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PLAN Z-9C ASW helicopter enters Taiwan's ADIZ twice in a day

The flight path of People's Liberation Army military aircraft entering Taiwan's ADIZ on 1 March 2022. A Z-9C ASW helicopter was spotted for the first time during morning and night-time sorties. (Taiwanese MND)

A People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force's (PLANAF's) Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Z-9C anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters have entered Taiwan's southwestern air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the first time , according to data provided by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taipei.

The MND announced on 1 March that a Z-9C ASW helicopter entered the ADIZ on that day twice, once during daytime, flying southwards, and once at night-time, re-entering the ADIZ from the south and flying in the direction of mainland China.

The MND did not confirm whether this was the same helicopter or two different ones. However, based on data from the MND, the Z-9C was the only aircraft not flying back to base in the morning.

Therefore, Janes believes the helicopter could have flown to a People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warship stationed south/southwest of Taiwan, as part of an exercise in the morning, and then could have left its position to return to its land base at night.

The 4-ton Z-9C, a derivative of the French Airbus Dauphin/AS565 Panther, is primarily embarked on old classes of PLAN destroyers and frigates. However, its small size severely limited its ASW capabilities, because of its payload capacity, range, and endurance performance.

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