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New details emerge on PLA's Z-10 attack helicopter

Video footage released by stated-owned China Central Television (CCTV) on 20 December shows new details on the weapon systems for the Changhe Aircraft Industry (Group) Corporation (CAIG) Zhishengji-10 (Z-10) attack helicopter that is in service with the People's Liberation Army Ground Forces (PLAGF).

According to the CCTV report, the Z-10's four hardpoints can carry air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, as well as 70 mm unguided rockets or a 23 mm calibre gun. Weapon payloads can include up to 16 anti-tank missiles, or four 7-barrel or two 32-barrel multiple rocket launchers, depending on the mission requirements.

The CCTV report cited a Z-10 pilot from the PLA 161st air assault brigade, part of the 83rd Air Group under the Southern Theatre command, as saying that the Z-10 is usually equipped with eight air-to-ground missiles and two rocket launchers when configured for anti-tank roles. The Chinese pilot added that four Z-10s form the standard size of the helicopter group deployed for such missions.

Janes All the World Aircraft: Development & Production identifies the KD-9 or KD-10 anti-tank missiles and the 50kg-class PL/TY-90 air-to-air missiles for use by the Z-10.

The Z-10 attack helicopter entered service with the PLA in late 2010. By early 2016 the PLA had equipped 10 air brigades, each including up to 20 helicopters, according to Janes Market Forecast data. Deliveries are ongoing and additional air brigades could be equipped with Z-10s in the future. Also ongoing are deliveries of the Z-10K attack helicopter variant for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

Based on Janes World Air Force and Janes Market Forecast

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