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Did Pakistan finally select the Z-10 attack helicopter?
November 17, 2017
A PLA Z-10 Thunderbolt unit. Pakistan took delivery of three Z-10s in 2015. Photo credit: Weibo

Did Pakistan finally select the Z-10 attack helicopter?

19 March 2016

By Bilal Khan

Recent sightings of several Z-10 Fierce Thunderbolt attack helicopters in Islamabad seem to suggest that the Pakistan Army is intending to induct the Chinese gunship, if it has not done so already.

Developed and produced by the Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC), the Z-10 is forming the mainstay of the People Liberation Army (PLA)’s combat aviation fleet. In 2015, three Z-10s (and reportedly one Z-19 Black Hurricane armed scout helicopter) were transferred to Pakistan for evaluation.

However, with the Army finalizing a purchase of 15 Bell AH-1Z Viper and four Mi-35 Hind-E gunships (with an intent to acquire a total of at least 20) from the U.S. and Russia, respectively, the fate of the Z-10 was unclear. There were even conflicting reports in regards to the Army’s final assessment of the helicopter.

The presence of the Z-10 at the rehearsals for the upcoming Pakistan Day Parade could suggest that the Army is ready to announce the existence of the Z-10 to the public, which in turn could indicate at least an intent to procure the helicopter in the near future.

The Z-10 is a modern platform capable of using contemporary electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors. In fact, it may even be equipped with a millimeter wave (mmW) radar in the near future, enabling it to detect, track and target an object based on its metallic signature.

The Z-10 can be armed with a wide range of munitions. Laser-guided air-to-ground missiles (AGM), such as the Chinese HJ-10 (analogous to the AGM-114 Hellfire-II), are at the core of its anti-armour capabilities. For suppression-fire, the Z-10 is equipped with a chin-mounted gun (believed to be 23mm).

Additionally, laser-guided (as well as unguided) rockets can be used by the Z-10 for use against a wide range of targets, such as moving vehicles, infantry, and fixed structures (such as shelters). The Z-10 can also be armed with air-to-air missiles, such as the ultra-light (20kg) PL-90.

In terms of self-protection, the Z-10 is equipped with an integrated electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite composed of a radar warning receiver, a laser warning receiver, directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system, and chaff and flare dispensers. Collectively, these systems enable the Z-10 to recognize if and when it is being targeted, and if need be, act to mitigate the threat (by deploying flares or chaffs).

Of all of Pakistan’s dedicated attack helicopter options, the Z-10 is likely to be the most feasible in terms of cost, especially if the Army intends to build a relatively large attack helicopter fleet. In fact, if acquired in numbers, Pakistan could request maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities from China. This would enable Pakistan to maintain the gunships with ease and flexibility, at least compared to the AH-1Z.

  • MT

    The ROC : -Rate of climb is poor for z-10 which makes it unfit for combat in Himalaya region

    • jaxtrjin

      Is anything good also in it?

      • MT

        Pak is not going to buy more than 10.
        Z10 will b suitable for naval version nd low altitude flight & combat in non himalaya region.

        But z10 perform poorer than LcH in both low altitude & high altitude region

        • Vap

          ^ Why such trolls come to Pakistani sites? Do you guys have anything else to do in your life other than saying you are supa pawa and you produce best products in the world ?

    • jigsaww

      Reading your nonstop garbage one after another, It’s more likely you that is more unfit to comment on military matters. Take note on that.

      To bust your lie, the rate of climb for Z-10 is same as AH-64E i.e. around 12 m/s.
      The gunship is under trial (in real combat) by Pakistan Army, not indian army to be enforced any garbage upon it rolling out of HAL.

      Now shh.

      • MT

        Wrong Mr Genius!

        . The Z-10 is two times heavier than the LCH when carrying the same payload in weapons, fuel and crew. The Z-10’s empty weight is 5,540 kg and the LCH even in its current overweight mode is about 2,800-3,000 kg. And yet the Z-10 is powered by the same net total power as the LCH (~2,000 KW for the Z-10 versus ~1,700 KW for the LCH). That’s a nasty combination in terms of performance, both at sea-level and at high altitudes. The effect of additional weight versus power required is non-linear for rotary flying machines.

