Z-9WA

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This page is about the Chinese attack helicopter Z-9WA. For the other version, see Z-9W.
Z-9WA
z_9wa.png
GarageImage Z-9WA.jpg
Z-9WA
Research:380 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 000 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Z-9WA is a rank VI Chinese attack helicopter with a battle rating of 9.7 (AB/SB) and 10.7 (RB). It was introduced in Update "Drone Age".

The Harbin Z-9 is commonly known to the Chinese community as 海豚 "Haitun" (Dolphin) as it is based on the French Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin. This revised version of the Z-9W comes with better avionics and upgraded firepower thanks to a set of revised pylons. While it still lag behind counterparts at its BR due to its original design as a transport helicopter, the armament onboard is available in greater numbers and allows the Z-9WA to still stand a chance against enemy targets with better ATGMs and more AAMs.

The overall appearance of the Z-9WA is quite similar to the previous Z-9W other than the shiny black camouflage, rearranged optical trackers (from the top of cockpit to a position under the nose), and redesigned details in the cabin and cockpit. On top of the upgraded weapons and payload capacity, the Z-9WA has new systems such as thermal optics, MAWS, and countermeasures that make it better at hunting tanks and more slippery against enemy air defenses.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 1 000 m292 km/h
Max altitude4 200 m
Engine2 х Zhuzhou Aero-Engine Factory WZ-8A
Take-off weight4 t

The Z-9WA shares a similar mobility to the Z-9W as it didn't receive a powerplant upgrade. It does not have the speed of dedicated attack helicopters but still retains the classic high agility of the Z-9 family. The installation of the new armament and electronics does not cause significant performance reduction, and it can still be utilized to sneak behind enemy lines and strike them from the rear.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 1,000 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
AB RB
Stock ___ ___ 4200
Upgraded ___ ___

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear420 km/h

Players of the previous Z-9s will be extremely familiar with the overall protection of the Z-9WA: this version still doesn't provide any extra protection against projectiles or shrapnel from enemies. Any hit will very likely cause damage to component or the pilots; but it still comes with self-sealing fuel tanks that might help survive if set ablaze.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB9 787 → 13 447 Sl icon.png
RB4 423 → 6 077 Sl icon.png
SB5 707 → 7 841 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications296 000 Rp icon.png
438 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 600 Ge icon.png
Crew training290 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces950 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 260 / 430 % Sl icon.png
220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods cd 98 main rotor.png
Replacing helicopter blades
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods heli flak jacket.png
Flak jacket
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods heli structure.png
Helicopter frame
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
35 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
qjk_99_belt_pack
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
HF-6
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
qjk_99_new_gun
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
HJ-8E
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
type_23_1_belt_pack
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
HJ-8H
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
type_23_1_new_gun
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
35 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
AKD-9
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
35 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
TY-90
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
35 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Night vision devices
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night
Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs)
alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}}

Offensive armament

The Z-9WA is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • Without offensive armament
    • 72 x countermeasures

The Z-9WA is the first Chinese helicopter to have flare/chaff countermeasures, and the supply of 72 is in fact more generous than the later Z-19 and Z-10. An onboard MAWS makes it easier to use these countermeasures.

Suspended armament

The Z-9WA can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2
Hardpoints Z-9WA.png
23 mm Type 23-1 cannons (240 rpg) 1 1
12.7 mm QJK99-12.7-1 machine guns (1,000 rpg) 1 1
Type 57-1 rockets 18 18
Type 90-1 rockets 7 7
HJ-8E missiles 4 4
HJ-8H missiles 4 4
AKD-9 missiles 4 4
TY-90 missiles 4 4
Default weapon presets
  • 36 x Type 57-1 rockets
  • 2 x 12.7 mm QJK99-12.7-1 machine guns (1,000 rpg = 2,000 total)
  • 4 x HJ-8E missiles
  • 14 x Type 90-1 rockets
  • 8 x HJ-8E missiles
  • 8 x HJ-8H missiles
  • 8 x AKD-9 missiles
  • 8 x TY-90 missiles
  • 2 x 23 mm Type 23-1 cannons (240 rpg = 480 total)

The Z-9WA's primary weapons resemble the previous Z-9W, the main differences coming from the doubled missile capacity and improved ATGM models.

The HJ-8 missile now comes in two improved variants. The stock HJ-8E is a significant improvement over the humble HJ-8A used by previous helicopters: it has the same warhead as the HJ-8C with a tandem charge and 590 mm of penetration, and now an improved rocket motor that boosts the range to 4 km and improves the flight speed slightly to 260 m/s. The HJ-8E packs an adequate punch against tanks with steel or reactive armour but might have issues against composite armour because of its below average raw penetration. The unlockable HJ-8H has an improved warhead with 750 mm of penetration that largely fixes this issue, and also has improved TNT equivalent for destroying light targets through overpressure. Among contemporary helicopter ATGMs, the HJ-8H is most similar to the HOT-2 TOW: both have good ranges (greater than BGM-71D TOW-2, less than 9M114 Shturm), slow flight speeds (less than TOW-2 and half that of the Shturm), and powerful warheads. The HJ-8H has 150 mm less raw penetration than the HOT-2, but the tandem charge allows it to consistently destroy common Soviet ERA-equipped tanks like the T-72B and T-72AV (TURMS-T), very impressive for a missile that only weighs 13 kg.

A newer offering added after the Z-9WA's initial introduction is the AKD-9 semi-active laser homing missile, giving pilots a taste of what to expect on the later Z-19. Though it isn't a major upgrade over the HJ-8H in terms of damage, it flies significantly faster and has enhanced range, making it the Haitun's most effective ATGM overall.

