BEIJING (Agencies): The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Army is set to unveil some of its latest helicopters and drones at an upcoming national helicopter exposition, emphasizing the synergy between manned and unmanned equipment in integrated operations.

The 6th China Helicopter Exposition, China’s premier national-level international helicopter exhibition, is scheduled to take place from September 14 to 17 in Tianjin, North China, as reported by China Central Television (CCTV).

Over 350 companies and a total of 65 helicopters and drones are expected to participate in the event. Among the highlights will be the debut of the Z-11WB helicopter, PLA Army’s multirole drones, vertical takeoff and landing drones, as well as the Aero Engine Corporation of China’s WZ-16 turboshaft engine and hydrogen-fueled engine, all on display for the first time, according to CCTV.

The equipment presented by the PLA Army at the helicopter expo will emphasize their advanced capabilities in real-world combat situations, said Senior Colonel Ning Tao of the PLA Army’s Equipment Department during a press conference.

A comprehensive display of 79 pieces of equipment across 14 different types will showcase the PLA Army’s accomplishments in mobile operations, multidimensional attack and defense, combining air and ground elements, manned and unmanned systems, as well as transport and attack capabilities.

The expo will feature static displays of helicopters, drones, and airborne weapons in active service. Notably, it will debut a wide-body transport helicopter and an armed reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle, underscoring the integrated operational capabilities between manned and unmanned equipment, according to Ning.

Throughout the expo, the Fenglei Aerobatic Team will deliver six flight performances, featuring seven Z-10 attack helicopters, six Z-19 attack helicopters, and two Z-20 tactical utility helicopters, Ning added. Civilian-use helicopters, including the AC352, AC312, and AC311A, will also perform rescue demonstrations at the event, as announced by Zhou Guoqiang, a spokesperson with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, during the press conference.

The exhibition is anticipated to showcase the latest advancements in the Chinese helicopter industry and provide insights into the nation’s next-generation helicopters, as per an anonymous Beijing-based military expert speaking to the Global Times. While global trends in helicopter development emphasize high speed and stealth,

China is striving to develop its heavy-lift transport helicopter and heavy attack helicopter. Nonetheless, the nation has reached a world-class level in terms of integrated operations between helicopters and drones, which will be a prominent feature at the expo, the expert noted.

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