        • Abdullah Aman

          MT you jack ass moron at least check your information before posting it Z-10 got 500 and use same power engine as LCH that was on a old engine Zhou – 9 and even then Z-10 have 1500 to 2000 of payload and carry 8 HJ-10 missiles now it is using WZ16 which got lot more power 1500 kW and it can carry 16 HJ-10 missiles same as AH-64 hell fire with new power plant it can carry more load too

          • MT

            Google Chinese media comparison of z -10 vs LCH.
            They called z-10 a poor hopeless as compared to LCH

          • Ashi Sidhu

            Oops i think YouTube is banned in Pakistan #DEMOCRACY

          • MO

            oops..your living in a RAW controlled media I guess

          • jigsaww

            Porn is also banned in pakistan but in india parents encourage their kids to watch legal porn and illegal anyway. Try banning that and rapes, illegal organ selling, crimes, and suppression of minorities in india before talking of things as little as youtube ban. it was banned for a religious reason. don’t rise over your brain’s capacity. and i believe it has been allowed now.

          • Ashi Sidhu

            I can answer u but this is off topic hence ur comment must be taken off by the admin

          • jigsaww

            Then abstain from giving off the topic comments in first place and put a leash to the other troll on the loose here too.

          • MO

            are you out of job or did you really get a fine beating from a some paki…..your sources are as pathetic and indian as you are from deep inside your dark core

          • MT

            Chinese state media and defence experts saying bad things about z10 & praising LCH is bad source for al bakis wanna be expert

          • Abdullah Aman

            poor head do u have both helicopters in front unless u have then google is the only information source

          • jigsaww

            he is reading from his barking paper again. doesn’t care what’s coming out of his mouth.

        • jigsaww

          that is same for all gunships, fighter jets and for that matter space ships. the more the load, the less the kinematic performance.
          i think you do not even know the difference between Rate of climb and service ceiling. educate yourself about basics of aviation before asking me to discuss something with you.

          • MT

            Rate of climb is 0 at the maximum service ceiling.

            12000 feet and above is out of bounds for Z- 10

          • jigsaww

            Don’t make up your own stories. The service ceiling is rated at 6400 m for Z-10.

          • MT

            THAT’S toad of lie.

            Z10 CANT fly at that height

          • jigsaww

            chal chup kar ja ab. dimagh ke dahi.
            source vource koi hay nai…chipar chipar lagaey hoey hay non stop.

          • jigsaww

            Hey toad.
            Here is your lie thrown back in your face.
            Come back with more fabrications, can’t wait.

          • jigsaww

            I told you, you are a fabricator and unfit to comment on military matters.

      • Ashi Sidhu

        Anyway India is buying apache longbow which is a level above all these helis

        • jigsaww

          that is true. i agree. it will be a potent addition to indian military.

  • SP

    Pakistan should also get some heavy transport helicopters like MIL Mi-38.

  • MT

    The Z-10, with a 500 kg payload (not counting weapons and fuel) is able to generate a maximum vertical ROC capability of 3.6 m/sec. By comparison, at sea-level, the LCH is able to carry the 500 kg and is able to provide a power excess for a theoretical max ROC of 21 m/sec! Of course, this will not be allowed in reality. The LCH powertrain transmission limitations will bring that max ROC to about ~10 m/sec for structural safety reasons. Both helicopters are able to lift the 500 kg requirement at sea-level.

    Now consider how the change in altitude affects both helicopters. The Z-10, trying to maintain the 500 kg payload, begins to tail-off its ROC capability from 3.6 m/sec at sea-level to 0 m/sec ROC at ~8,000 ft. Beyond 8,000 ft altitude, the Z-10 also cannot carry its 500 kg payload and the tail-off in that capacity is dramatic. The Z-10 cannot operate beyond 10,000 ft under any conditions.

    The LCH, on the other hand, utilizes its light-weight structure to great effect. It can not only maintain the 500 kg payload for all altitudes from sea-level to the Himalayan mountain tops, the tail-off in the ROC does not drop below 8 m/sec until ~12,000 ft. The tail-off does not drop below the minimum 2.5 m/sec until ~19,000 ft. The LCH can fly, and fight, at all altitudes in the Himalayas.

