Chinese army finally accepts Z-18A helicopters into service

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Following more three years of testing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accepted into service the Z-18A medium transport helicopters.

According to CCTV reports, the first Z-18A helicopter developed by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) was formal acceptance into service of PLA in 2017.

The Z-18A is a domestically developed medium transport helicopter. It can carry up to 30 passengers and has a range of about 1,000 kilometers. Alternatively, it can carry about 14 stretchers, plus medical attendants. The Z-18A is more powerful than the earlier Z-8B model or the MI-171 helicopter manufactured by Russia.

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The Z-18 uses composite materials for the rotor blade and titanium main rotor. It is equipped with a modern integrated digital avionics system and advanced electronic flight instrument landing system.

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The helicopter can operate during both daytime and nighttime and can fly in extreme weather conditions.

The army version of Z-18 has a further protruding nose section. A terrain-following radar is fitted under the nose. It is expected to replace the old Z-8A.


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