China completed its delivery of 12 Harbin Z-9 helicopters to the Royal Cambodian Air Force this month. The delivery might be part of a promising future for the Chinese version of the Aérospatiale (Eurocopter) AS365 Dauphin.
Between April and November this year the Royal Cambodian Air Force received six general purpose Z-9s, two Z-9s for VIP transport and four attack versions. The deal is worth US$ 195 million and is part of a strengthening of the Cambodian armed forces, which suffered big time from the regime of mad man Pol Pot and Vietnamese invasions of the past. Apart from the Z-9s the Asian country also purchased 100 tanks and 40 armoured personnel carriers, all Soviet made, this year.
The Harbin Z-9s were delivered through the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC). The deal might open up motivation among other countries not alligned to Europe or France to buy the Chinese Z-9 instead of the more expensive Eurocopter version. Since first flight in 1981, about 200 Harbin Z-9s have been built – mostly for the Chinese military.
Source: CATIC/RCamAF with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger