Military news

China-made attack chopper makes maiden flight

2017-05-19 08:30:00 (Beijing Time)         Global Times

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The China-developed Z-19E armed helicopter makes its maiden flight in Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, May 18, 2017. The new generation export-oriented model was developed by the AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry to meet the requirements of the international military trade market, according to the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). (Xinhua/Yue Shuhua)

The China-made attack helicopter Z-19E made its maiden flight from a Harbin airport on Thursday, marking a major step in China's entry into the global market for attack helicopters.

Also called the "Black Whirlwind," the Z-19E is the first export-oriented attack helicopter developed by the AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group. Based on the Z-19's design, the 19E can be used in quick-response, low-impact and frequent attack missions, China National Radio reported.

Deputy chief designer Li Shengwei said the Z-19E is equipped with safety features to improve the pilot's survival rate. "The Z-19E and Z-9 are similar in many respects," Li said. In terms of maneuverability and functions, the Z-19E meets international standards and its operating interface is in English, Li added.

"The Z-19E has strong market potential as some of its components are compatible with other countries' military systems." Song Zhongping, a military expert who used to serve in the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times. Song also noted that the helicopter would fare well in the global market. The Z-19E is aimed at countries which require light military helicopters with medium-level attack power.