Thursday, April 16, 2015

China gifts Pakistan 3 of its latest WZ-10 Combat Helicopter gunships

(Islamabad) It's no secret that Pakistan is on the market for helicopter gunships to replace the Vietnam era Cobras it currently fields. With the US telling them to bugger off in regards to the AH-64E Apache, with the EU doing the same with the Tiger/Tigre, the Pakistanis looked at the Turkish T129 the Russian Hind which, funny enough, the Russians approved to sell to Pakistan last November, and the Chinese WZ-10. Well, in an attempt to win the Pakistani government over, it appears that the Chinese have gifted 3 WZ-10 gunships to the Pakistani army to do as they please.

Three Z-10 attack helicopters at the Qasim Army base, Rawalphindi

As mentioned before by this blog, the WZ-10 is the Chinese version of the Apache gunship which, funny enough, owes a lot of its design tothe Agusta A129 Mangusta which China borrowed  a few years back in which to see if they should purchase it. (Yeah, right.) Ironically, the Turkish T129, which the Pakistani army looked at, is simply a later iteration of the A129, which to all intent and purposes is exactly what the WZ-10 appears to be. But then the Turks didn't just hand over 3 to Islamabad.

No matter the pedigree, the WZ-10 appears to be a formidable helicopter gunship. Armed with up to 16 anti-tank missiles, 4 anti-aircraft missiles and a chin mounted machine gun, I'd guess that China will sell a lot of these to other countries.