China's Z-20 Chopper Sling-Loads All-Terrain Vehicle For 1st Time, Can Transport 'Artillery, Drones'

© Photo : China MilitaryPilots assigned to an army aviation brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army maintain their helicopters in nearly motionless flight over a reference point at an ultra-low altitude before lifting off for a flight training exercise on January 5, 2022
Pilots assigned to an army aviation brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army maintain their helicopters in nearly motionless flight over a reference point at an ultra-low altitude before lifting off for a flight training exercise on January 5, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.05.2022
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China's domestically developed Z-20 helicopter can transport a wide variety of vehicles including self-propelled mortars, howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and air defenсe missile platforms as well as land drones, giving aerial assault troops more tactical options and advantages, experts said on Monday.
An aerial assault brigade attached to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) 83rd Group Army recently organized flight training that for the first time saw a Z-20 helicopter sling-load an 8x8 Lynx all-terrain vehicle, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.

The troops will continue to practice this method of transportation, including nighttime training and emergency management, the report said.

This exercise demonstrated the outstanding performances of the Z-20's fly-by-wire flight control system and its domestically built turboshaft engines, analysts said.

Sling-loading is an important way of maneuvering in aerial assault, as troops can first use helicopters to fly in with all-terrain vehicles, then use the vehicles to advance further, Wang Mingliang, a Chinese military expert, was quoted in the report as saying.

It boosts the all-terrain maneuverability of aerial assault units, and enables more flexible attacks on the battlefield, Wang said.

As a 10 ton-class utility helicopter that does not have a rear cargo door, the Z-20 cannot carry an all-terrain vehicle within its cabin like its 13 ton-class counterparts such as the Z-8L and the Mi-171, so sling-loading is the only way for the Z-20 to transport a vehicle, a military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

If the Z-20 can sling-load a Lynx all-terrain vehicle, it can likely do the same with variants of the Lynx, including those modified to become self-propelled mortars, howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, and air defense missile platforms, the expert said, noting that it can also carry unmanned vehicles like reconnaissance drones, munitions carriers and remote-control weapon stations.

This will give aerial assault troops more tactical options and advantages in terms of mobility, situational awareness and firepower, the expert said.
This article originally appeared on the Global Times website.
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