Z-20


tphuang

Brigadier
VIP Professional
Registered Member
Why is that? Z-10 is produced by Changhe whereas Z-20 is by Harbin. They don't share the same engine.
I was a little surprised to hear that too, but it does make some sense. Harbin was involved in the development process of Z-10 also. Given their experience with assault helicopter, it's quite likely Harbin will be tasked with producing large portions of the helicopter. Final assembly isn't the only limiting factor for production. Similarly, other factories and suppliers in China would need to support production of Z-8, Z-10 and Z-20s. Even with the elevated production level of helicopters in China, it probably still has a ceiling for normal times.



A little more though on the Z-20 project and WZ-10. At this point, I think Z-20 is already quite good. Since WZ-9 had a 20% power bump to WZ-9G, it will not surprise me if a new WZ-10 variant will come out in 10% power bump in a couple of years. Additional power allows them to carry more payload on a sling. That would be important in any Taiwan or Tibet or Xinjiang scenario.

The biggest capability jump will be for PLAN, so that they can finally get past Z-9Cs. Hypothetically, a large expanded PLAN could have 24 Type 055s (8 per fleet), 36 052D (12 per fleet) and 48 054B (16 per fleet). Along with that, we could 8 large carriers and 8 LHDs.

Just based on that, we would need
48 Z-20s for Type 055s (2 per)
84 Z-20s for 052D/054B (1 per)
24 Z-20s for carriers (3 per)
48 Z-20s for LHDs (6 per)
Again, this could entirely be an overestimate. But that would be a need for 200 Z-20s from PLAN alone. Of course, we may never get to this point if a follow up class succeeds Z-20 by 2035. But the potential need for naval Z-20 is quite vast at the moment.
 

weig2000

Captain
I was a little surprised to hear that too, but it does make some sense. Harbin was involved in the development process of Z-10 also. Given their experience with assault helicopter, it's quite likely Harbin will be tasked with producing large portions of the helicopter. Final assembly isn't the only limiting factor for production. Similarly, other factories and suppliers in China would need to support production of Z-8, Z-10 and Z-20s. Even with the elevated production level of helicopters in China, it probably still has a ceiling for normal times.

Make sense it's likely a supply chain constraint. Chinese helicopter industry has really only taken off over the last decade after 2008. Z-10 and Z-20 are their first two mass production helicopters.


A little more though on the Z-20 project and WZ-10. At this point, I think Z-20 is already quite good. Since WZ-9 had a 20% power bump to WZ-9G, it will not surprise me if a new WZ-10 variant will come out in 10% power bump in a couple of years. Additional power allows them to carry more payload on a sling. That would be important in any Taiwan or Tibet or Xinjiang scenario.

The biggest capability jump will be for PLAN, so that they can finally get past Z-9Cs. Hypothetically, a large expanded PLAN could have 24 Type 055s (8 per fleet), 36 052D (12 per fleet) and 48 054B (16 per fleet). Along with that, we could 8 large carriers and 8 LHDs.

Just based on that, we would need
48 Z-20s for Type 055s (2 per)
84 Z-20s for 052D/054B (1 per)
24 Z-20s for carriers (3 per)
48 Z-20s for LHDs (6 per)
Again, this could entirely be an overestimate. But that would be a need for 200 Z-20s from PLAN alone. Of course, we may never get to this point if a follow up class succeeds Z-20 by 2035. But the potential need for naval Z-20 is quite vast at the moment.

It's a sensible projection till 2035. Their ASW capability still have large holes currently. When all is said and done, it's possible they can produce over 1,000 Z-20s including various variants and upgrades over the next decade and half.
 

by78

Lieutenant General
Z-20F/J. This is a high-resolution version of a previously shared image.

51885342632_ab07e81617_k.jpg
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
A new variant for SAR/CSAR - maybe called Z-20S (?) has entered service within the PLA Army Aviation's 161st Air Assault Brigade. It features an EO turret and a search light under the fuselage plus a crash position indicator (CPI) installed underneath the tail boom as well.

Just a quick and dirty comparison of both PLA Army Aviation Z-20 variants yet in service: On top the alleged Z-20S CSAR vs. on the bottom the regular Z-20 utility transport version.

(Images courtesy of CMDSY & YGJS via Huitong's CMA-Blog)

Z-20S CSAR vs. Z-20 untility transport - 1+.jpg
 

SinoSoldier

Colonel
I'm surprised that this little update was missed:
The latest image (March 2022) suggested that the #632 prototype has been modified into an "Integrated RF Testbed" featuring a strip of conformal multifunctional phased array antenna mounted on its rear fuselage and tail boom. The testbed could later evolve into a dedicated EW helicopter.
(Huitong)

632.jpg

If so, I wonder how useful this would be in protecting helicopter groups from MANPADs, radars, or even AAMs like the TY-90. I know this probably isn't the case, but it is almost as if they're observing what's been happening to Russian forces in Ukraine over the past couple of weeks.
 

gelgoog

Colonel
Registered Member
This would be most useful against systems like the Tor. Since the US and NATO ground armies lack proper short range air defenses I think this would be most useful against ships.
 

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