Mocked As ‘CopyHawks’, Chinese PAP Force To Receive Z-20 Attack Choppers For In-Country Operations

A promotional video released by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) earlier this month featured the popular Z-20 helicopter alongside other aircraft such as J-20 and Y-20. The video had fuelled speculation that the new Z-20 was an armed varian.

The indigenously developed tactical utility helicopter has now entered service with the Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP) Force, along with the larger, plateau-operable Z-8G transport chopper.

This helicopter will enhance the armed police’s mobility and flexibility in tasks such as counter-terrorism operations, disaster relief, and emergency rescue missions, Global Times claimed.

The helicopters that participated in the drills are Z-20s and Z-8Gs, according to photographs attached to the announcement.

Some Chinese analysts claim this is the first time the Z-20 helicopter has been seen inducted by the Armed Police; following its official premiere at the National Day military parade in Beijing on October 1, 2019.

Western plots to stymie China’s progress by using concerns like Xinjiang and counter-terrorism measures in the region must be resolutely combated, China’s Police Chief had said in January this year.

It is against this backdrop that the delivery of Z-20s to the Armed Police becomes significant. These choppers are expected to be deployed for counter-terrorism operations in the Xinjiang region. Earlier, there was speculation that the Xinjiang Military Command of the PLA was using the medium-lift tactical helicopters Z-20.

The New Z-20

The PAP version of the Z-20 appears remarkably similar to the PLA variant. However, it is painted in olive green and has Chinese characters for “armed police”, according to, a Shanghai-based news website.

Earlier, two new models of Z-20 were inducted by PLA for anti-submarine ωλɾʄλɾɛ and assault, according to reports.

Earlier, two new models of Z-20 were inducted by PLA for anti-submarine ωλɾʄλɾɛ and assault, according to reports.

Deng Jinghui, the chief designer at China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (a part of AVIC) had told China Central Television (CCTV) in November 2020 that he expected the Z-20 to be used not only by the PLA Army, but also by the Air Force, Navy, PAP, and even by foreign clients.

Deng had expressed optimism that the Z-20, a fourth-generation helicopter, will become the country’s most-produced helicopter and remain in service for a long time.

The Chinese Z-20 helicopter has been compared with American Black Hawks. While the latter is available in a variety of configurations, the Chinese chopper employed by the PLA is a medium-lift utility helicopter primarily designed for transport.

Z-8G Seen In PAP Drills

The Z-8G, the other type of helicopter included in the recent PAP exercises, is a 13-ton-class transport helicopter based on the original Z-8 aircraft. It has been designed to operate in high-altitude environments, according to the report.

The chopper made its debut appearance at the 5th China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin, North China, in October 2019. According to, the Z-8G was first seen in service with the PAP in May 2021, when CCTV reported on an earthquake relief simulation in which the PAP took part.

According to experts, the Z-20 and the Z-8G are distinguished by their large load capacity, quick movement, and ability to operate in difficult terrain and conditions, including plateaus.

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