Pakistan's Preference for T129 ATAK Z-10ME Attack Helicopter

Pakistan's Preference for T129 ATAK Z-10ME Attack Helicopter
Pakistan's Preference for T129 ATAK Z-10ME Attack Helicopter

Pakistan Armed Forces sözcüUpon a question at the press conference, Babar Iftikhar announced that Pakistan gave up the supply of T129 ATAK helicopters from Turkey. Sözcü In his speech, he stated that negotiations were held for the supply of Z-10ME attack helicopters from China. Pakistan has not officially finalized the T129 ATAK procurement process yet. Since the hysteria in the mentioned Z-10ME supply is not clear yet, it is unclear whether a request will be made for the upgraded version or the old version will be evaluated through the previous tender.

As it will be remembered, Pakistan had ordered a total of 129 T30 ATAK Attack Helicopters manufactured by TAI. The USA did not give an official response for the use of Honeywell-manufactured LHTEC CTS129-800A turboshaft engines used in the T-4 ATAK Attack Helicopter, and the process was blocked.

The tender went to China after the USA blocked the sale of the T129 Atak to Pakistan.

Presidency Sözcüsü İbrahim Kalın announced that the US blocking the sale of Turkey's T129 ATAK Attack helicopter to Pakistan may cause the tender to go to China.

Regarding the “unable to” sale of T129 ATAK attack helicopters to Pakistan, Kalın said, “The USA prevented the sale of combat helicopters we were planning to make to Pakistan. This will likely cause the tender in question to go to China, where the loser will be the United States. Our relationship with the United States can work very constructively where we can mutually strengthen each other and address common issues or concerns together.” made his statements. In Pakistan's attack helicopter tender, there was the Z-129ME, the export version of the Chinese Zhishengji-10 (Z-10) attack helicopter, opposite the TAI T10 ATAK.

Zhishengji-10 (Z-10) Attack Helicopter

The Z-10 is a modern attack helicopter developed by the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI) for the Changhe Aircraft Industries Group (CHAIG) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The helicopter, which was first flown in 2003, is primarily intended to be equipped with anti-tank systems and used in close air support missions. The gun load is basically; It includes ADK-10 and HJ-8 anti-tank missiles, TY-90 air-to-air missile and 30 mm cannon.

Z-10 Helicopter Accident Crimes

In March 2021, in the video shared by CGTN, it was seen that the attack helicopter, which was found to have crashed due to engine failure and poor performance, literally disintegrated. As reported by Global Defense Corp, it was reported that 2 pilots died as a result of the crash of the attack helicopter, which is not suitable for high mountain areas. While transferring the accident in question, it was reminded that the helicopter is "a reverse engineered copy of the US origin AH-64 Apache", and it was stated that the developers could not predict the power capabilities of the helicopter.

Experts thought that the attack helicopters could become completely inappropriate due to a miscalculation by the Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation of China. It was stated that this situation forced the People's Republic of China to modernize or completely decommission these attack helicopters. It is known that the Z-10 crashed in 2005, 2017, 2018 and 2019 due to different malfunctions.

It is also known that the Z-10 attack helicopters failed in high altitude trials. China had previously wanted to sell Z-10 attack helicopters to Pakistan, but failed successive high-altitude trials. Then, Pakistan ordered 30 T129 attack helicopters from Turkey. however, Pakistan, which did not want to wait any longer after the purchase of the T129 ATAK, which was placed under the US embargo, had to turn to China, the second country in the tender.

Refreshed Z-10

An upgraded variant of the Zhishengji-10 (Z-10) attack helicopter, which is in the inventory of the People's Liberation Army Land Forces (PLAGF), was recently featured in the press. Images of the upgraded Z-79 used by the 10th brigade of army ground aviation were shown on China Central Television. Known for its power performance issues, the helicopter that first stood out was the fact that it was equipped with new upward-facing engine exhaust outlets instead of the previous outward/side configuration. In the statement made by the Chinese authorities, it was stated that the upgrade also includes equipping the helicopter with more powerful engines. “The latest Z-10 version introduced does not have a horizontal outward exhaust pipe like the old model. It is clearly distinguishable from the photos in which this version features the upward-facing exhaust pipes.” explanation was made.

There are also extra armor panels attached externally to the helicopter shown in the images. CCTV footage shows that panels, possibly on either side of the tandem-seat helicopter, are located in three areas. The first two panels are visible just below both side windows of the cockpit, while the third panel is located below the front cockpit window. The third panel, the largest of the three panels, covers the lower middle section of the housing for the helicopter's WZ9 turboshaft engine. It is stated that the armor plates are made of a new type of composite material that is much lighter than steel armor. It was stated that the upgraded version also has a new IFF system. It was also reported that the new Z-10 attack helicopter is equipped with a new anti-jamm system.

Source: defenceturk

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