China’s Z-10 Attack Helicopter Debuts In Singapore

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SINGAPORE:Making its first foreign debut at the Singapore Airshow 2024 was China’s Z-10ME helicopter. Part of the static display on the show grounds of Changi Exhibition Centre, the Z-10 was one of three dedicated attack helicopters being showcased, with the other two being American-made Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters operated by the United States Army and Republic of Singapore Air Force. The Z-10ME was one of the very few military aircraft of non-Western origin alongside the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter.

Manufactured by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the Z-10 is a medium multirole attack helicopter developed indigenously. In Singapore, the Z-10ME on display is an export version of the Z-10 and has been said to be equipped with additional armour and an array of sensors that greatly enhance the aircraft’s survivability in combat. It was displayed with a selection of ordnance and equipment, such as the rocket launchers that fire FS70B aerial blast fragmentation rockets, or GR-5 guided rockets, 280-kilogramme drop tanks and other missiles including the TY-90 air-to-air missile (AAM) and CM-502KG air-to-surface missile (ASM). Additionally, the Z-10ME had a chain gun likely to be 23mm mounted on the chin of the helicopter with accompanying munitions displayed in front of the aircraft

Aside from flying with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Pakistan Army announced its intention in 2022 to acquire Z-10MEs after their initial bid to purchase Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T-129 ATAK attack helicopters was unsuccessful. The number of aircraft in the deal was not specified and the Pakistan Army has since reportedly received several Z-10MEs in the past year. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Asian Defence Journal)