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PLA reveals details of Z-10 attack helicopter, 'superior to foreign counterparts’

Beidou2020

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PLA reveals details of Z-10 attack helicopter, 'superior to foreign counterparts'
Liu Xuanzun
04:50 Dec 22 2021
An armed helicopter fleet launches an assault on the defense works and firing points of the mock terrorists during the low-altitude defense penetration operations in the China-Russia joint military exercise ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 at a training base of the PLA Army in Qingtongxia City of West China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from August 9 to 13, 2021. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Wang Weidong)

An armed helicopter fleet launches an assault on the defense works and firing points of the mock terrorists during the low-altitude defense penetration operations in the China-Russia joint military exercise ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 at a training base of the PLA Army in Qingtongxia City of West China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from August 9 to 13, 2021. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn/Wang Weidong
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) revealed many details of the country's domestically developed Z-10 attack helicopter in a recent program aired by the state broadcaster, introducing its outstanding, unique capabilities in modern warfare against tanks, infantry and other choppers.

As the first type of attack helicopter domestically developed by China, the Z-10 has been commissioned by the PLA in large numbers in recent years, including an aerial assault brigade affiliated with the 83rd Group Army, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

With a range of 1,120 kilometers, the Z-10 has an empty weight of about 5,100 kilograms. It has four external hardpoints that can carry air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles as well as rockets, plus a 23 millimeter caliber revolver gun, according to CCTV's report.

The helicopter can be armed with up to 16 anti-tank missiles, four 7-barrel multiple rocket launchers or two 32-barrel multiple rocket launchers. For different missions, different configurations will be used. For example, missiles will be used against armored vehicles and tanks, and rockets and the gun will be used against infantry targets, Zhang Zhengfei, an ace pilot at the brigade, told CCTV.

When attacking a hostile tank group, the Z-10 will usually carry eight air-to-ground missiles and two multiple rocket launchers, Zhang said, explaining that the missile has an accuracy of 85 percent and each Z-10 sortie can at least destroy six enemy tanks.

A standard group of four Z-10s can carry 32 anti-tank missiles, eight 57 millimeter caliber multiple rocket launchers and four guns, and this is enough to wipe out three tank companies, CCTV said.

The Z-10 can also launch the 50 kilogram-class TY-90 air-to-air missile against hostile helicopters, the report mentioned.

For defense, the helicopter is also equipped with armor made of composite materials that have a protective capability which far surpasses the strength of titanium alloy or steel, CCTV reported, noting that the materials are also lighter.

The pilot of the Z-10 uses a specially made helmet that can display all key parameters and battlefield dynamics directly onto the visor. The pilot can even use the helmet to aim, as the weapons will point to wherever the pilot is looking to through the helmet, according to the report.

Thanks to its good aerodynamic design, domestically made engines, excellent handling and maneuverability, the Z-10 is easier to control, has a longer range and a better multi-tasking capability than its foreign counterparts, like the Eurocopter Tiger, CCTV mentioned.

In October, the Z-10 helicopter was spotted in PLA exercises near the island of Taiwan for the first time.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times that the Z-10 has very strong firepower and world-class avionics systems, and it can attack both ground, sea and air targets.

The Z-10 can play a unique role in amphibious landing missions, Fu said.

Having a record of operations in Northwest China's high-altitude desert regions and Southwest China's Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, the Z-10 can also handle China's high-elevation border regions, observers said.
 

Beast

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Z-10 being a later design compare to Apache , Kamov and Cobra, is much stealthy with emphasize on reducing RCS. The range of Z-10 is also the longest among these gunship.

But gunship are more and more vulnerable against ballistic missile attack. Nowadays, many strategic ballistic missile can easily achieved 400 - 700 km striking range and warhead fitted with cluster bomblet , can easily cover a gunship airfield and knock out most while on ground.
 

FuturePAF

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Z-10 being a later design compare to Apache , Kamov and Cobra, is much stealthy with emphasize on reducing RCS. The range of Z-10 is also the longest among these gunship.

But gunship are more and more vulnerable against ballistic missile attack. Nowadays, many strategic ballistic missile can easily achieved 400 - 700 km striking range and warhead fitted with cluster bomblet , can easily cover a gunship airfield and knock out most while on ground.

When the PLA’s Z-10s exercise, so they ever base out of austere bases or makeshift bases like Highways? I’d assume in the event of heightened tensions, most militaries move their assets to distribution sites to not get knocked out in the even of an attack like you described.

If China procured the Mi-28, a heavier helicopter in the same weight league with the Apache, that has been developed with austere basing from the design phase, China could benefit from their experience (along with all the systems on the helicopter, particularly its ruggedized powerful engines)

The Z-10 is a great medium weight helicopter with lower signatures, but if the mission is to carry a lot more firepower, a Mi-28 or Apache class helicopter maybe needed, especially at higher altitudes like the LAC where a more powerful helicopter maybe needed to compensate for the thinner air.
 

