New Chinese Heavy Attack Helicopter

Deino

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If legit - and at least by now it seems, it is - another surprise!Huitong has updated his Blog and again if this image is real, then this is maybe the new heavy attack helicopter Z-XX; he mentions Z-21 (?).However it looks more based on the Z-20 and very much like an AH-64 than promised by some rumours.

Z-21 new attack helicopter - 20240321 - 琴石2022 - 1.jpg
 
Z-20 dynamics with a new forward fuselage. Looks from the picture that China has gone with an Apache crew layout.
 
Ha! Seems that the "experts" agree with our assessment.

A more strenuous point is, why? What did the current platforms not provide that is remedied with a new heavier attack helicopter?
Range? Stowed kills? Marketability? Survivability? Interesting in many ways.
 
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Ha! Seems that the "experts" agree with our assessment.

A more strenuous point is, why? What did the current platforms not provide that is remedied with a new heavier attack helicopter?
Range? Stowed kills? Marketability? Survivability? Interesting in many ways.

They needed something that could take off from
Mainland air bases, cross the strait, loiter for a long time and have enough armor to take hits and enough weapons to dish out damage.
 
Ha! Seems that the "experts" agree with our assessment.

A more strenuous point is, why? What did the current platforms not provide that is remedied with a new heavier attack helicopter?
Range? Stowed kills? Marketability? Survivability? Interesting in many ways.
This version has 6 or 8 hardpoints (visuals confirm 6x under the wings, not sure if there's an option to hang some Sidewinder or Stinger equivalents on the wingtips proper), so if the inboard hardpoints are plumbed for fuel this new beast can carry 2x drop tanks and still carry the usual ATGMs and rocket pods (plus maybe some light AAMs on the wingtips).
 
I think the Chinese military didn’t care about noise suppression or just literally grafted the rear section of the Z-20 to the new front section for ease of construction/maintenance. When I first saw the profile shot, I thought of the movie The Fly (1958).
 
Could this Z-24? Z-20 HAH? Be a effort to make PLA aviation more common in terms of supply and materials as from my understanding the UH-60 and AH-64 and AH-1Z and UH-1Y use basically the same engine given enough time China could end up with a "simpler" supply chain or at least fewer types to maintain
 
Commonality is good. The USMC H-1 series touted 80% commonality. Thier program went through the DoD staffing process very fast. Tactically only having one set of parts for multiple aircraft gives the maintainers huge flexibility to meet mission.
 
Not X tail rotor. Why?

As others have said, keeping the same propulsion and drivetrain, rotors of the Z-20 greatly expedites development time as well as improves logistics.

This "Z-21" also wouldn't be the only attack helicopter in the world to not have an x tail rotor.
 
Could this Z-24? Z-20 HAH? Be a effort to make PLA aviation more common in terms of supply and materials as from my understanding the UH-60 and AH-64 and AH-1Z and UH-1Y use basically the same engine given enough time China could end up with a "simpler" supply chain or at least fewer types to maintain
robably not Z-24, it's unsure since only one designation system has gotten to a number with a four but there's a superstition in China relating to the character for four rhyming with the character for death.
 
(Look up Z-10)
I just did (and why the brackets?). Looks a whole lot like numerous Western predecessors, which in turn pretty much all trace their origins back to the venerable AH-1G. But we all know that the Commie chinese are killer good/pretty adept at copying Western concepts, so what's your point?
 
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I just did (and why the brackets?). Looks a whole lot like numerous Western predecessors, which in turn pretty much all trace their origins back to the venerable AH-1G. But we all know that the Commie chinese are killer good/pretty adept at copying Western concepts, so what's your point?

Because your answer to his question about why this new helicopter doesn't have x rotors on the tail is a complete misfire, as they already had a helicopter with x rotors on the tail before, therefore it is not a particularly exotic or new tail rotor configuration that requires demonstration or mastery.
 
Cockpit' flat roof of these helicopter reminds me YAH-63, AH-64 contender.
Most modern attack helicopters have much devised cockpit for pilot and gunner, then this new Chinese machine. I wonder, why its' designers decided to "unite" two cockpits in such manner
 
Cockpit' flat roof of these helicopter reminds me YAH-63, AH-64 contender.
Most modern attack helicopters have much devised cockpit for pilot and gunner, then this new Chinese machine. I wonder, why its' designers decided to "unite" two cockpits in such manner
Probably to reduce how much armor they need.
 
Probably to reduce how much armor they need.
That's reasonable. Perhaps, I should reconsider my opinion, as there were lot of modern attack helicopters, where cockpit of pilot and weapon officer have been integrated under single armored fairing. AH-64 is a good example for this. Seems, that different approaches to cockpit' layout are exist and designers could choose among them. Even side-by-side Ka-52 confirms this :)
 
What is that mysterious thing on the top of the rotor mast Deino? A milimetric wave radar? Or will that come later. Certainly looks a lot heavier than the Z-20, have leasons been learned from the Z-20?
 
What is that mysterious thing on the top of the rotor mast Deino? A milimetric wave radar? Or will that come later. Certainly looks a lot heavier than the Z-20, have leasons been learned from the Z-20?
I suspect it is a "To be determined" counterweight to ensure that flight testing accounts for the weight on top of the rotor system. I would fully expect China to put some sort of radar sensor in that location for 360 degree search capability. I would also expect the wingtip countermeasure device(s) to increase in size to account for more cooling and space for electronics. Those locations are also good for electromagnetic sensing, giving modern attack helicopters a means to geolocate emitters.
Given the currently speculated size of the rear windows, I will go against most and say that the front seat, given more visibility, is the pilot station. The front seater is closer to the PNVS, so less spatially disoriented. Of course in most attack helicopters either station can be used to fly the aircraft.
 
I totally agree with you yasotay on the co-pilot being able to fly the helicopter if the pilot was taken out with enemy fire, the co-pilot would be able to bring back the helicopter back to base in an emergency.
 
I suspect it is a "To be determined" counterweight to ensure that flight testing accounts for the weight on top of the rotor system. I would fully expect China to put some sort of radar sensor in that location for 360 degree search capability. I would also expect the wingtip countermeasure device(s) to increase in size to account for more cooling and space for electronics. Those locations are also good for electromagnetic sensing, giving modern attack helicopters a means to geolocate emitters.
Given the currently speculated size of the rear windows, I will go against most and say that the front seat, given more visibility, is the pilot station. The front seater is closer to the PNVS, so less spatially disoriented. Of course in most attack helicopters either station can be used to fly the aircraft.
Could also be a drone controller antenna like on the AH64E.

But I assume it's just a counterweight at this point.
 
Finally a truly good and halfway clear image of China’s new heavy attack helicopter. And the more we see, the more it looks indeed like a Z-20 with AH-64D elements.

(Image via @水雷屋 from Weibo)

IMG_4042.jpeg
 
Kinda looks like they really went the same route as the AH-1 in development the entire upper engines and aft tail of the airframe looks like a Z-20 so we now know what would have happened if the AH-60L was development as a purpose built attack helicopter the FLIR/EO looks like thay are going the same route as the AH-1Z/UH-Y could it be the same one from the Z-20 just upside down?
 
With a clear picture we can now see that the helicopter does have the same level of transparencies as do most attack heliocopters. Thus either the front or back seat can fly and operate sensors. If the Chinese elect to go with a pilotage sensor (which the nose looks to be designed for), then it is not an issue which position the aircraft is flown from.
 

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