The Z-19 light attack helicopter is developed by Harbin Aircraft Industrial Corporation. Image: courtesy of AHS International.
The Z-19 helicopter performed its first flight in May 2010. Image: courtesy of AHS International.
The helicopter features four main rotor blades. Image: courtesy of AHS International.
Z-19 is fitted with gyro-stabilised sensor turret. Image: courtesy of AHS International.
The Z-19 helicopter is powered by two WZ-8A Turboshaft engines. Image: courtesy of AHS International.

Harbin z

Z-19 is a light attack and reconnaissance helicopter developed and manufactured by Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG), for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

It is based on the Harbin Z-9W military utility helicopter, which is a license-built variant of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin multi-purpose helicopter.

The Z-19 can primarily conduct attack, armed reconnaissance and scout missions. It is capable of destroying enemy tanks and other land-based targets.

In May 2010. the helicopter performed its first flight and was introduced at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, held at the Airshow China held in Zhuhai in November 2012.

Z-19 attack helicopter design and features

A triple engine, multi-role helicopter designed and manufactured by the Changhe Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) of China.

The Z-19 light attack and reconnaissance helicopter features a conventional, stealthy design integrating a trimmed forward fuselage and a tandem cockpit. It also has a low acoustic signature and can execute operations under difficult weather and environmental conditions.

A four-bladed main rotor, which has a diameter of 11.9m comes fitted into the fuselage, as does a fenestron tail rotor and two stubby wings. The fuselage is also equipped with non-retractable front-landing gears for safe take-off and landing.

The helicopter has a length of 12m and height of approximately 4.01m. Maximum take-off weight is 4,500kg, whereas the empty weight is 2,350kg.

A crew of two operate the helicopter. This includes a pilot, who is seated in the front of the cockpit and a gunner, accommodated at the rear. Crash-resistant seats and armour plates come with the cockpit to offer protection for the personnel. An infrared-suppressing exhaust system is also installed for protection against infrared-guided threats.

Avionics on board Z-19 helicopter

The Harbin Z-19 light attack helicopter features a gyro-stabilised sensor turret fixed under the nose. This turret houses forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera systems, laser range finder/designator and a TV.

The helicopter is also equipped with the latest mast-mounted active millimetre-wave (MMW) radar to find and engage targets over long ranges and comes with advanced helmet mounted sight (HMS) and fly-by-wire controls.

Z-19 helicopter weaponry

"Powered by a solid fuel rocket, the 25kg missile can reach speeds up to 220m/s."

Four hard-points can be found under the wings of the Harbin Z-19. These wings can carry TY-90 (TianYan-90) short-range air-to-air missiles, gun pods, rocket pods, and pod-mounted 23mm main automatic cannons as well as HJ-8 wire-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system developed by NORINCO.

The TY-90 air-to-air missile measures 1.86m in length and 90mm in diameter. It weighs 20kg, which includes a 3kg warhead and it can reach a top speed of Mach 2. Targets can be struck by the helicopter within a range of 500m to 6km.

The HJ-8 ATGM has an overall length of 1.56m and diameter of 120mm. Powered by a solid fuel rocket, the 25kg missile can reach speeds up to 220m/s. The maximum operational range of the missile is 6km.

Engine and performance of the light attack helicopter

Two WZ-8A Turboshaft engines power the Z-19 light gunship helicopter and generate a take-off power of 632kW each.

The power-plant provides a cruising speed of about 245km/h and a maximum speed of approximately 280km/h. The helicopter has a maximum range of 700km, can climb at a rate of 9m/s and operate at a ceiling of 2,400m. It can perform airborne operations for more than three hours.

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