Beast

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When the PLA’s Z-10s exercise, so they ever base out of austere bases or makeshift bases like Highways? I’d assume in the event of heightened tensions, most militaries move their assets to distribution sites to not get knocked out in the even of an attack like you described.

If China procured the Mi-28, a heavier helicopter in the same weight league with the Apache, that has been developed with austere basing from the design phase, China could benefit from their experience (along with all the systems on the helicopter, particularly its ruggedized powerful engines)

The Z-10 is a great medium weight helicopter with lower signatures, but if the mission is to carry a lot more firepower, a Mi-28 or Apache class helicopter maybe needed, especially at higher altitudes like the LAC where a more powerful helicopter maybe needed to compensate for the thinner air.
How can helo escaped the attack when ballistic missile outrange their combat radius?

Most will assume, they are very safe at 400km to 500km from Frontline. Due to the flexibility of gunship and low requirement of airfield. They are likely near front line to support spearhead troops. So highly harden shelter for gunship is unlikely.
 

Song Hong

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The next generation of infantry support is UAV, in complement with attack copters. The experience in Afghanistan demonstrated that although Apache has good survivability and excellent in accomplishing mission, the chopper always ended in the base with massive bullet holes and damage -- beyond repair.

In a dense bazooka and large bullet machine gun environment, the returning apache will have to be thrown away.

This is one reason US army has yet to issue defence R&D contract on next generation attack chopper till now despite Apache is already about 40 years old in service.

The next generation ground support will be attack chopper or mobile field control controlling large number of UAV.
 

FuturePAF

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How can helo escaped the attack when ballistic missile outrange their combat radius?

Most will assume, they are very safe at 400km to 500km from Frontline. Due to the flexibility of gunship and low requirement of airfield. They are likely near front line to support spearhead troops. So highly harden shelter for gunship is unlikely.

when tensions go up, and before any attack, helicopters could be distributed to “mini-bases”. In a similar strategy as to the Swiss, fake villages along road sides could hide bunkers where helicopters could be stationed.

 

FuturePAF

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PLA reveals details of Z-10 attack helicopter, 'superior to foreign counterparts'
Liu Xuanzun
04:50 Dec 22 2021
An armed helicopter fleet launches an assault on the defense works and firing points of the mock terrorists during the low-altitude defense penetration operations in the China-Russia joint military exercise ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 at a training base of the PLA Army in Qingtongxia City of West China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from August 9 to 13, 2021. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Wang Weidong)'s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from August 9 to 13, 2021. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Wang Weidong)

An armed helicopter fleet launches an assault on the defense works and firing points of the mock terrorists during the low-altitude defense penetration operations in the China-Russia joint military exercise ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 at a training base of the PLA Army in Qingtongxia City of West China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from August 9 to 13, 2021. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn/Wang Weidong
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) revealed many details of the country's domestically developed Z-10 attack helicopter in a recent program aired by the state broadcaster, introducing its outstanding, unique capabilities in modern warfare against tanks, infantry and other choppers.

As the first type of attack helicopter domestically developed by China, the Z-10 has been commissioned by the PLA in large numbers in recent years, including an aerial assault brigade affiliated with the 83rd Group Army, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

With a range of 1,120 kilometers, the Z-10 has an empty weight of about 5,100 kilograms. It has four external hardpoints that can carry air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles as well as rockets, plus a 23 millimeter caliber revolver gun, according to CCTV's report.

The helicopter can be armed with up to 16 anti-tank missiles, four 7-barrel multiple rocket launchers or two 32-barrel multiple rocket launchers. For different missions, different configurations will be used. For example, missiles will be used against armored vehicles and tanks, and rockets and the gun will be used against infantry targets, Zhang Zhengfei, an ace pilot at the brigade, told CCTV.

When attacking a hostile tank group, the Z-10 will usually carry eight air-to-ground missiles and two multiple rocket launchers, Zhang said, explaining that the missile has an accuracy of 85 percent and each Z-10 sortie can at least destroy six enemy tanks.

A standard group of four Z-10s can carry 32 anti-tank missiles, eight 57 millimeter caliber multiple rocket launchers and four guns, and this is enough to wipe out three tank companies, CCTV said.

The Z-10 can also launch the 50 kilogram-class TY-90 air-to-air missile against hostile helicopters, the report mentioned.

For defense, the helicopter is also equipped with armor made of composite materials that have a protective capability which far surpasses the strength of titanium alloy or steel, CCTV reported, noting that the materials are also lighter.