    • The WZ9 turboshaft seems to be a problem, especially for PAA. They do seem to like the platform, but I don’t see any orders happening before the WZ16 is ready

      • MT

        Chinese z-10 is poorly designed heli.
        WZ9 is licensed production of similar class of french turbomeca engine used in LCH.

        LCH is the only heli in this world which landed on siachen upper basin.No apache and Mi can attempt that.

        Lch will beat the most powerful apache if they happen to engage in 1-1 combat at height above 12000feet.

        • jigsaww

          bas kar day bhai bongiaan marni. kitna jhoot bolay ga. non stop tera yain sun sun kay kaan pak gaey hain.

    • jigsaww

      Don’t entertain me with more of your rubbish. that junk called dhruv is a close cousin of LCH. let LCH enter service and it will drop out of sky like bird droppings.
      Like i said, Z-10 primarily is designed for ground combat and is being tested by pakistan army. neither is there any political or financial or military pressure on PAA to accept it. If it passes their way-more rigorous tests in actual combat, they will pursue it, or they will ask china to improve it for whatever combat they need it for. i don’t think you have any right to comment on physical performance of Z-10 when very little info about it is out there even with think tanks, so keep this garbage analysis out of here.
      I knew that this was about LCH in reality. i could pick it from your first garbage post when the post has nothing to do with LCH, hence all the trolling that follows it. if i were the mod of this site, i’d kick you out of here for trolling, spreading wrong and incorrect info, and lacking any brain activity for a sane discussion.

      • MT

        LCH is the only heli in this world which landed on siachen upper basin.No apache and Mi can ever attempt that.

        Lch will beat the most powerful apache AH1-64E in rate of climb, agility, turrn rate if they happen to engage in 1-1 combat at height above 12000feet.

        Apache is beast as compared to LcH at low & medium altitude;)

        • jigsaww

          Gladly. But for that you need to get that junk LCH get inducted first, which means getting clearance first, which means getting completely developed first.
          Now go back to drawing board and come back when that is done, hopefully in a century’s time.

          • MT

            300 dhruv are operational & 4 LCH TD were rolled 1after another In last 8years. TD3 and TD4 have been given production license.
            The full production of 16/year start from 2017.

          • MT

            Tejaa, dhruv, akash are under mass production.
            India is making 100akash missile a month.

            arjun is costly due to higher imported content.
            Saras was dropped but it barely cost 300 crore Rs for full program.
            Nishant was tech development which was replaced by Panchi and rustom.
            Nishant was successful but it used old parachute recovery systems which was not needed in today’s drone

          • MT

            First show us 1 baki product? ?

            I haven’t heard any.shaheen, babur are cheeni while raad is denel made.
            Every thing else is chinese including nujes and enrichment ,reactors

    • Mustafa O

      talking of your pathetic performance in exporting INDIAN quality arms, here is something for you to cry on. Pak exported more than 200$M in 2006, as compared to Indians that can hardly touch 100$M mark in 1015 . pathetic.

      • MT

        What are those pak products?

  • SP

    According to Wikipedia Pakistan has ordered a further 17 Z-10. In high altitudes the 315B Lama is used.
    India is acquiring 197 helicopters for $750 million to replace its old helicopters. Pakistan is acquiring 15 Bell AH-1Z vipers for $952 million. It seems that Pakistan has an unhealthy obsession with US hardware.

    • MO

      Lamas are almost out of service now and very ably replaced with fennec. this caused Indians to launch their programme to produce some thing called LCH which this Modi Toady claism to be so superior even though Indians have an abysmal performance in producing quality defence products.

      • MT

        Lama and LCH are 2 generations apart. LCH is by far 4th gen helicopter if one ranks apache AH1-64E as 5th gen
        LCH has Flir sensor, E/O pod, Hemlet mounted display, laser designator,EW includes: laser, missile,radar warning receiver.

        It has french mistral , israeli lahat anti tank and Indian nag anti tank missile.

        A country which cannot make steel ll always expect others to falter.

        But in reality LCH is far superior combat heli than chinese z-10.

