The drive for supremacy has pushed China to make knockoffs of the Black Hawk helicopter and Hellfire ATG missiles. It can be noted that many of these innovations were stolen by Chinese Communist (CCP) Party hackers.
American military helicopters like the UH-60 have been tested in battle, including the U.S. Hellfire, a well-known tank killer equipped on the AH-64. But most experts believed that these are poor copies.
Recently, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) tested the Hellfire copy, an advanced air-to-ground (ATG) missile, based on the U.S. version. They mounted and fired it from an attack helicopter during a live-fire test, cited SCMP.
The knockoff of the ATG missile has its specifications withheld for secrecy. Just like the original U.S. ATG, it is a standoff weapon. Most of its specs point to it being a mobile weapon on the battlefield.
There are claims that the Chinese ATG is a long-range vehicle-mounted weapon. It is supposed to have multiple guidance systems with anti-jamming added to its functions.
The China Helicopter Research and Development Institute developed the project but got delayed by the pandemic. Officials, however, say they are now on track, reported Defence News.
Once the missile is cleared for deployment, it will replace the outdated AKD-9 and AKD-10 anti-tank missiles and YJ-9 anti-ship missiles used by the Chinese military. The new missile can be mounted on more than one helicopter in service with the PLA. Engineers claim that it offers the same qualities as the US AGM-114 "Hellfire" series.
According to Zhongping, a military expert, it can hit stationary targets and penetrate tank and naval armor easily. One multiple uses of a weapon on one combat platform can attack several kinds of targets. Though using helicopters to attack is unheard of with many weapon systems to attack ships. China's knockoff Black Hawk will be used extensively in many operations.
He added that the use of the new ATG would be a faster response to enemies.
One of the missiles being used by the Chinese PLA is the Chinese-developed TY-90 air-to-air missile. Planned to be integrated into weapons payload is the AGM Hellfire copy and TY-90 (claimed to be a first), with rocket bombs on most of the PLA air support.
The PLA has assault rotorcraft for air support and other operations, like the home-grown Z-10 and Z-20, and the Z-19 as an update of the Z-9. The Z-9 is copied from the French Dolphin.
Global Times described the Z-20 helicopters as a medium-lift helicopter, with versatility for all-terrain and weather configurable to several mission profiles. Missions would be to airlift troops and cargo, search and rescue, and reconnaissance.
The American UH-60 has served in all theatres and has a pave low version, which can do a map of the earth flying for troop inserts. The Z-20 has yet to do it.
More propaganda needs confirmation if the Z-20 can work in the Ladakh border on the Himalayan high country. Engineers alleged the engine is better in this version.
Military experts doubt that China and its knockoff Black Hawk helicopter is good enough as that of the U.S. China got a hold of one in the 1980s for Tibet.