Pakistan to Receive WZ-10ME Attack Helicopters from China
Photos are circulating in cyberspace, where the WZ-10ME is seen flying. It is likely that it is carrying out a test flight from the Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) factory area before being sent to Pakistan.
It is unclear whether this WZ-10ME replaces the Turkish T129 ATAK attack helicopter, which it never received. Pakistani authorities provided confusing signals about the future of T129s. Even though it was publicly stated that Pakistan would give up on the Turkish platform, it was later denied and said that Pakistan would continue with the Turkish option.
In 2018, Pakistan signed a deal with Turkish Aerospace Industries to supply 30 T129 ATAKs, valued at US $1.5 billion.
This sales failure was caused by an embargo imposed by the United States on using the LHTEC T800-4A engine for the T129 ATAK.
British Rolls-Royce and American company Honeywell jointly developed this turboshaft engine.
Turkiye develops an indigenous turboshaft engine where it can offer future helicopters with these engines.
With this fact, Pakistan has finally turned its attention to the WZ-10ME attack helicopter, which had previously been offered to the Pakistan Armed Forces.
The helicopter offers active and passive countermeasures systems, an approaching missile warning system, a radar warning receiver RWR ), an infrared jammer, and a new IFF interrogator.
The WZ-10ME has all-weather round-the-clock combat capability and can carry a variety of weapons, such as air-to-ground missiles, air-to-air missiles and rockets.
Pakistan will be the first foreign customer for the WZ-10ME attack helicopter.