The Z-20 helicopter, China’s answer to Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, could have new variants to perform anti-submarine warfare, patrol and reconnaissance missions.
“The Z-20 helicopter can be modified into special-mission variants for anti-submarine warfare, patrol and reconnaissance duties,” Wang Ya'nan, a military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.
China plans to develop the Z-20 into series and build 2,000-3,000 units. Aside of equipping its military and police, it will reportedly produce the rotorcraft for export.
The 10 ton-class medium-lift utility chopper, Z-20, made its debut at the National Day Parade in October 2019. It 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.
The helicopter can rapidly deliver key equipment, goods and combat personnel, or retrieve the wounded from the frontline. It can also work with warships including amphibious landing ships and aircraft carriers.
The Z-20 is the first Chinese helicopter to use domestically developed anti-icing and de-icing technology for rotors, which makes China the fourth country in the world to possess such technology. It features domestic engines powerful enough for it to fly in low-oxygen plateaus.