The Z-10 is the first dedicated modern Chinese attack helicopter

 



The Z-10 is the new Chinese attack helicopter. Its development began in the mid-1990s. It has been designed with extensive technical assistance from Eurocopter and Agusta. Other sources claim that development of the Z-10 has been assisted by Russian Kamov helicopter design bureau.




Prototype of the Z-10 made its maiden flight in 2003. Initial production gunships were delivered to the Chinese army in around 2009-2010. Currently the Z-10 gunship is widely used by the Chinese army aviation. This helicopter has been exported to Pakistan. A first batch of 3 helicopters was delivered in 2015.




The Z-10 is the first dedicated modern Chinese attack helicopter. It is believed that it is in the same class as the AH-2 Rooivalk and the A-129 Mangusta, however it is not as capable as the AH-64 Apache. Primary mission of the Z-10 is anti-armor and battlefield interdiction. It also has some limited air-to-air combat capabilities.




The Z-10 helicopter has a standard gunship configuration with a narrow fuselage and stepped tandem cockpits. Gunner is seated at the front and the pilot is at the rear. The fuselage has sloped sides to reduce radar cross section. All vital areas are believed to be protected by armor plates.




System of the Z-10 may consist of 30 mm cannon, HJ-8 or HJ-9 anti-tank guided missiles (comparable to the TOW-2A), newly developed HJ-10 anti-tank missiles (comparable to the AGM-114 Hellfire) and TY-90 air-to-air missiles. It can also carry unoperated rocket pods.




The prototype of the Z-10 was powered by two Canadian Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboshaft engines, developing 1 531 shp each. However indigenous engines were planned to be used on production helicopters. It is likely that the Z-10 might use engines of the WZ-9 helicopter, however these are less powerful than Canadian design.




This helicopter may be fitted with a fly-by-wire control, helmet-mounted sight for head-up display, television and forward-looking infrared sensors, radar and laser warning receivers, infrared jammer and decoy dispensers.



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