China is reportedly developing a new helicopter that will provide its military with stealth capabilities, a Chinese newspaper has reported.
The new aircraft, being developed by the country's leading aerospace manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China, should be ready for delivery to the People's Liberation Army around 2020.
Citing Lin Zuoming, the company chairman of Aviation Industry Corp of China, told China Daily on Friday that the stealth capabilities of the helicopter will ‘reshape the combat patterns’ of the country's 2.3 million-strong military forces.
"It is a trend that the ground force will become increasingly dependent on helicopters because they have better strike capability and mobility than armoured vehicles and transport supplies to frontier troops," Lin said.
Without providing any further details, Wu Ximing , the chief helicopter designer of Aviation Industry Corp of China, said the aircraft would have ‘supreme manoeuvrability in complicated environments, outstanding survivability and joint operation ability’.
The development is another step in the strategy of China’s President Xi Jinping to toughen and modernise the country's army as China pursues its interests in the South China and East China seas.
In the recent years, the country’s industry has been focusing on development of multiple high-tech weapons including stealth jets, aircraft carriers and emerging technology aimed at shooting down satellites.