The Chinese Army, monitoring those tendencies and hoping to modernize its military, procured eight French helicopters Aérospatiale Gazelle – equipped with anti-armor guided missiles (Euromissile HOT). This was a trial run of the anti-tank combat using a helicopter. Next intended acquisitions were the Italian A129 Mangusta and then the US AH-1 Cobra. However, business deals fell through after the events at the Tiananmen Square in 1989. This forced the PRC to turn to Russia and attempt to acquire the Mi-24 and Mi-28; again, they did not succeed.
Italian A129 Mangusta: Here
In the meantime they used the homemade Harbin Z-9 and licensed French AS365 Dauphin. However, since these were universal helicopters, they were still on the lookout for a true match for specialized foreign helicopters. So they started developing a combat helicopter of their own.
Unfortunately, during the early nineties, China simply did not have the perquisite experience and expertise for that task. That is why they hired a Russian construction bureau “Kamov” which developed the Project 941 as a basis for the Chinese aircraft. South African “Denel” was also brought in to solve a vibration problem.
The Z-10 is a classic helicopter with five bladed propeller and a tail rotor. WhileFenestron configuration was considered the tail rotor, due to the someproblems with the design, like higher power requirement, higher construction and maintenance cost, higher resistance and weight, the design was dropped after test flights, and a more conventional tail rotor configuration was adopted. This helicopter has two offset tail rotors which both saves power and reduces noise. This construction is very similar to that of the AH-64 Apache and completely different from Kamov helicopters.
Numerous engines were used in during prototype design. From Canadian Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C, Russian Klimov VK-2500 from Mi-17 and Ukranian Motor-Sich TV3-117. With Russian and Ukrainian help, the Chinese manufacturers have managed to develop their own engine WZ-9. However, this engine (1,350 hp) has proven to be too weak for the 5.5/7 ton helicopter. For example, AH-64 with its mass of 5/8 tons uses an engine whose strength is 1,690-2,100 hp. With the aid of a French manufacturer “Turbomeca”, a new engine was built, designated WZ-16. The new engine has horsepower of 2.000 and will allow carrying of 16 POVR HJ-10. Those missiles are the most important armament of this helicopter and should be equivalent to the US AGM-114.
Ardiden 3C/WZ16 engine
The following is based on a translation of a report on a Chinese news site:
When it was designed, China planned to use a powerful Canadian engine but the United States told Canada not to sell such an engine to China.
As a result, China had to use the Wozhou-9 engine, which has less power, in the WZ-10 and gave up some of the auxiliary equipment that it was designed to carry to reduce its weight.
The report says that the new Wozhou-16 engine has a takeoff power of 1,240 kw and maximum continuous power of 1,100 kw, much better than the Wozhou-9.
It is characterised with low power-weight ratio, high unit power, low fuel consumption, high reliability, easy maintenance, advanced control and fault detection.
Moreover, there is potential to raise its power by 15% through further improvement.
The engine is now undergoing certification procedures and is expected to be put into mass production in 18 months.
By that time, it will be used in the WZ-10 and China’s AC313 13-ton class large helicopter with three engines.
The report continues that, in addition, China will showcase the new model of its new 5000kw turboshaft engine.
