China’s Z-19E armed helicopter made its maiden flight Thursday in Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Developed by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry, the latest narrow-body tandem-seat armed helicopter was developed to meet the requirements of the international military trade market, according to the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
The Z-19E is also the country's first export-oriented helicopter made especially for attack purposes, Xinhua reported.
"It is able to be deployed for battlefield support and a variety of other missions in a complicated battlefield environment during both day and night," said Li Shengwei, deputy chief designer of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry.
The helicopter has a tandem dual-seat cabin layout, providing both pilots in the front and back with a wide horizon. Its maneuverability and survival possibilities on the battlefield are great improvements, according to Li.
With a maximum take-off weight of 4,250 kilograms, the Z-19E is a light armed helicopter with obvious advantages in cruising speed, climb rate, and usable ceiling, according to its developer.
The Z-19E is mainly intended to attack tanks, armed vehicles, defense works and other targets on the ground.
It can provide direct fire support to ground troops, attack helicopters and other low-altitude targets, fly at a very low altitude and fly as part of a convoy of helicopters.