        300 dhruv old variants of LCH are in service & there were only 4 crash due to systems failures

        • Mustafa O

          Always whining like wh… e. Ur logics as shallow as your esteemed R&D centre of blunder called DRDO. Today ur army cancelled orders for state of the art Akash, which after 30 years of reverse engineering and millions of dollars of investment, failed to produce a quality product. Nishant another failure, tweety bird and arjun tanks fate is infront of the world. Give us a break modi toady, a country that fails to produce a decent product after 30 years of hard plagiarism, why are u even talking to us. Go waste time in ur cheap defence sites in India. U will find many of ur intellect.
          And talking of rankings, yuup ur tweety bird is gen 4. 5 and ur lch is 4 gen(indian definition)

          • MT

            Akash orders have been doubled from 50 per month to 100 as per official order issued on weekends

            U probably read it frm some blog written by arms import dalal.

            Pakistani products from babur, shaheen , alkhakid are all cheeni products.

            Raad was built by south Africa denel dynamics.
            Pak have never made an indigenous uav, missile from its home wind tunnel design.
            I haven’t heard of a single pakistani brand or pakistani designed weapon
            Every thing u use is cheeni while india sent a rocket to mars with its home engine which has no resemblance to any Western slv.

            We know skills of Pakistani based abroad.
            U can find 50 Indian ceo of top fortune companies in USA but pakistani are only good for taxi driving in suburb of NY

          • Mustafa O

            Suddenly out of the blue indians think they need a cruise missile like pakistani babur, since they could not rely on Brahmos, so they comeup with 1000 km Nirbhay. with no experience on the type of missile technoloigy, they have all the sudden a 1000km cruise missile, where did you got the miniature turbo fan engine from. you really want the world to believe that its an indian DRDO PRODUCED turbo fan engine, OFCOURSE, the solution, russian Kh-55SM cruise missile.
            5. do not come back with any more excuses please. Indians are big cheaters. and they are really good in stealing. but the problem is, despite the plagiarism, your products still suck.

            as for pakistan, you will never find anyone boasting about the weapon meant to kick indian a.. to be indigenous. neither pakistan has the time nor resources to REINVENT the wheel. so ToT is the word of today.

          • Mustafa O

            How in the world can you compare something called MUPSOW from denel that has found no light of day in the same company. no integration with south African airforce. the shape even does not match RAAD cruise nmissile. but if you want to satisfy yourself with a preposterous assertion, I don’t want to interrupt you in your, self satisfying wet fantasy world. Also, FYI, its integration is well underway with JF-17s, so you can try your best to bribe so called denel (who you again assert through your incompetent RAW sleuths that Denel is working on the project) to stop integration, because they will be as dumbfounded on the issue as you will be. And boy, will this weapon knock your million dollars investments down. it will be a treat to see that indeed. Billions of dollars worth of equipment, just gone phooooof.

          • Mustafa O

            Suddenly out of the blue indians think they need a cruise missile like pakistani babur, since they could not rely on Brahmos, so they comeup with 1000 km Nirbhay. with no experience on the type of missile technoloigy, they have all the sudden a 1000km cruise missile, where did you got the miniature turbo fan engine from. you really want the world to believe that its an indian DRDO PRODUCED turbo fan engine, OFCOURSE, the solution, russian Kh-55SM cruise missile.
            5. do not come back with any more excuses please. Indians are big cheaters. and they are really good in stealing. but the problem is, despite the plagiarism, your products still suck.

            as for pakistan, you will never find anyone boasting about the weapon meant to kick indian a.. to be indigenous. neither pakistan has the time nor resources to REINVENT the wheel. so ToT is the word of today.

          • MT

            India is working on nirvhay for 10-12 yrs and it is still 2-3 yrs away from induction.

            India has been working on turbofan engine since 1970s.
            India have made4-5 turbo fan engine in last3 decades.

            Nirbhay engine manik is barely 5Kn thrust Undergoing flight testing while hal recently tested 28 Kn dry thrust engine made with 3d printer.
            The engine ll be used by hal trainers.