According to Wu Ximing, chief helicopter designer of AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) Helicopter Company, the new engine will be used to develop a tiltrotor aircraft similar to the US V-22 Osprey, with the code name “Lanjing (Blue Whale)” with a takeoff weight of 40 tons and internal load of 20 tons. Source chinadailymail.com
With a range of over 6 miles and weighing over 100 pounds these laser guided cannons can engage both land and air targets. Of course, TY-90 missiles are a much better option when engaging other helicopters, as they have been specifically developed for that purpose. The missiles have a range of 3.7 miles and they weigh 40 pounds. Warhead itself has a mass of 6 pounds. The Chinese army believes this missiles is much better when used by a helicopter than land-air versions launched off a Stinger or Igla. Z-10 can carry up to 4 TY-90 rockets. It also carries unguided rockets in 57, 90 and 130 mm calibers, as well as cannon armaments just below its nose. Nose turret can carry two machine guns with 7.62 and 12.7 rounds and one 14.5 mm heavy machine gun. It carries powerful 23, 25 and 30 mm cannons. 23 and 25 mm cannons are externally powered and made as copies of the US M242 Bushmaster. The 30 mm cannons are copies of reliable Russian designs 2A72. 7.62 and 12.7 machine guns have an arc of fire of 180° while other machine guns and cannons can fire in an arc of 130°
Nose turret gun
HJ-10 Anti-helicopter / anti-tank/ air-to-surface missile
|Type||Anti-helicopter / anti-tank/ air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile|
|Place of origin||People’s Republic of China|
|In service||From late 1990s to present|
|Manufacturer||China North Industries Group Corporation Electro-Opticals Science & Technology Ltd.|
|Produced||After late 1990s|
|Weight||≈ 50 kg|
|Warhead||HEAT and others|
|≈ 10+ km|
|ImIR, semi-active laser homing, TV and MMW ARH|
|Air and ground-based|
Sensors are crucial components for successful engagementof enemy targets. The helicopter nose carries multifunctional sensor system, developed on the basis of French and Israeli models running with Chinese software. Basically, this system consists from day TV and a night IR camera, combined with a laser device. The simplest system has a laser range finder for wire guided HJ-8 missiles, while the more advanced HJ-9 uses laser guidance. HJ-9A and HJ-10 use the most advanced semi-active laser guidance systems. The complex sensors are connected with targeting systems and HUD telemetry.
It is very similar to the Honeywell M142 system used in AH-64 Apache. In addition, the crew can use night goggles and radar. Millimeter wave radar is designated YH and is an equivalent of the US AN-APG-78. The radar system still being developed, and due to its complexity and cost, it will probably not be installed in all operational combat helicopters. YH radar is a very light system, weighing only 150 pounds, especially when compared to its Russian equivalent that weighs over 300 pounds. There are no other information about the performance of this device.
Z-10 uses a universal data bus GJV-289A, making it compatible with both Western and Russian armaments and equipment. Cabins are digital and equipped with multifunctional displays. Application of HOTAS (hands at throttle and stick) ensures that the crew can fly the aircraft without taking their hands of the control sticks. (Source: State Of Guns)
- Crew: 2
- Length: 14.15 m (ft)
- Rotor diameter: 13.0 m (ft)
- Height: 3.85 m (ft)
- Empty weight: 5,540 kg (lb)
- Loaded weight: 7,000 kg (lb)
- Useful load: 1,500 kg (lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 7,000+ kg (lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × WZ-9 turboshaft, 1000 kw (1350 shp) each (See engine above)
- Maximum speed: 300+ km/h
- Cruise speed: 270+ km/h
- Range: 800+ km
- Service ceiling: 6,400 m (ft)
- Rate of climb: over 15 m/s(ft/min)
- Guns: 23 mm, 25 mm or 30 mm autocannon mounted on chin turret (optional 30 mm or 40 mm automatic grenade launchers, or 14.5 mm Gatling gun)
- Hardpoints: 4
- Rockets: 57 mm, 90 mm multi-barrel unguided rocket pods
- Missiles: ** Up to 16 HJ-10 air to surface / anti tank / anti helicopter missiles. ADK10 is reported to be the official name of HJ10 missile.
- YH millimetre-wave fire-control radar
- Helmet mounted sight with night vision goggles
- BM/KG300G self protection jamming pod
- Blue Sky navigation pod
- KZ900 reconnaissance pod
- YH-96 electronic warfare suite
- Pakistan Army 3 delivered for trials and evaluation.
Left Z-10 Right Z-19
Please see related post on Z-19 Attack Helicopter: https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/harbin-wz-19-attack-helicopter/
It seems they have made copies of US Blackhawk