreement with Westland Aircraft. Further manufacturing under license was performed by SOKO in Yugoslavia and the Arab British Helicopter Company (ABHCO) in Egypt.
In 1971, former Yugoslavia started licenced production of Gazelle in SOKO factory in Mostar. First bought and produced units entered service in Yugoslav Air Force (Jugoslovensko ratno vazduhoplovstvo – JRV) in 1973. Though mainly used as reconnaissance helicopter, in late 70’s JRV started developing light attack and anti-tank version of SA 342 model. Called HN-45M GAMA (Gazelle – Maljutka), this version integrated light agile helicopter with (at that time) succesful soviet wire guided anti-tank missiles 9M14 ‘’Maljutka”, produced under licence in “Krušik” in Valjevo. GAMA could carry up to 8 Maljutka missiles, but also soviet 9M32 ‘’Strela-2’’ air to air missiles. First unit armed GAMA helicopters was formed in May 1981. SOKO produced Gazelles are still in service today in Serbian Air Force and Police.
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