China’s new Z-8G transport helicopters were recently spotted during a large-scale military exercise near a disputed Himalayan border.
The new Z-8G helicopters attached to an army aviation brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army took part in a flight training exercise at an extremely low altitude in plateau area.
The Global Times described the Z-8G as a “large transport helicopter” that focuses on “plateau operations”.
The new helicopter flew for the first time in 2014. Powered by three domestic WZ-6C turboshafts, it has a maximum takeoff weight of 13.8 tonnes (30,360 pounds). It can carry 30 troops, or five tonnes (11,000 pounds) of cargo, for up to 1,000 km (600 miles). The helicopter can take off from 4,500 meters above sea level and has a ceiling of more than 6,000 meters.
An updated troop transport version of the Z-8G helicopter entered service with PLA ground forces in early 2018.