New Chinese Harbin Z-20 medium lift utility helicopter have been captured on video and in photos by amateur plane-spotters.
The new Z-20 helicopter bears strong resemblance to the Sikorsky S-70C Blackhawk. The only difference is that the main rotor of the S-70C is four-bladed whereas that of the new Chinese helicopter is five-bladed.
Once operational the new Z-20 could replace a fleet of Russian Mi-17 helicopters in service with Chinese army aviation.
The Z-20 helicopter accommodates about 12-15 fully-equipped troops. It has a payload capacity of around 5 000 kg. It can carry about 1 000 kg internally and 4 000 kg externally. It can carry various loads, such as vehicles and artillery pieced on underslung externally.
This utility helicopter can be armed with machine guns and possibly other weapons, such as anti-tank and air-to-air missiles, or unguided rockets.