Problems with China's Attack Helicopters

Discussion in 'China' started by Armand2REP, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    Chinese newspaper "Zhongguo bao Tsinnyan" published an article by a professor, Academy of Military Sciences of PLA senior colonel Du Wenlong the problems of equipping the Chinese army's attack helicopters.

    In addition to general assessments, Chinese expert issues re-PLA Army Aviation, the article touches rarely mentioned info in the literature and little mentioned in any official Chinese sources.

    The following is the basic content of the article by Du Wenlong.

    Attack helicopters in the history of the PLA

    The problem of equipping the army helicopter gunships had been realized with the exigencies of the Chinese military leadership after the success of the U.S. and its allies, "Operation Desert Storm." The lack of helicopters was seen as one of the key obstacles to modernization of PLA.

    Earlier experiments were carried out in China for installation in the arms produced in the countries of the Soviet helicopter license Z-5 (MI-4). However, due to lack of necessary attack helicopter fire control system, lack of engine power and vulnerability of this machine from ground-based air defenses, the experiment was declared a failure. The first real combat helicopters were purchased by the PLA in the 1980s, a limited edition French SA342 Gazelle. As a result of operation of this machine is the Chinese came to the conclusion that it does not fully meet the needs of the PLA. Small (2 tons), the mass platform severely limited combat capabilities and the range of possible application of this machine.

    However, SA342 played an important role in the development of the PLA Army Aviation. As the first in the Chinese Army attack helicopters, they allowed the Chinese commanders to work out the tactics and the use of options to improve airborne weapons attack helicopters.

    The first sample of the actual Chinese military helicopter Z-9W entered service with the PLA in the 1990s. Basic helicopter was equipped with the pylons on the sides of the body, which were suspended anti-tank missiles HJ-8 tapes with NAR and containers with aircraft guns and machine guns. Although the creation of Z-9W is a step forward for Chinese military, the helo remained a number of serious shortcomings, including poor security, lack of equipment, inability to use at night and in adverse weather conditions.

    Part of these problems have been solved with the creation of helicopter Z-9WA, in which the number of external stations was increased from two to four, resulting in the number of missiles HJ-8 grew from 4 to 8. The helicopter can be used as missiles "air-to-air» TY-90. In the nose of the helicopter in a rotating turret mounted infrared surveillance device, CCD-camera and laser rangefinder.

    However, the helicopter also did not meet the requirements of the PLA, and could only be regarded as a transitional type before entering into service of a specialized attack helicopter WZ-10.

    The author notes that China has embarked on a project WZ-10 in the 1990s, with "its comprehensive capabilities are roughly at the level of the American Helicopter AH-1W Super Cobra and the Italian A-129, in terms of mobility, he walked right up to the AH- 64 Apache and the Russian Mi-28. " The appearance of this helicopter has advanced technologies relevant that Chinese dropped for 20 years, in addition, the Chinese army as large armed forces of other countries, finally got a dedicated attack helicopter.

    Discussion on the heavy and light helicopters

    The author notes that because of the geographical features of China, the army must deal with several theaters, the geographical conditions which have significant differences, including those relating to the possibilities of support from the Air Force and Navy. In some "special" areas (probably refers to Tibet, with its limited network of air bases - approx. Trans.) The possibility of air support will be limited and the army will have to rely on their strength. Therefore, the question of the shape of the required PLA attack helicopter is debatable, the author notes.

    On the one hand, given the scale of China's naval forces, as well as the length of land borders, the country needs a heavy-class attack helicopter Mi-28 and AH-64, with a maximum takeoff weight of about 10 tons, can carry many weapons, especially antitank weapons, and also has a long flight duration. Now the Chinese ground forces outnumber land forces of Russia and the United States, but the proportion of "helicopter" component of their fighting potential is much lower. "Britain, France and Italy have adopted a lighter, 4-5 ton helicopters, China has adopted a similar WZ-10 and it looks like it was not the best choice", says the author.

    Note that despite the fact that Du Wenlong WZ-10 refers to a class with Augusta Westland A-129 Mangusta and the Eurocopter Tiger, the Chinese helicopter much heavier than their European counterparts. It is believed that the maximum takeoff weight of the Chinese helo reaches 7500 kg empty weight 5400 kg. For A-129 corresponding figures were 4600 and 2530 kg. For Eurocopter Tiger (HAP) - 6000 and 3060 kg. We can assume that Chinese developers relied on European helos in the conceptual plan, failing at the same time to meet the weight specifications of European helicopters.

    At the same time, attempts to create a heavier attack helicopter may cause additional technical difficulties, the author acknowledges. He notes that the "bottleneck" in creating an engine attack helicopter, the author notes. In general, despite the advantages of heavy-lift helicopters, the choice of the technical aspect WZ-10 was made on the basis of objective circumstances and needs of the Chinese army, the author notes.

    Du Wenlong notes that China's first dedicated attack helicopter entered service more than 40 years after the U.S. Army has AH-1G Cobra. Now coming to the troops WZ-10 has powerful weapons, which includes anti-tank missiles HJ-10, missiles "air-to-air» TY-90. By the number of missiles, the Chinese helicopter is at Eurocopter Tiger and A-129 - it can carry 8 SSS. But it is half than that of AH-64, Mi-28, Ka-50/52 capable of carrying 16 anti-tank missiles. As for the range of anti-tank weapons, ATGM HJ-10 has a maximum range of 8 kilometers, about the performance of Russian and American helicopter anti-tank systems (referred to in the publication of Hellfire, and "Whirlwind") and the superior performance of the European systems.

    As for the security of Chinese helicopter, then it implements stealth technology, taken some steps to reduce noise, the Advanced blade propellers. Passive protection provides a helicopter to safety when firing from small arms (including contact with the propeller blades), also implemented technology to protect fuel tanks from penetration, in this respect, the helicopter is at the level of American, Russian and European counterparts, the author notes.

    The author believes that further development of the Chinese attack helicopters will come in three ways. First of all - the creation of a more severe modification of WZ-10 - WZ-10A takeoff weight of 8-10 tons with advanced combat capabilities, in other Chinese publications have previously reported that the helicopter can get the radar over the propeller hub and generally will be conceptually similar to Apache Longbow.

    Secondly - the creation of a special modification of WZ-10B with improved radar, infrared and acoustic signature.

    Third - the development of high-speed attack helicopter WZ-20. American V-22 Osprey combined the advantages of helicopter and airplane, the speed of horizontal flight it exceeds a helicopter, while the [traditional] helicopter by the technology used and the mobility of the engine like a snail in the sky. Therefore, combining the technology of the rotor and the engine must be horizontal to the future of Chinese helicopters.

    Китайский Osprey или винтокрыл?
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  3. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
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    Zhongguo bao Tsinnyan? I have never heard of that press.
  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Jan 9, 2012
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    Akhand Bharat
    Only probelm with chini attack choppers are"they are not copied properly [/SIZE]"
    lcatejas likes this.
  5. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 4, 2011
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  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    China is capable of improving on whatever they have.

    I am sure sooner or later they will put on show their latest worldbeater!!

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