Did China Clone a U.S. Apache Attack Helicopter?

It’s possible, but not for certain

Did China Clone a U.S. Apache Attack Helicopter? Did China Clone a U.S. Apache Attack Helicopter?

Uncategorized October 14, 2013 1

Ah-64 Apache. Photo via China Defense Blog Did China Clone a U.S. Apache Attack Helicopter? It’s possible, but not for certain by DAVID CENCIOTTI... Did China Clone a U.S. Apache Attack Helicopter?
Ah-64 Apache. Photo via China Defense Blog

Did China Clone a U.S. Apache Attack Helicopter?

It’s possible, but not for certain

by DAVID CENCIOTTI

This is a bit suspicious. Photographs that recently appeared on Chinese defense blogs — a key source for glimpses of new People’s Liberation Army equipment — seem to show a U.S. AH-64D Apache attack helicopter being transported inside China.

The AH-64 is the America’s primary attack helicopter, and the U.S. Army has more than 600 in service. The chopper is exported to a few countries around the world — and China is certainly not among them.

The helicopter, seen here riding on bed of a semi-truck, seems to be in the process of being moved without a protective covering. This is somewhat unusual, and unlike other mysterious choppers spotted on the move in China. It’s also not easy to guess how Beijing got its hands on the helicopter, if it’s authentic.

An AH-64 was shot down intact during the 2003 attack on Karbala, during which two U.S. pilots were captured and shown on television with the helicopter. Still, the Pentagon stated the Apache had been destroyed by an air strike the day after the capture.

Nearly three dozen U.S. Army Apaches would crash or be shot down in Iraq, and more than two dozen others have been lost in Afghanistan. Perhaps one was recovered, fixed up and exported to China. Or maybe it’s just a movie prop.

Or it may be a perfect copy, which is a real possibility. China has already shown its ability to create clones of America’s most advanced weapons systems.

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Robert Beckhusen

Managing Editor