Mil­i­tary chop­per gets go-ahead for ex­port

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By ZHAO LEI in Tian­jin

Some for­eign buy­ers are in ne­go­ti­a­tions with us on the pro­cure­ment of this he­li­copter.”

For na­tions hop­ing to buy China’s ad­vanced weapons on dis­play in the Sept 3 V-Day pa­rade, here’s some good news — China is ready to ex­port one of its top mil­i­tary he­li­copters.

“The gov­ern­ment has given the green light for the ex­port of the WZ-19. Ac­tu­ally, some for­eign buy­ers are in ne­go­ti­a­tions with us on the pro­cure­ment of this he­li­copter,” said Wu Xim­ing, chief he­li­copter de­signer at Avi­a­tion In­dus­try Corp of China.

Wu spoke with China Daily on the side­lines of the Third Chi­naHeli­copter Expo.

“We will ad­just equip­ment or weapons based on each buyer’s spe­cific re­quire­ments. As a mat­ter of fact, some po­ten­tial buy­ers have been in­volved in the de­sign of the WZ-19’s ex­port type,” he said.

Wu de­clined to re­veal iden­ti­ties of po­ten­tial buy­ers, but hinted they are tra­di­tional users of Chi­nese air­craft.

“Com­pared with its ri­vals in the mar­ket, the WZ-19E is eas­ier to op­er­ate and main­tain. It has a strong ca­pa­bil­ity, and its price is com­pet­i­tive,” he said.

The avi­a­tion gi­ant is dis­play­ing an ex­port ver­sion of the WZ-19 re­con­nais­sance/at­tack he­li­copter, which it calls the WZ-19E, at the five-day expo. An in­tro­duc­tion board placed in front of the air­craft says it is a light-duty mil­i­tary he­li­copter used to con­duct air-to-sur­face strike against tanks, ar­mored ve­hi­cles and for­ti­fi­ca­tions.

It can also carry air-to-air mis­siles to bat­tle en­emy he­li­copters, the in­tro­duc­tion said.

Thirty WZ-19s from the avi­a­tion wing un­der the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army ground force took part inlast week’s pa­rade, fly­ing with two other types of mil­i­tary he­li­copters — the WZ-10 and WZ-9.

The WZ-19 de­sign is based on the WZ-9, which has its ori­gin in the French Euro­copter AS365 Dauphin, and will work with the medium-duty at­tack he­li­copter WZ-10 in com­bat oper­a­tions, sources said.

De­vel­oped byAVIC’sHarbin Air­craft In­dus­try Group, the he­li­copter is pro­pelled by four blades driven by two tur­boshaft en­gines.

It has a max­i­mum cruise speed of 245 km per hour, a max­i­mum take­off weight of 4.51 met­ric tons and an op­er­a­tional range of 700 km, ac­cord­ing to the Show Daily, an in­dus­try daily pub­lished dur­ing the expo by AVIC.

The he­li­copter can carry eight mis­siles and two rocket launch­ers. To pro­tect its pilots, it is equipped with ar­mor plat­ing and crash-re­sis­tant seats.

“It will be at­trac­tive to many de­vel­op­ing na­tions that don’t have a big de­fense bud­get but want to de­ploy a us­able at­tack he­li­copter,” saidWu Peixin, an avi­a­tion ob­server in Bei­jing.

JIA LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

A WZ-19 he­li­copter is dis­played at the Third China He­li­copter Expo in Tian­jin on Wed­nes­day.

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