Thursday, February 17, 2011

China’s Latest Attack Helicopter: The ZW-10


China’s Latest Attack Helicopter: The ZW-10

11/08/09 - Tempur August 2009

Harbin Aviation Industry (Group) Co Ltd (HAIG), the China National Aero-Technology Import-Export Corp (CATIC), and the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI), located at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, are gearing up for launching the limited series-production a new-generation dedicated attack helicopter for the PLA Army Aviation Corps, called the Zhisheng-10 (ZW-10), which has successfully undergone extensive flight-testing by HAIG and Jiangxi-based CHRDI. Designed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Group (CAIG) and CHRDI, both based in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. The twin-engined, stepped tandem-seat 6.5.-tonne ZW-10, externally, bears a strong resemblance to DENEL Aerospace’s Rooivalk, and features upward-facing engine exhausts and a narrow fuselage with stepped tandem cockpits housing the weapon systems operator in the front seat and the pilot in the rear. It also has five main rotor blades made of composite materials and a four tail rotor blades. Powerplant comprises twin WZ-9 engines each rated at 1,250kW. The weapons package includes a chin-mounted 30mm cannon, up to eight HJ-9L anti-armour missiles and four TY-90 air combat missiles. A nose-mounted turret houses a thermal imager, TV camera, and a laser rangefinder-cum-target designator. The all-glass cockpits, integrated communications suite, ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system and the defensive aids suite are all integrated via a MIL-STD-1553B digital data bus. An initial two ZW-10 technology demonstrators were rolled out on April 29, 2003, and were followed by six prototypes in 2004. The first flight took place on April 29, 2003.
The ZW-10 has adopted a standard attack helicopter configuration featuring a narrow fuselage, with the gunner in the front cockpit and the pilot in the stepped-up rear cockpit. The fuselage has a stealthy diamond shape to reduce radar cross-section, while the twin engine exhausts are pointed upwards for greatly reduced heat signature. All mission-critical areas of the fuselage, including the cockpit and fuel tanks, are armour-plated. The first two ZW-10 prototypes were initially powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-76C turboshaft engines (each rated at 1,250kW). The twin stub-mounted wings can carry up to eight KD-10A laser-guided anti-armour missiles that are housed within twin box-sized launchers. The chin-mounted 30mm cannon can be aimed via the gunner’s helmet-mounted day/night sight. In addition, up to four TY-90 IR-guided air combat missiles can be carried for self-defence against hostile attack helicopters and fixed-wing combat aircraft. The ZW-10 also features a large nose-mounted turret housing the FLIR sensor, TV camera, laser rangefinder and a target designator. Twin missile-approach warning system (MAWS) sensors are installed on both sides of the fuselage behind the nose turret section. Also fitted are an integrated communications/inertial navigation system, a defensive aids suite, and an integrated glass cockpit display system.

Source : Tempur

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