China continues with the Z-10 attack helicopter development
The Z-10 (Zhisheng-10, or Zhi-10) attack helicopter is being developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Group (CAIG) and China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI), both based in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. The primary mission for the helicopter is anti-armour and battlefield interdiction, with a secondary capability for air-to-air combat. The Z-10 is thought to be in the same class as the Agusta A-129, South African Rooivalk, and German Tiger attack helicopter.
A total of 6~8 prototypes have reportedly been built since 2003. The maiden flight of the helicopter took place on 29 April 2003. These helicopters are currently undergoing intensive flight testing before the design can be finalized and production approved. The helicopter is expected to enter PLA service in 2008/09.
Development of a dedicated attack helicopter began in the mid-1990s at Changhe and CHRDI. Another Chinese helicopter manufacturer, Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Company (HAMC), may have also involved in the design of the helicopter. Chenghe’s parent company, AVIC II, has been working with European partners on the common helicopter dynamic system, which can be used on both the proposed medium helicopter and the attack helicopter. However, China has not sought outside help with the attack helicopter’s mission system, possibly due to security reasons.