Changhe Z-10 – Warbird Wednesday Episode #214

Welcome to another episode of Warbird Wednesday! Today we are looking at the Changhe Z-10 (Chinese:”helicopter-10″) a Chinese medium attack helicopter developed for the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force. It is designed primarily for anti-tank warfare missions but has secondary air-to-air combat capability as well.
Initiated by chief designer Wu Ximing, the project had early Russian involvement with Kamov Design Bureau of Russia under a contract with the Chinese government, but the collaboration was abruptly stopped due to fundamental design philosophy disagreements. The Chinese designers and their customer, the PLA General Armaments Department, preferred a lighter-weight, more agile airframe with less emphasis on armor. The helicopter was further developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) and is locally manufactured.
Nicknames of characters in the Chinese classic novel Water Margin have been used to name the Z-10 it is called “The Fierce Thunderbolt”.
In September 2016, the PLA announced that all of its army aviation units had been equipped with the Z-10.
The Z-10 was one of the contenders to replace Pakistan’s Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters. Three Z-10s were acquired for trials in 2015 and rejected due to the inadequate WZ-9 engine, Pakistan then chose Turkey’s AH-1Z; however, contracts to acquire the AH-1Z and then the TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK (which uses the American LHTEC CTS800–4A engine) fell through because of worsening relations with the United States. Pakistan became officially a user of WZ-10 in 2022.”