Air Weapons

Changhe

WZ-10

Little is known about the highly advanced Changhe WZ-10 attack helicopter other than it is China's first true indigenous gunship, built to fulfill most of the same battlefield roles as the Franco-German Tiger or the Italian Mangusta, to which it shares a remarkable similarity. From the few available pictures, the WZ-10 follows a conventional gunship layout of a narrow fuselage, a tandem stepped cockpit, and wing stubs for weapons which can include a nose-mounted gun, rockets, anti-tank, and air-to-air missiles for its primary role as a battlefield interdiction platform with secondary air-to-air combat capability. The extent of its technological sophistication is unknown but it is expected to use a fly-by-wire control system and a glass cockpit with other avionics possibly involving a helmet-mounted sight, FLIR, radar warning receivers, and electronic countermeasures. The WZ-10 is currently still in prototype stage, undergoing extensive testing before entering service in 2008/09.

Development of the WZ-10 began by Changhe and CHRDI (China Helicopter Research and Development Institute) in the mid-1990s as a replacement for the WZ-9, basically a locally-built version of the French Dauphin adapted for armed attack missions. While prototypes are equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, production aircraft are expected to use the domestic SAEC WZ9 turboshaft. No other variants are known to exist at this time.

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignWZ-10
TypeClose Support
Year2008
Crew2
Dimensions
Length14.10 m
Height3.85 m
Rotor Diameter13.00 m
Rotor Disc Area?
Wing Span13.00 m
Wing Area?
Weight
Empty5,100 kg
Maximum6,000 kg
Wing Loading?
Performance
Speed295 km/h
Ceiling6,000 m
Range1,120 km
Powerplant
Engine2 x PT6C-67C
Pratt & Whitney
1,268 kW
Thrust/Weight0.61
Armament
Guns1 x 30-mm
Payload?
Hardpoints4
AA WeaponsHJ-9
HJ-10
Production
Built8
Total60