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Sunday April 14, 2024

China’s Z-10 attack helicopter makes foreign debut

Helicopter, which has chin-mounted chain gun and was displayed alongside several types of compatible missiles and rockets, sat not far from a Boeing

By Agencies
February 23, 2024
This image shows the Chinese militarys WZ-10 attack helicopters during a flight training exercise on May 10, 2022. — China Military via Global Times
This image shows the Chinese military's WZ-10 attack helicopters during a flight training exercise on May 10, 2022. — China Military via Global Times

SINGAPORE: China’s AVIC displayed its Z-10 attack helicopter for the first time outside its home country at the Singapore Airshow, the only non-Western design on display in a year in which no Russian defence companies were in attendance.

The model has only one known export customer, Pakistan, and no sales have been announced so far at the air show, where the trade portion ends on Friday.

“The Z-10 may appeal to some of those countries that don’t have access to US defence technology,” said Douglas Barrie of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. “After-sales logistics and maintenance support would be a challenge, given Beijing’s relative inexperience in this area.”

AVIC representatives at the air show declined to comment.

The helicopter, which has a chin-mounted chain gun and was displayed alongside several types of compatible missiles and rockets, sat not far from a Boeing. “The performance and capabilities of this platform would certainly make it of interest for export,” said Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “A key capability gap would be a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) type capability to allow the Z-10 crew to control UAVs and loitering munitions. The experience being gained in Ukraine suggests that attack helicopter and armed reconnaissance helicopter operations over a future battlespace will depend increasingly on a MUM-T capability.”