China eyes global defense market with new helicopter

China eyes global defense market with new helicopter

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China’s Z-19E Helicopter has been specifically developed for the international military trade market

China is all set to enter the international defense market as its new export-oriented armed helicopter, the Z-19E, took to the skies.

The helicopter has been specifically developed for the “international military trade market,” Xinhua states. “It is also the country’s first export-oriented helicopter made specifically for attack purposes.”

China’s Z-19E armed helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight in Harbin in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on May 18, according to the China Ministry of National Defense.

Z-19E helicopter followed maiden flights by the Wing-Loong II Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and the JF-17B dual-seat fighter earlier this year.

The aircraft carried out hovering manoeuvres, close ground-effect manoeuvring and low passes above the airport to demonstrate its performance.

Developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China Harbin Aircraft Industry, the export-oriented model aims to meet the requirements of the international military market.

“The Z-19E is mainly intended to attack tanks, armed vehicles, defense works, and other targets on the ground,” Xinhua notes. “It can provide direct fire support to ground troops, attack helicopters and other low-altitude targets, fly at a very low altitude and fly as part of a convoy of helicopters.”

The helicopter features a tandem dual-seat cabin layout that provides both pilots in the front and back with a wide horizon. With a maximum take-off weight of 4,250kg, the Z-19E is designed to attack tanks, armed vehicles and other targets on the ground, providing direct fire support to ground troops. The aircraft can also fly at a very low altitude and fly as part of a convoy of helicopters.

The Z-19E armed helicopter represents China’s latest achievement in pursuing the military-civilian integration strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative, said Zhang Jichao, chairman of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industrial Group (HAIG), manufacturer of the Z-19E.

“Drawing on the best resources of state-owned and private enterprises, it is purpose-built for the global market,” said Zhang.

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