China is preparing to unveil its highly anticipated Z-20 helicopter, seen as a competitor to the United States UH-60 Black Hawk at the National Day parade on October 1.
Various state owned media reported quoting defence experts while CCTV carried footage of the chopper with the Peoples Liberation Army tail number.
The Z-20 is a member of China's most advanced "20 series" aircraft, with the others being the J-20 stealth fighter jet, the Y-20 large transport plane and the H-20 strategic bomber.
China has benchmarked its military hardware against US weapons and platforms with the Z-20 seen as an alternative to the US made UH-60 Black Hawk, a highly rated helicopter used by the US Marines and other wings of the US armed forces. Likewise, the J-20 is seen as an “alternative” to the F-35 fighter jet.
The direct benchmarking has helped Chinese companies in marketing their wares in the international arms market.
The Z-20 is a 10 ton-class medium-lift utility helicopter often compared to the US' UH-60 Black Hawk. It can have different versions to adapt to different terrain and weather, and is expected to be used by both the army and navy, analysts said, noting it could operate on plateaus and naval vessels, Global Times reported.
China's Ministry of National Defense confirmed the Z-20's development in 2013, when media reported a Z-20 made a trial flight at that time. Since then the Z-20 has made appearances in Airshow China in Zhuhai.