Image shows Chinese Z-10 attack helicopter firing possible new ASM

by Andreas Rupprecht

An image has emerged on Chinese social media showing what appears to be a new air-to-surface missile (ASM) being fired from a Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) Zhishengji-10 (Z-10) attack helicopter, suggesting that the missile is either in service with, or being trialled by, the aviation units of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF).

The image, which appears to be a screengrab from footage by the state-owned China Central Television 13 (CCTV 13) channel, shows that the weapon is somewhat similar in appearance to the China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) Blue Arrow 21 (BA-21) missile that was displayed at the Airshow China 2018 defence exhibition in Zhuhai.

The BA-21 appears to be an improved export version of the AKD-10 third generation, precision-guided battlefield missile carried by the PLAGF’s Z-10 and Z-19 attack helicopters. The BA-21, of which no official information has emerged, is believed to have a range of around 18 km and be fitted with a dual-mode millimetre wave radar/semi-active laser seeker.

That said, the missile shown in the recent image seems to have a slightly different tail configuration than that seen in the BA-21 version displayed at Airshow China 2018.

A screengrab from CCTV 13 footage showing what appears to be a new ASM being fired from a Chinese Z-10 attack helicopter at an undisclosed location. (CCTV 13 via Weibo)

A screengrab from CCTV 13 footage showing what appears to be a new ASM being fired from a Chinese Z-10 attack helicopter at an undisclosed location. (CCTV 13 via Weibo)

An earlier – and slightly different-looking – version of the BA-21 had been displayed two years earlier at Zhuhai as part of weaponry stated to be compatible with the Wing Loong II strike-capable reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the Cloud Shadow medium/high-altitude, long-endurance UAV, both of which were presented for the first time to the public that year.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/image-shows-chinese-z-10-attack-helicopter-firing-possible-new-asm

An image has emerged on Chinese social media showing what appears to be a new air-to-surface missile...

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