Latest Chinese helicopter tech debuts at expo in Tianjin

By Liu Xuanzun and Fan Wei in Tianjin (Global Times) 10:54, September 15, 2023

China debuted some of its latest helicopter technology at an expo that opened on Thursday, including a type of armed reconnaissance drone that can work with helicopters and a type of hybrid power assault vehicle that can fit into a wide-body helicopter.The four-day 6th China Helicopter Exposition kicked off on Thursday in North China's Tianjin with an opening ceremony featuring spectacular flight performances by the country's advanced helicopters, including two Z-20 tactical utility helicopters, seven Z-10 attack helicopters and six Z-19 attack helicopters, displaying their outstanding maneuverability.These types of helicopters were also put on static display on the ground, together with the Z-8L transport helicopter.With a wider body than the Z-8G helicopter, the Z-8L can carry an all-terrain assault vehicle within its cabin, effectively enhancing the army aviation force's long-range delivery and air-ground integrated combat capabilities, according to a description provided at the expo.A type of 6x6 all-terrain assault vehicle was displayed alongside the Z-8L. This vehicle is the Chinese military's first fuel-electric hybrid power utility vehicle to officially enter service, a description read.

Another newly revealed item is the KVD002 medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system.The KVD002 is the first armed reconnaissance drone of the Chinese Army, according to a description.It can carry out precision strikes on hostile air defense systems, armored targets and fortifications based on air-ground integration plans, cooperate with helicopters by providing reconnaissance data, escort and target guidance, as well as conduct reconnaissance and strikes independently.Armed reconnaissance drones have become a standard equipment of not only the Air Force but also other military branches including the Army, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.Drones can become wings of the Army and extend the capabilities of the ground force in reconnaissance, strikes and damage evaluation, Song said.

The KVD001, a type of vehicle-mounted-and-launched drone, was also on display.

It can carry out missions including communications relay, battle-field reconnaissance and surveillance as well as target guidance. When operating with attack helicopters, the drone can provide target data to manned aircraft.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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