BEIJING – An indigenously developed attack helicopter, specifically designed to meet the requirements of the foreign market, made its maiden flight on Thursday, according to state-run Xinhua.
The Z-19E, developed by the state-owned AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry, took to the skies over the city of Harbin for its maiden flight, with images carried on state television.
“The helicopter is the latest narrow-body tandem-seat armed helicopter. It is also the country’s first export-oriented helicopter made especially for attack purposes,” the state news agency said.
“It is able to be deployed for battlefield support and a variety of other missions in a complicated battlefield environment during both day and night,” Li Shengwei, deputy chief designer of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry, told Xinhua.
The Z-19E is mainly intended to attack tanks, armored vehicles and other ground targets, flying at very low altitudes, Xinhua added.
China has rolled out a series of increasingly advanced equipment in recent years, including stealth fighter jets and the first domestically developed aircraft carrier.