30 Juli 2013

First Z-9s Arrive in Cambodia

30 Juli 2013

A Chinese-built Z-9 military helicopter, one of 12 purchased with loans from China, performs a test flight over Phnom Penh (CambodiaDaily)

Cambodia has received the first two of a fleet of new Z-9 multirole helicopters purchased from China, with the remaining 10 aircraft to be delivered in mid-August.

Initial test flights of the new helicopters, a license-built version of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin manufactured by the Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, were undertaken by Cambodian personnel on 19 July outside Phnom Penh, Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh was quoted in local press reports as saying.

"They can and will be used for many purposes such as carrying out rescue operations and transporting different materials and so on," the minister said.

Chinese media sources have indicated that in addition to six Z-9B utility versions of the helicopter, the new fleet, which will replace Cambodia's ageing inventory of Soviet-era Mil Mi-8s and Mi-17s, will also include four armed Z-9Ws and two aircraft dedicated for VIP transport.


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