Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China’s Z-19E Combat Helicopter Developed for Export Makes Maiden Flight

For export

(Photo : AVIC) Harbin Z-19E.

The Harbin Z-19E reconnaissance/attack helicopter developed specifically to meet the requirements of the international military trade market made its maiden flight in Harbin on May 18.

The Z-19E is a derivative of the Harbin Z-19 currently in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF). The Z-19 entered service with the PLAAF in 2012 and some 100 of these helicopters might be operational in the PLAAF and the PLAGF.

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It has a maximum speed of 280 km/h and a range of 700 km. Its pylons can mount eight HJ-8 anti-tank missiles (or other anti-tank/air-to-surface/anti-ship missiles) or eight TY-90 air-to-air missiles.

The new generation export-oriented model developed by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry is China's latest narrow-body tandem-seat armed helicopter, said state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

The Z-19E is also China's first export-oriented helicopter made especially for ground attack missions. It's mainly intended to attack tanks, armored vehicles, defensive positions and other targets on the ground.

It can provide direct fire support for ground troops; launch attacks on helicopters and other low-altitude targets; fly at a very low altitude and fly as part of a helicopter swarm.

"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," said Li Shengwei, deputy chief designer of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry.

The helicopter has a tandem dual-seat cabin layout, providing both pilots in the front and back with a panoramic view. With a maximum take-off weight of 4,250 kg, the Z-19E is a light armed helicopter with advantages in cruising speed, climb rate and usable ceiling, according to its developer.

It isn't known if the Z-19E will also feature some of the advanced technologies in the Z-19. These technologies include a turret with FLIR (forward-looking infrared); a laser range finder and an advanced helmet mounted sight (HMS).

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