China's Cutting-Edge Attack Helicopter Is Actually A Russian Design
That's right, China's premier attack helicopter, a first for the fledgling super power, was a product of the Russian company Kamov, Guy Norris of Aviation Week reports.
"Sergei Mikheyev, General Designer of the Kamov Design Bureau ... dropped the proverbial bombshell at Heli-Expo here in Las Vegas this afternoon," Norris writes, "Mikheyev told an astonished crowd that China's Z-10/WZ-10 attack helicopter was actually designed in great secrecy under contract for China by Kamov."
Kamov is a Russian "rotary wing" helicopter manufacturing company which has seen great success building attack and transport helicopters for the Russian Air Force.
China played it off the whole time as if its company Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation was spearheading the lead on development. Maybe Kamov and the Russian felt bad for rejecting China's bids to buy MiG jets and attack helicopters in the late 90s early 200s.
It's important to note that Kamov was not the only entity that gave China a hand. Pratt and Whitney, and Canadian defense company, paid a hefty $75 million dollar fine for delivering helicopter engine hardware for the Z-10 to China.
Dave Majumdar of Flight Global write:
After Kamov completed the design, the Russian design bureau verified the design via testing. Kamov then delivered the design to China and the Project 941 concept was accepted by that country's government for further development, [Mikheyev] says. Kamov did not participate in any further developmental work on the WZ-10, [Mikheyev] insists.
Majumdar explained that the Russian company kept the whole thing under wraps, "for obvious reasons," Mikheyev said.
China has poured money into its slow-moving defense manufacturing and fabrication industry in an attempt to shock it to life — the sector has been plagued with inefficiencies and corruption. China has made concerted efforts to curtail it's import of arms from Russia in the hopes of saving money and making a buck or two providing exports.