Beijing: The China-made attack helicopter Z-19E made its deput flight from the Harbin airport yesterday marking a major step towards the country's entry into the global market for combative choppers.
Also called the "Black Whirlwind," the Z-19E, which took the maiden flight yesterday, is the first export-oriented attack helicopter developed by the AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group.
Based on the Z-19's design, the 19E can be used in quick-response, low-impact and frequent attack missions, the China National Radio reported.
Deputy chief designer Li Shengwei said the helicopter is equipped with safety features to improve the pilot's survival rate.
"The Z-19E and Z-9 are similar in many respects," Li said.
In terms of manoeuvrability and functions, the Z-19E meets international standards and its operating interface is in English, he said.
"The Z-19E has strong market potential as some of its components are compatible with other countries' military systems," Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the PLA Rocket Force, told the state-run Global Times.
Song also noted that the helicopter would fare well in the global market.
It is aimed at countries which require light military helicopters with medium-level attack power, he said.