China has developed a new military transport helicopter Z-18.

The Changhe Z-18 is a medium transport helicopter developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) to replace the Z-8.

The Z-18 is a single-rotor helicopter with tail rotor and a non-retractable landing gear, thought to be based on the Avicopter AC313, an updated design based on the earlier Harbin Z-8, itself a development of the Aérospatiale Super Frelon.

Naval version of Z-18 was first revealed onboard Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. In 2014, army version of Z-18 was revealed in Chinese army publications. It features a redesigned lower fuselage, with power provided by three improved WZ-6 turboshaft engines and has a maximum payload of 13.8 tonnes.

Variants

  • Z-18: Based on the Avicopter AC313 design, it features a modified lowered fuselage and an improved WZ-6C turboshaft. A nose-mounted weather radar as well as FLIR and TV turrets were installed. Additional communication and navigation antennae are also added.
  • Z-18J: New AEW variant with a multimode AESA radar from the 38th Institute.
  • Z-18F: A recent anti submarine version with surface radar, dipping sonar, hardpoints intended for torpedoes/missiles, and sonobuoys.
  • Z-18A: Army version with a terrain following radar and EO turret.

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