China will unveil its Z-10ME attack helicopter at the Zhuhai Air Show in November, billed as a low-priced alternative to the US-made Apache attack helicopter but with similar firepower and engine thrust.
Chinese state-run media reported today that the Z-10ME was an improved version of the Z-10 in use by ground and air forces of the People's Liberation Army.
A new engine will be installed that may increase the chopper's maximum power from 935 kilowatts to 1,200 kilowatts. The Z-10ME also has improved mobility, protection and firepower, the article said.
Z-10 medium attack helicopters can be adapted to the desert and the sea, Global Times on Thursday quoting military expert Song Zhongping.
"Many countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America are in need of medium attack helicopters cheaper than the US-made AH-64 Apache but with sufficient firepower," Song said.
Song referred to the Z-10 as a cost-effective choice, over which China enjoys full intellectual property rights. "Therefore, we (China) can offer effective after-sales service and even accept loans and some technology transfer," Song said.
The PLA has had the Z-10 for about a decade and the Z-10ME could now be offered to the global market with potential buyers including Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait expected to show interest.
Interestingly, China's biggest customer for arms, Pakistan recently selected Turkey's ATAK combat helicopter, billed as another Apache competitor, over the Chinese Z-10, presumably as the Turkish chopper better met Islamabad's requirements.
Pakistan may have selected the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK helicopter over the Chinese Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) Z-10 and sales negotiations are expected to start soon. Both helicopters manufacturers were in the race to supply the Pakistan Army with a light attack helicopter in excess of 50 units with an initial negotiation involving 30 choppers
The Chinese army has finished equipping its ground force aviation units with advanced WZ-10 combat helicopters. Several WZ-10s have been delivered to an aviation brigade of the PLA 13th Group Army under the Western Theater Command, the China military's TV news channel report was quoted by
Pakistan has received three Chinese Z-10 attack helicopters to replace its American Cobra helicopter. As per a contract in January this year, China has transferred three Z-10 "Thunderbolt" attack helicopters to Pakistan, which has become China's staunchest ally and largest weapons buyer, Popular Science reported
China has threatened the United States with ‘consequences if it does withdraw sanctions against the procurement wing of the Chinese military imposed on Thursday. "We strongly urge the US side to immediately correct its mistake and withdraw the so-called sanctions
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