The TY-90 returns as a highly effective air-to-air missile that can take down even manoeuvring fighters. If the Z-9W's capacity of four TY-90s was enough to act as a "flying SPAA", the Z-9WA's eight TY-90s are often enough to suppress enemy aircraft for an entire match. It is also effective against helicopters, but it is important to remember that many of the Z-9WA's contemporaries have HIRSS or IRCM systems that make them more difficult to lock and boast anti-air weapons of their own.

The other armament options of unguided rockets, machine gun pods, and cannons are the same as on the Z-9W. However they should only be seriously considered for the initial stock grind when only one hardpoint of HJ-8Es is available. The Z-9WA is still not suitable for close-range combat due to its fragility, limited hardpoints, and lack of an internal cannon, especially since it can face advanced SPAA vehicles.

Usage in battles

Players will easily get on hand with the WA variant thanks to its mostly identical flight performance and similar weaponry to the Z-9W. The Z-9WA has an unrivaled TVD camera with very high magnification at x81, which is very helpful for those who struggle to find targets in an intense battlefield, compounded by bad weather or night conditions. It also now has an auto-tracker for much easier targeting, though it is currently implemented as a TV system as opposed to an IRST and therefore does not function in night battles. The Z-9WA's main drawback when it comes to tank hunting is its ATGMs; the HJ-8s are both slow and limited in range, and the AKD-9s are better but generally worse in performance than the contemporary AGM-114B Hellfire. It's important to make good use of the high optical zoom to target the weak spots of enemy tanks.

The TY-90 is the same as all its predecessor/successors with its extremely good manoeuvrability. Though the missile hasn't changed, at the Z-9WA's higher battle rating it's common to face supersonic jets with countermeasures, so some additional consideration is required when using it. The 20 G raw overload is now below average and it maintains competitive agility by having gradual acceleration and a long motor burn time, giving it ample time to course correct and keep up with a moving target. However, this means that it's not difficult for a contemporary jet to simply outrun the TY-90 if they are at high speed and it was launched from more than a few kilometers away. The seeker features a moderate amount of ECCM that, while not so foolproof as an AIM-9M's, still helps to avoid being spoofed by flares. Keep the TY-90's drawbacks in mind and try to keep an initially low profile versus aircraft, biding time until an opportune shot that the target will not be able to easily outrun or dodge.

While there are rocket pods and gunpods at your disposal, they are more efficient at helicopter EC for light targets such as recoilless guns, light tanks, APCs, etc.

Like the Z-9W, make sure to sneak around in the battlefield for maximum survivability as it is still unprotected; but thanks to better avionics, it will have a faster searching time than predecessors and helps a lot for staying out of the battlefield. Alternatively it can still serve as another "flying SPAA" and make sure that enemy aircraft will hit the ground before they have the chance to do damage to your team. The Z-9WA can also be a serious multirole helicopter because of its enhanced payload: for pilots who want to be prepared for anything, one pylon of four ATGMs and one pylon of four TY-90s is enough to perform some solid anti-aircraft work while being a credible tank hunter.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Decent manoeuvrability
  • Can carry up to 8 ATGMs or AAMs
  • Access to faster, longer range, and more powerful HJ-8E, HJ-8H and AKD-9 anti-tank missiles
  • TY-90 AAMs are very effective against air targets
  • Has access to flares, MAWS, and LWS
  • Excellent optics with thermal sights and TV auto-tracker for easy targeting

Cons:

  • Slow top speed
  • Very little armour
  • No internal gun

History

The Z-9WA helicopter began with the development of the Harbin Z-9 (WZ-9) nicknamed "Haitun" (海豚, meaning "Dolphin") which is essentially a license built variant of the French AS365 "Dauphin" by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The first Z-9 flew in 1981, after a successful deal signed in 1980 with Aérospatiale (now Airbus Helicopters) of France to produce a variant of the well-regarded Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin. The first variants began with heavy dependence on French subsystems and components, however by the time of the introduction of the Z-9B most parts were already made in China, without depending on external suppliers.

The helicopter features Twin turboshaft engines, a crew of 1-2, has a cruise speed of 267 km/h, a range of up to 700 km, service ceiling of 5,400 m and a takeoff weight of 4,300 kg. The Z-9W and Z-9WA where later introduced, with important adjustments, mainly the addition of weapon systems and electronic subsystems.

The Z-9WA is the upgraded version of the Z-9W with revised pylon that was bolted onto the airframe instead of going through the main airframe itself, a new 3-in-1 tracker with daytime/TVD/laser tracking and some revision on the nose of the helicopter, depending on the configuration, the helicopter might even include a nose mounted radar. The project was started in November 2001 and contracts were signed in January next year, first seen as part of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison Aviation Corps at Shek Kong Airfield (石崗機場) in the early 2000s. The Z-9WA was the dedicated attack helicopter of PLAGF Aviation Corps before Project 941 (Z-10) until the Z-9WA's successor, the Z-19, came into service.

Media

Skins

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the helicopter;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (哈尔滨飞机工业(集团)有限责任公司 )
Jet Bombers  H-5*
Helicopters 
Z-9  Z-9W · Z-9WA
Z-19  Z-19 · Z-19E
  *Unlicensed and modified copy of the IL-28.

China helicopters
Attack/Utility  Z-9W · Z-9WA · Z-10 · Z-11WA · Z-19 · Z-19E
  ␗OH-58D (USA)
Attack  ␗AH-1W (USA)
Utility  SA.342L Gazelle (France)