New rotorcraft, designed to strengthen the transport and strike potential of the PLA, in the expert environment received the designation Z-8L. It has the widest hull among Chinese-designed helicopters..
Z-8L flying over Tiananmen Square with flags of the Chinese Communist Party. Previously, the flights of this model were not publicly demonstrated..
New Large Military Helicopter Debuts at CPC Anniversary Event [in connection with its centenary]
– reported in the Global Times.
The large size of the Z-8L allows the transport of an off-road assault vehicle along with personnel. This is the first Chinese helicopter in the class. 15 tonnes. It is based on the Z-8, whose mass is 13 tonnes. The Z-8 launched into mass production, in turn, was developed on the basis of the Z-18, which is a local modification of the French Aérospatiale SA321 Super Frelon.
Another model Z-20, created by the efforts of Chinese developers, weighs about 10 tonnes. She is, very similar to the American helicopter Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, began to enter service with the Chinese troops in 2019 year.
As analysts expect, Z-8L will be used not only in the army, but also in the navy, participating in amphibious operations from ships Type 075 PLA Navy.