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PLA helicopters enter Taiwan's ADIZ for the first time

A Z-10 attack helicopter (seen here) was one of seven PLA aircraft, including an Mi-17 transport helicopter, spotted entering Taiwan's southwestern ADIZ on 26 October. (Taiwanese MND)

Chinese military helicopters have for the first time entered Taiwan's southwestern air-defence identification zone (ADIZ), according to data provided by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taipei.

The MND announced on 26 October that a Mil Mi-17 transport helicopter and a Z-10 (WZ-10) attack helicopter were among seven People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft spotted entering the ADIZ that day, with the other aircraft being a Y-8T configured for command, control, and communication (C3) roles, a Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft (possibly a Y-8H), a Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft (possibly a Y-8G or Y-8CB), and two J-16 fighters.

The MND noted that the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) reacted by scrambling fighters, issuing radio warnings, and mobilising air-defence assets until the PLA aircraft left the area.

The Chinese state-owned Global Times newspaper reported the following day that the move was part of a routine PLA training exercise. It also cited a Chinese military expert as saying that the use of helicopters in such drills points to the PLA's increasing combat readiness in the region, as helicopters would provide a tactical advantage in assault operations that would require take-offs and landings in remote areas with limited runaways, such as islands.

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