            India had veen working on kaveri engine for 30yrs. The latest upgrade produce 80kn with afterburner. 29 are

          • Mustafa O

            talking of skills of Indians. Its a treat to see Indians on the international airports of middle eastern countries. yup, your right pak can be found driving cabs, but janitor job is exclusive for the indians

          • Mustafa O

            H-2 and H-4 are no doubt Denel SOWs, but so what. license produced and capability further enhanced to take down your targets with standoff capability, it’s a great investment. THEY ARE NOT ALCMs, einstein. they are SOWs. There is no comparison with ALCMs, which is a totally different ball game.
            “Following two successful qualification flights of the MUPSOW, Pakistan and Kentron (Denel) began work on developing the ‘Raad’ by carrying out minor modifications to the MUPSOW’s airframe, which included a stretched fuselage, a fixed ventral air intake and twin vertical tailfins, and incorporation of twin swivelling horizontal fins”
            so what else did your daddy tell you in your bedtime story or was he employed at the time. it’s really interesting how confidently you come up with your lines.

        • Mustafa O

          further, how does it really matter what ur CAG report says. THE TECHNOLOGY THAT’S NOT ORIGINALLY YOURS, everyone knows to reverse engineer is not a big deal. if we can do it, so can you, I suppose. AND NOT TO MENTION THE MINISCULE CONTRIBUTION YOUR DOMESTIC DEFENCE INDUSTRY IS MAKING. India today is the 2nd largest imprter of arms in the world. By comparison, pak military is doing great. By your comparison, Pak military produces its own G-3 assault rifle for its infantry, 300+ Alkhalid tanks to army, and ofcourse about 250 JF-17s. Not to mention Babur, Raad, Hafr, Ballistic missiles, bomb fuzes, PGMs, NVGs, LMGs, 500, 1000 and 2000 lbs bombs, M1 A3 APVs etc etc
          And about yet to finalise s-400 deal, how many batteries can you buy. do u have the resources to have a missile defence for entire india, I doubt. even russia has only Moscow covered with ABM defence, not entire russia. so that’s what pakistanis are doing, seducing indians to invest more into futile toys. one missile reaching its target is enough to do the damage. Besides, S-400 are not mobile, once their location becomes known, they become prime targets for babur and raad……phhhhooooooofffff

          • MT

            Indian import bill for defence is 3.1 bill $ far far less in % as compared to pak import.
            Moreover u are importing more weapons as % of your budget despite getting bill $ free American weapons which are not accounted

            India have built matured R&D capacity in last 30yrs. There were hiccups, delay with many failure but with involvement of pvt sector, india ll close gap with developed countries.

            THERE are 4-5companies making turbo fan engine in india..Hal tested it’s 1st home made 3 d printed 28Kn dry engine(40-45 kn with afterburner)
            This is 3rd engine developed fully indigenously in last 30yrs
            There is 5Kn thrust manik turbofan engine for Nirbhay undergoing flight testing. Twenty 80Kn wet thrust turbo fan being manufactured as preface to k10 90-96 Kn engine which are under development.
            India have target to develop k10 engine by 2024 which ll replace GE414 for mk2 in future.
            110Kn turbofan engine with 3d thrust vectoring is in early stages.

            Drdo Indian missile programme faced similar deficiency. Agni, prithvi, nag, akash, astra, ngram-anti radiation missile.
            As we speak 100 akash missile are being produced monthly.
            K series of missile are among few 5th gen missile.
            Imagine a missile with 12 meter length, 17ton weight and range of 4000-5000km.

            Indigenous trainer is undergoing multi loop tail test.
            India is building all kinds of aesa radar. Fire control aesa radar for navy is getting tested.India is mass producing dozen long range tracking radars with range over 1000km. Multi spectral spy satellite & SAR satellite get launched every 2yrs.

            MAKING awacs, ground aesa radar is cup of tea while real focus is on miniaturisation
            MINIATURISED radar for tejas mk2 ll have 1st prototype release in 2017-18.
            PLAN is to have matured aesa radar over next 7-8yrs on incremental basis.
            Anti radiation missile ll be inducted by 2018-19 with indian seekers.
            Nag, astra, lch have entered production phase
            India is working on 6-7kinds of seeker. Ku band seeker is ready, aesa ka band seeker is under development?sar band seeker undergoing testing while x band seeker are in final stage of development.
            INDIAN new fab for seeker, e/o sensor is being built for 30nm resolution while current 180nm fab is used for missile and slv.
            India spends 1% on gdp on R&D.
            With billion $ of investments by india pvt sector giants, MNC and American companies combined by indian advanced capability in civil sector, narural science, civil nuke tech you can only see gap between india pak to widen.

