Combined with the Chinese military’s WZ-9 and WZ-19, the PLA Army now has a strong combat helicopter force, according to Wu Peixin, an aviation specialist in Beijing. “The Army now needs more medium-lift, multipurpose helicopters such as the US Army’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk,” he added.
In service since 2012, the WZ-10 is designed for anti-tank warfare. It can be outfitted with cannons and machine guns, as well as guided missiles. Upgraded versions of the WZ-10, however, have also been equipped for air-to-air combat.
“Several WZ-10s have been delivered to an aviation brigade of the PLA’s 13th Group Army under the Western Theater Command, meaning that all of the army’s aviation units now have the aircraft,” IHS Jane’s reports.
“This helicopter is capable of performing both combat operations and transport tasks.”
Current estimates suggest that the PLA Army has 1,000 helicopters in its fleet.
Gao Zhuo, a military observer in Shanghai, said the government would like to see that number increase to 3,000. China has also been testing its J-20 stealth fighter, which will soon participate in patrols in the Pacific. “There are a lot of specifics to operating technical equipment at high altitude,” military expert Vasiliy Kashin told Sputnik. “A lot of systems may not work properly in conditions of thin air and low temperature.”
Above all, this concerns equipment used for the technical maintenance of military equipment – the military equipment itself is usually better adapted to extreme conditions.As part of its growing military prowess, China has already built two J-20s, with six more known to be in development. Beijing may have as many as 36 stealth fighters by early 2018.