Monday, April 15, 2024

China Showcases Z-10E Helicopter at Singapore Airshow 2024

As the Singapore Airshow kicked off yesterday, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is displaying its advanced Z-10E attack helicopter alongside a range of powerful weapons. The presence of the Z-10E at the Singapore Airshow underscores China’s push to assert its military capabilities on the international stage, particularly in Southeast Asia. The upgraded version of this weapon system achieved early success in the export market as AVIC signed a contract with Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence to replace Pakistan Army Aviation’s obsolete fleet of AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters with the Z-10E.

The basic specifications of Z10E are:

  • Max Speed: 186 mph (300 kph)
  • Service Ceiling: 20,997 ft (6,400 m or 4 miles)
  • Operational Range: 510 miles (820 km)
  • Length: 14.1m
  • Rotor Diameter: 13m
  • Height: 3.8m
  • Maximum Take-off Weight: 8t.

Accompanying the Z-10E at the display were various weapon systems aimed at enhancing its combat effectiveness. Powered by 2x WZ-9 turboshaft engines, it is capable of carrying these armaments:

  • Anti-Tank Missiles: Its main anti-tank armament is CM-502KG air-to-surface missile and unique multipurpose CM-501XA loitering munition
  • Air-to-Air Missiles: Designed for aerial combat, TY-90 missiles can engage and destroy enemy aircraft, drones and loitering munitions
  • Rocket Pods: These pods allow the Z-10E to deliver powerful firepower against ground targets
  • Machine Gun Pods: 1 x 23mm OR 30mm cannon in chin mounting OR 30mm/40mm automatic grenade launcher OR 14.7mm Gatling gun

Aside from these features, the latest upgrade added to Z10-E is its mast-mounted radar, which is usually not used on medium-weight category attack helicopters.

The presence of the Z-10E in the global export market highlights China’s aim to expand its influence in the global arms market. The display of Z-10E along with various fixed and rotatory wings aircraft including Z-9E, C919, KJ-500, L15, JF-17, J-10E, and the latest 5th generation FC31/J35 at the Singapore Airshow highlights China’s growing role in the aerospace industry and its ambition to become a key player in military technology.

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