The CAIC Z-10 attack helicopters for the first time participated in a recent patrol exercise organized by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison, indicating that the garrison has commissioned this type of helicopter to provide escort and air support to other helicopters, vessels and ground troops in joint operations. CCP media outlet Global Times reported that the PLA Hong Kong Garrison recently conducted a scheduled joint maritime and air patrol for the second season of the year, featuring training courses including not only patrol but also search and rescue.
The CAIC Z-10 is a Chinese medium attack helicopter developed for the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force. It is designed primarily for anti-tank warfare missions but can also carry out missions including maritime strikes, coordination with warships and close-range air support for ground troops. Due to its modular design concept, Z-10 attack helicopter can be armed with a wide variety of weaponry. Offensive weaponry consists of machine guns, cannons, rockets and missiles. The stub wings have two hardpoints each for a total of four, each hardpoint being able to carry up to 4 missiles for a total of up to 16.
The project had early Russian involvement with Kamov Design Bureau of Russia under a contract with the Chinese government. South Africa provided limited help in the area of flight stability based on experience from designing the Denel Rooivalk. In June 2012, United States charged United Technologies and two of its subsidiaries, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Hamilton Sundstrand, of selling engine control software to China which aided in the development of the CAIC Z-10. While the Chinese defence ministry denied that China bought or used the software, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Hamilton Sundstrand agreed to pay more than $75 million to the U.S. government to settle the charges.
The People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison is a garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), responsible for defence duties in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) since the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to China in 1997. The garrison is headquartered in Chinese People’s Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building in Central, Hong Kong. 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, and the PLA Hong Kong Garrison is an important embodiment of national sovereignty, a key force in safeguarding “one country, two systems,” and a key footstone in safeguarding Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.