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China’s Pride, the Z-10ME Attack Helicopter, Makes Its Debut at Singapore Air Show

The export variant of the Z-10ME attack helicopter, developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC), will be showcased at the Singapore Air Show 2024, providing international defense observers an opportunity to closely examine the aircraft.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — For the first time, China’s Z-10ME attack helicopter, a competitor to the United States’ AH-64D Apache, made its international debut in Singapore.

The export variant of the Z-10ME attack helicopter, developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC), was showcased at the Singapore Air Show 2024, providing international defense observers an opportunity to closely examine the aircraft.

This pride of China’s defense industry will be part of a static display at the ‘Singapore Air Show 2024,’ which runs from tomorrow until February 25.

It will “compete” with Singapore and the United States’ AH-64 Apache helicopters also participating in this defense exhibition.

Some have noted that the Z-10ME’s design closely resembles the “Tiger” attack helicopter.

Z-10ME
Z-10ME

 

The Chinese-made attack helicopter has been extensively used by the country’s army aviation units in large-scale exercises near Taiwan and India.

Reports indicate that some variants of the Z-10 used by China’s army aviation units are powered by engines co-developed with the French firm, Safran Helicopter Engines.

This collaboration with the French company enables the Z-10 attack helicopter to operate at high altitudes, particularly in the mountainous regions along the China-India border.

However, it remains uncertain if the export variants of the Chinese attack helicopter are equipped with the jointly developed engines.

Moreover, reports suggest that the Chinese attack helicopter is equipped with Millimeter Wave Radar (MWR), similar to the United States’ AH-64D Apache.

 To date, aside from Pakistan, it is unclear which other countries in the world operate the Z-10ME attack helicopter.

Z-10
Z-10

 

Last year, Pakistan reportedly began receiving the Z-10ME attack helicopters from China, following its efforts to acquire the T129 ATAK attack helicopter from Turkey was rebuffed due to United States’ restrictions.

The delivery of the Chinese attack helicopters to Pakistan further strengthens the military relationship between the South Asian country and Beijing.

 In recent years, Pakistan has emerged as a major user of Chinese-manufactured defense systems, from fighter aircraft to warships.

 Prior to acquiring the Z-10ME, Islamabad had signed a contract with Turkey in 2018 to purchase 20 ATAK attack helicopters developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for US$1.5 billion (RM6.75 billion).

Despite being manufactured by Turkey, the T129 ATAK’s engines are supplied by the United States, giving Washington the power to “veto” its sale to Pakistan.

The LHTEC T800-4A engines used by the ATAK are developed by the American company, Honeywell, and the British engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce.

Apache
AH-64 “Apache”.

 

(MORE TO READ) THE UNITED STATES IS ABOUT TO DITCH AH-64D HELICOPTER

For the development of the ATAK-2 attack helicopter, Turkey initially used engines from a Ukrainian company before switching to domestically produced engines to avoid repeating the unfortunate episode with Pakistan.

Once it became clear that the United States was unwilling to issue an export license for Turkey to sell the ATAK attack helicopter to Pakistan, Islamabad restarted negotiations with China.

The Chinese attack helicopter, Z-10ME, developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC), weighs six tons and is equipped with a variety of weaponry to perform missions and operations in all weather conditions, day or night.

It is armed with air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles. – DSA

Notis

 

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