February 5, 2011:
The Chinese Z-19 armed scout helicopter has been spotted in the air. The Z-19 has been undergoing flight testing for at least a year now, and is probably a year or two away from entering service. The Z-19 is yet another Chinese helicopter based on the Eurocopter Dauphin (which has been built under license in China for two decades). The Z-19 is a 4.5 ton, two seat armed helicopter. It can carry a 23mm autocannon and up to a ton of munitions (missiles, usually). Cruising speed is 245 kilometers an hour and range is 700 kilometers. The Z-19 will complement the Z-9 attack helicopter, which has been in service for two years. Since the Z-9 is based on the Dauphin as well, the Z-19 is basically an improved Z-9. China is also developing a slightly larger Z-10 helicopter gunship.