The Changhe Z-10 is China’s first native attack helicopter, designed for anti-armor and close air support missions as the People’s Liberation Army’s answer to America’s AH-1 Cobra. However, compared to its U.S. counterpart, it is much larger, heavier, and less agile. It has about 50% of the Cobra’s firepower, making it a statistically poor adversary despite being produced around 40 years later. At 7,500 kilograms, it is even considerably heavier than its contemporaries, the Eurocopter Tiger and A129 Mangusta, and China failed to meet the weight requirements for the Changhe Z-10 to be a consideration for use by E.U. nation militaries.
Despite its shortcomings, the Changhe Z-10 incorporates modern avionics and weaponry, boosting its reputation on the world stage. These include helmet-mounted optics, radar warning systems, ejector seats, stealth properties, and advanced GPS navigation. Its armament consists of a 23-millimeter machine gun, rockets, and missiles, with a payload of up to 1,500 kilograms when fully loaded.
While China is currently embroiled in conflict and tension along its borders, the Changhe Z-10 has seen limited action, and given its lesser capabilities compared to its peers, it ranks the lowest on this list.
[Featured image by Shimin Gu via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | GFDL 1.2]