The pilot of the Z-10 uses a specially made helmet that can display all key parameters and battlefield dynamics directly onto the visor. The pilot can even use the helmet to aim, as the weapons will point to wherever the pilot is looking to through the helmet, according to the report.

Thanks to its good aerodynamic design, domestically made engines, excellent handling and maneuverability, the Z-10 is easier to control, has a longer range and a better multi-tasking capability than its foreign counterparts, like the Eurocopter Tiger, CCTV mentioned.

In October, the Z-10 helicopter was spotted in PLA exercises near the island of Taiwan for the first time.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times that the Z-10 has very strong firepower and world-class avionics systems, and it can attack both ground, sea and air targets.

The Z-10 can play a unique role in amphibious landing missions, Fu said.

Having a record of operations in Northwest China's high-altitude desert regions and Southwest China's Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, the Z-10 can also handle China's high-elevation border regions, observers said.

Two Questions:

1. has the Z-10ME performed in high altitude near the Indian border? The Apache’s engines are powerful enough to allow the aircraft to carry a decent load and still fly over high mountains in a dry hot environment. The PA will need to know this so it can know how best to utilize this helicopter if acquired not only in a possible Indian conflict, but to deal with miscreants threatening CPEC projects/trade and FC troops in KPK and Baluchistan.


2. Does the Z-10ME has a MMW radar version planned? I know there is a radar being developed for the Z-19 but I haven’t heard if the Z-10ME has a “Longbow” style radar planned.
 
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FuturePAF

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Z-10 attack helicopter drill at 4300 meters above the sea level in Tibet near China India border

Now that engines have been upgraded, any chance getting the originally planned sensor back on the front?

It would allow the pilot and gunner to operate two separate EO/IR sensors and work in a hunter killer mode, making kills easier. It would help make the helicopter on par with the Apache in terms of all capabilities except payload, which may not be necessary for most missions, while the two separate sensors would really help. Also, the additional weight shouldn’t be that much more the. Has already been added to the helicopter.

Btw, the performance of the latest Apache’s main Eo/Ir Sensor is equal to the Sniper Pod the PAF already uses on its F-16s.

If the following data is correct, and the Apache’s sensor matches the Sniper pod, if the Apache is flying at 40,000 feet it could use its Laser designator to 27 km and it’s FLIR sensor out to over 97km

1660369416934.jpeg
 
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Hamartia Antidote

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When the PLA’s Z-10s exercise, so they ever base out of austere bases or makeshift bases like Highways? I’d assume in the event of heightened tensions, most militaries move their assets to distribution sites to not get knocked out in the even of an attack like you described.

If China procured the Mi-28, a heavier helicopter in the same weight league with the Apache, that has been developed with austere basing from the design phase, China could benefit from their experience (along with all the systems on the helicopter, particularly its ruggedized powerful engines)

The Z-10 is a great medium weight helicopter with lower signatures, but if the mission is to carry a lot more firepower, a Mi-28 or Apache class helicopter maybe needed, especially at higher altitudes like the LAC where a more powerful helicopter maybe needed to compensate for the thinner air.

Unfortunately as has been seen in Ukraine (and predicted years ago) flying a helicopter across the battlefield is simply not an option anymore.

Even helicopters hugging the ground are getting hit by man portable missiles.

The best thing now is to design aircraft that can fly higher,faster, and further to avoid missiles…like the tilt rotor V-280 Valor.

1660438541881.jpeg
 
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FuturePAF

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Unfortunately as has been seen in Ukraine (and predicted years ago) flying a helicopter across the battlefield is simply not an option anymore.

Even helicopters hugging the ground are getting hit by man portable missiles.

The best thing now is to design aircraft that can fly higher,faster, and further to avoid missiles…like the tilt rotor V-280 Valor.

View attachment 870479

As defenses evolve, helicopters will have to reduce their signatures and manage their flights to avoid threats. Areas with suspected Pop up threats will have to dealt with manned-unmanned options. Bell’s Invictus is a decent design that with a total horsepower as the Z-10. The Z-10 could evolve to meet similar performance benchmarks (except the asymmetrical engine exhaust). But I agree, faster will help but higher may only help if dealing with manpads.
 

Hamartia Antidote

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As defenses evolve, helicopters will have to reduce their signatures and manage their flights to avoid threats.

It’s going to get far more difficult as new generations of missiles add computer vision on top of their thermal and radar detectors. This is going to make flying far more dangerous during daytime when a missile can visually pick out a helicopter from its flares/chaff.
 
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Abramar

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It’s going to get far more difficult as new generations of missiles add computer vision on top of their thermal and radar detectors. This is going to make flying far more dangerous during daytime when a missile can visually pick out a helicopter from its flares/chaff.
What the **** is "computer vision"?
 

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