|WZ-10 (File Photo)|
The development of Chinese armed helicopters as represented by the WZ-10 and WZ-19 continues to draw international attention. Du Wenlong, a military expert, responded to media questions by saying that WZ-10 was only a starting point and that China would go on to develop heavy-duty armed helicopters.
When asked where the development of Chinese armed helicopters stands currently, Du Wenlong said that China's WZ-10 and WZ-19 should be seen as a revolution in Chinese armed helicopters for special purposes. Although we have had armed helicopters in the past, they were for general service. For example, the WZ-9 could serve as a transport and an attack helicopter, and also as a platform for other air missions. However, since the WZ-9 was based on upgrading a general armed helicopter, it could not meet special demands in such areas as attack, protection and electronics.
Du Wenlong said that the WZ-10 displayed at the air show had impressed them very deeply. WZ-10 has a very narrow fuselage. Its reflective surface and therefore its vulnerability to attack would be relatively smaller. The probability of successfully hitting it with weaponry in a counter-attack would be relatively low. In addition, WZ-10 can carry a payload of 8 guided missiles. While the counter party’s ground targets might be rock solid against an infantry attack, they could not withstand a single blow from this armed helicopter.
As pointed out by Du Wenlong, China has now made a breakthrough in armed helicopters in comparison with the developed countries. In the future, China will have its own heavy-duty armed helicopters corresponding to the U.S. Apache helicopter, and the Russian Ka-50 and Ka-52 helicopters. The WZ-10 is therefore just a starting point.
Edited and Translated by Yan Meng, People's Daily Online
Read the Chinese version: 专家:武直10只是起点 中国将发展重型武装直升机, source: People's Daily Online