China will continue to develop attack helicopters to build on the success of the WZ-10 and WZ-19 unveiled last year, said Du Wenlong, a military analyst from Beijing, in a interview with the People’s Daily Online, the official website of the state-run People’s Daily.
The WZ-10 and WZ-19 — China’s first generation of indigenous attack helicopters — were designed by the Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation and Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, according to Du. He said that the PLA’s Z-9 helicopters can be modified to become attack helicopters, but the WZ-10 and WZ-19 mark a milestone in the country’s aircraft development.
The expert said that there are still room for improvements, however. Equipped with eight missiles, Du said that the WZ-10 is able to destroy all of its targets on the ground, but it is still unable to fight against other helicopters in aerial combat. In addition, he added that current PLA helicopters would not be able to defeat the AH-1W helicopters used by Taiwan’s ROC Army without the cover provided by fixed-wing aircraft.
|WZ-19 Attack Helicopter
Du said that China must continue to develop more advanced and heavier attack helicopters with similar capabilities to the US AH-64 Apache helicopters, and Russia’s Ka-50 and Ka-52.