Air Weapons

Harbin

Z-9

The Harbin Z-9 is a Chinese-built version of the Aérospatiale Dauphin, one of the most successful French modern helicopters used for a wide variety of military and civilian applications. It is easily recognizable by its attractive fuselage powered by twin turboshaft engines driving a four-blade rotor in addition to the now characteristic Fenestron ducted-fan anti-torque rotor in the tail which was previously introduced in the Gazelle. The Z-9 is essentially a multi-role helicopter capable of preforming a wide variety of land and naval operations including assault transport, anti-ship (equipped with sonar and search radar), anti-tank, and unarmed search and rescue (SAR) in addition to a wide variety of civil duties. Original versions of the Z-9 were nearly identical to their French counterparts but have slowly been redesigned with local components in accordance to Chinese requirements; attack versions are to be replaced eventually by the WZ-10.

First flight of a French-made Z-9 took place in China on 6 February 1982, with initial production units being based on French kits roughly equivalent to the AS 365N1. These were followed by the Z-9A which itself was based on the improved AS 365N1. The first indigenous version was the Z-9B which features a revised Fenestron tail with composite blades and can be used for SAR, artillery direction, troop transport and other (including civil) duties. A navalized version is known as the Z-9C for deployment on destroyers and frigates and features dipping sonar and search radar as well as torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. Finally, the Z-9W (also known as the WZ-9) is a dedicated armed attack platform with a roof-mounted optical sight and which can carry guns, rockets, and anti-tank missiles. An improved night-attack variant is known as the Z-9G.

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignZ-9W
TypeClose Support
Year1989
Crew2
Dimensions
Length13.46 m
Height3.47 m
Rotor Diameter11.00 m
Rotor Disc Area?
Wing Span11.00 m
Wing Area?
Weight
Empty2,050 kg
Maximum4,100 kg
Wing Loading?
Performance
Speed315 km/h
Ceiling6,000 m
Range1,000 km
Powerplant
Engine2 x Wozhou-8A
SAEC
550 kW
Thrust/Weight0.65
Armament
Guns2 x 23-mm
Payload1,600 kg
Hardpoints2
AA WeaponsHJ-8
TY-90
Production
Built80
Total200