            Pakistani all products from babur, shaheen and raad are built abroad.

            Pakistan r&d is so miserable that it even imports/license produce 70era low imulse long march rocket engine for shaheen
            Missiles.
            Babutr and raad uses more than 90+% imported content.

            Pak don’t have a single made in pak defence product since you spend nothing on R&d and your local r&d is decades behind india

          • MT

            Pakistani r&d spending is in bottom 10 while india ranks in top70-80 with decent expenditure

        • Mustafa O

          Coming down to your tweety bird, I mean Tejas. So its superior. Ok, if you say so. The fact of matter is its only 43 feet long with 28ft wingspan. I don’t know how much fuel it carries to be an effective fighter. from the DRDO site, its clear that its combat radius is mere 500 km. It might be a better replacement to Mig 21 coffins, but that’s all its worth. agreed, JF thrust to weight ratio is not good enough (.99:1 with full internal fuel and 2 AAM) given its 19000 lbs thrust of Rd 93 engine, but it has DEEC (unlike indian Migs) thus significantly enhanced in performance , at all altitudes given integration of digital control of engine. But turn performance is not merely a function of T/W ratio, its aerodynamics as well. and given the fact that can turn with instantaneous turn rate of more than 26 deg/sec, exemplifies its maneuverability superior performance against tejas. Tweety bird, due to its more drag and less aspect ratio, will be a poor performer against JF in close combat, given high speed bleed off at comparatively lesser AOAs. I rest my case. what superiority Tejas has on JF interms of radar, BVR etc given the fact that JF has already both of them. Its BVR is a tested one, SD-10, a leading Chinese BVR on board chonese fighters, 2nd only to AMRAAM C-5, but better in performance to R-77 adder (which btw failed in its air to air tests with IAF in 2007, out of 6 fired only one connected that too in active ranges less than 10 miles)… again proved to PAF by chinese with Mach 5 capability, ECCM and HOJ capabilties. Your tweety bird will be good at best for point defence, nothing beyond that. Rest a sure, PAF will reign down its thunders in indian airspace during any conflict, unlike indians Tejas which at best be used 50 nm within its airbase. By the time your Mk1 A tejas rolls out, PAF would have put Blk 3 thunders to production line. with nothing in common interms to avionics suite, radar capbility and on board weapons.

          • MT

            Rd93 is poorer than ge404 in20 wrt Twr
            NO fadec in rd93
            Jf17 is dumped mig33 design. it cant turn at aoa of 26
            NO digital fly wire in jf
            Jf radar is poorer than elta 2032
            Jf carries less fuel than tejas. So one has to be educated from madrass to guess how pak fans bloated 400-500 km combat radius of jf to faked 1200km

        • Mustafa O

          Typical Indian With A Hollow Conscious And Teeeneey Weeney Chested Size With A Bloated Ego. I am sure either you are employed on the job or actually you are un employed or at best you are really obsessed with pakistan military technological superiority. I don’t’ understand your logic. I would search the net and give you the source of proof of indian plagiarism, while you would do the same thing and not believe that einstein indians are not worthy of cheating or copying foreign technology. you would rather insist to your own detriment that nerdy indians would rather prefer to REINVENT the wheel, waste all the time to catchup on the same technology and at the end produce something indian(worthless), which btw no one in the world owns up to be of top notch quality but indians themselves. then to infer that pakistanis are so dum that they don’t have an R&D of their own. are you really serious, that all they are doing is buy it from another source, repaint it and just put up for show. if so, I suggest you have a re alignment with your sooooo indian non RLG INS to find out true north. By no means I am underestimating your volume of R&D facilities, but seriously, with that volume of R&D base, the kind of products that hardly gets off the shelf within india, is an ABYSMAL performance.

  • Ali Hyder

    Russian ka-52 and a uh-60 black hawk are pretty good to

  • Sulayman

    Jigsaww, can you tell us when production of Jf-17 block 3 is expected?

  • Sami Shahid

    AH-1z vipers are best….But WZ-10 should also be a part of Pakistan Army Aviation as the WZ-10 is also a modern gunship plus it is cheaper than AH-1z vipers…..Pakistan should also look for mi-26

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