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China’s Z-10 becomes sole non-western design showcased at Singapore Airshow |


NEW DELHI: Chinese aerospace company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) displayed its Z-10 attack helicopter at the Singapore Airshow, marking its foreign debut. This made it the only non-Western design showcased at the event, with no Russian defense companies participating.
The Z-10, equipped with a chin-mounted chain gun and displayed alongside various compatible missiles and rockets, is positioned alongside established models like the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, which is being used by the Singaporean military and several US allies.
Despite its presence at the air show, the Z-10’s export prospects remain uncertain. AVIC has, so far, only secured Pakistan as a known export customer, and as the trade portion of the air show concludes, no additional sales have been reported.
Weighing in on its potential, Douglas Barrie of the International Institute of Strategic Studies said, “The Z-10 may appeal to some of those countries that don’t have access to US defence technology. After-sales logistics and maintenance support would be a challenge, given Beijing’s relative inexperience in this area.”
In terms of competition, the Z-10 is not expected to directly rival the Boeing AH-64 Apache or other rotary-wing offerings by Bell Helicopters, Airbus and similar companies at the air show. Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, emphasizes that the Z-10’s appeal could increase with the integration of a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability, allowing the Z-10 crew to control UAVs and loitering munitions. This capability is seen as crucial, especially considering the evolving nature of attack helicopters and armed reconnaissance helicopter operations.
While the Z-10’s performance and capabilities remain undisclosed to the public, Chinese state media outlet Global Times reports that it possesses outstanding flight performance, low-air maneuverability, firepower, survivability, ergonomics and reliability.
Speculation about potential customers includes countries in Southeast Asia, such as Myanmar, which already use other Chinese-made equipment. A representative from a European defense company also suggests that countries with friendly relations with Beijing, such as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and perhaps Malaysia, could be likely purchasers.
(With agency inputs)

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