The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has equipped all of its Army Ground Force with the Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CIAC) WZ-10 attack helicopter.
According to the PLA media, several WZ-10 has been delivered to the 13th Army Group under the Western Theatre Command.
Compared to the Eurocopter Tiger and Denel Rooivalk systems, the WZ-10 was designed for anti-tank missions, but can also be employed as an air-to-air asset.
As reported by Senior Colonel Xu Guolin, deputy chief of the PLA Army’s Aviation Equipment Bureau, all of the PLA’s group armies will have at least one aviation brigade or regiment.
In 2013, the Chinese military paper stated that China has more than 18 group armies. However, it is unclear if the number of group armies remains the same due to the troop cuts introduced at the start of this year.
The WZ-10 can mount different guns — from 23 mm to 30 mm — on its chin turret and has 4 hard points. It can launch 57 mm and 90 mm unguided rockets. As for the missiles, a wide variety can be fixed on its hard points.
CIAC WZ-10 Specs
According to Wikipedia, the WZ-10 can fly with more than 16 missiles.
Missiles: Up to 16 HJ-10 air-to-surface / anti-tank / anti helicopter missiles. ADK10 is reported to be the official name of HJ10 missile.
- Up to 16 HJ-8, HJ-9missiles
- Up to 16 TY-90air-to-air missiles
- Up to 4 PL-5, PL-7, PL-9air-to-air missiles
With a service ceiling of almost 21,000 feet and a maximum range of 820 km, the WZ-10 has the opportunity to stay on station for a good amount of time and offer close air support to the Chinese ground troops.
Its two WZ-9 turboshaft engines are made in Canada by Pratt & Whitney (PT6C-67C) and develop more than 1,350 shaft horsepower each. The WZ-10 has a five-blade main rotor, and 2 x two-bladed twin tail rotors.
When it comes to electronic warfare (EW), the WZ-10 is equipped with the YH-96 Electronic Warfare system, and can degrade incoming signals through its BM/KG300G jamming pod.
The new Chinese attack helicopter is definitely a good addition to the PLA’s combat capabilities and efficiency.