China’s Military Helicopter Programme

9 January 2014. Recent images of the Internet in China suggest that Beijing is making significant progress with their programs of military helicopters.

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Harbin Z-19

The latest batch of pictures show a Harbin Z – 19 with what looks like a radar system mounted on the mast. The Z-19 , which is roughly comparable to lighter attack helicopters such as the Airbus Tiger Helicopters, is capable of carrying anti- tank missiles and is usually equipped with a chin mounted cannon .

It is unclear whether the system is mounted on the mast , in fact , a real radar, or simply a model to test the aerodynamics of the system. Mast mounted radars such as that conducted by the Boeing Apache Longbow AH- 64E greatly enhance the ability of a helicopter attack to identify and engage targets at great distances.

The Z -19 is one of two helicopter programs dedicated Chinese attack . The other is the heaviest CAIC WZ- 10, which is roughly comparable to Apache.

The development of Z – 19 still images last month that appeared to show the first flight of a utility helicopter developed locally very similar to the Sikorsky UH -60 Black Hawk . The plane is similar in design to the platform S – 70 of U.S. Serial , But has a five-blade main rotor , as opposed to four.

Following the appearance of the images, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense confirmed that Beijing is developing a new helicopter. Chinese military experts have unofficially qualified new type of utility as the Harbin Z-20 .

The Chinese military still operates 20 S – 70C received in the mid 1980s.

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