AC313A helicopter is a locally produced version of the Aerospatiale Super Frelon

China's AC313A helicopter conducted its maiden flight on 17 May. With improved engines and high-altitude performance, this helicopter, which is an upgraded version of the Z-8 helicopters in PLA service, is likely to also be used by the Chinese military.

Two of China's domestically manufactured helicopters with high-altitude capabilities have achieved significant developmental milestones, according to state-owned media.

The Chinese national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported on 15 May that a Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Z-20 helicopter airlifted an 8×8 Lynx all-terrain vehicle during exercises. The helicopter was attached to an aerial assault brigade of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) 83rd Group Army.

According to the state-owned Global Times newspaper, this demonstration shows the helicopter's ability to “transport a wide variety of vehicles” on a sling load. This could include artillery pieces, air-defence missile platforms, munitions carriers, and unmanned vehicles.

The newspaper added that the exercise demonstrates the capabilities of the Z-20's domestically built turboshaft engines as well as its fly-by-wire flight control system to handle complicated loads.