Changhe WZ-100-N Attack Helicopter:

The Chinese military took a long time to develop their own attack helicopter. Initially they used transport helicopters in this role but it was eventually decided that they were inadequate for the role. At first, the military planned to licence production of the American AH-1 Cobra but the deal fell through due to political fallout. They then tried to purchase the Russian Mi-24 but that was rejected by Russia. Finally, they tried to purchase the Mi-28 but this deal also fell though. As a result, China ended up needing to develop their own attack helicopter design.

China ended up stealing technology from other nations to solve some of the development problems. The design went through numerous variants in the prototype. Different tail designs and multiple engines were tested in prototypes. The program was slow going with the first prototype not flying until two thousand three and the attack helicopter did not enter service until twenty-ten with full scale production after that starting slow.

As with the Chinese fighters, tanks, and other military designs, the revolution in super strong materials made their relatively new attack helicopters obsolete in the early twenty-thirties. As with many governments, a stopgap solution was simply to add the new composite and alloy armor to old helicopters but that was a purely temporary solution. A new helicopter using the new materials was a much better and more permanent solution.

Some government developed new attack helicopter designs while others simply used their older attack helicopters with some minor modifications as a basis for their new attack helicopter designs. As it would reduce development time and cost, Chinese chose the later solution and the The WZ-10 was chosen for redesign. The modified version was designated the WZ-100. Using the new high strength material, the new attack helicopters were almost immune to both fatigue and corrosion. As the new helicopters entered service, the refitted older helicopter were either retired or sold to other countries. These new helicopters were not initially offered for export but instead were operated by Chinese military forces.

Soon after the revolution in super strong materials, there was a revolution in compact fusion power plants. Fusion power had been a quest for almost a century and In many ways was even more revolutionary than the revolution in super strong materials. Such small fusion plants gave almost unlimited power in both military and civilian applications.

For aircraft and helicopters, fusion engines were developed which gave almost unlimited range. For helicopters, it also gave almost unlimited loiter time. Instead of China developing a new attack helicopter, it was decided to use the well tried WZ-100 and simply fit it with the new fusion turbines. Designated the WZ-100-N, the first prototype flew late twenty-forties and entered service just a few years later. The engine was virtually identical to those mounted in the in the Z-18 design except two are mounted instead of three. Other than the new power plant, it was almost identical to the original WZ-100 design.

Compared to most Western designs, the Chinese attack helicopter's engines overheat more rapidly, restricting range to some extent. The engine did increase top speed slightly compared to the original conventional engines. Cruise speed is 290 kilometers per hour with a maximum speed of 320 kilometers per hour. It si much faster than the Z-18 because it is both lighter and more streamlined. In addition, the rotors are geared for speed instead of lift. As these new fusion powered models entered service, many the non fusion models were slowly sold off just as the refitted models were earlier. Some of them were retained and many of these were stripped for salvage. Later, the WZ-100-N was also exported in limited numbers.

While most of Western powers and the New Soviets developed thrust based VTOL attack craft to replace their attack helicopters, the Chinese military retained the WZ-100 helicopter being both well tested and surprisingly capable. Even so, by the time of the coming of the Rifts, the WZ-100 was considered obsolete and in need of being replaced. It is believed that all conventional powered versions had finally been retired. When the Rifts struck, there were hundreds of the WZ-100N attack helicopters helicopters in service. Most were destroyed but still quite a number survived. Some of those outside of China found their way into service with mercenary companies.

As far as weaponry, the WZ-100-N is little changed from the original WZ-10 design. Interesting, it was designed to be able to mount one of four different guns arrays in the chin of the helicopter. All are designed to use ramjet ammunition. Standard is a 30 mm Chinese development of the Russian 2A72 auto cannon. Export versions though can be armed with a 23 mm copy of a Russian design or a reverse-engineered 25 mm M242 Bushmaster adapted for helicopter use. Initially there were some problems with reliablity but this was eventually solved. Finally, the chin mount can mount a combined 14.5 mm machine gun and 40 mm grenade launcher. Both some export and those flown by the Chinese military were armed in this manner. The 14.5 mm machine gun is useful against both ground targets and aircraft while the grenade launcher is only useful against ground targets. Later models of the WZ-100 added a Ion Beam Telekinetic Machine-Gun to give the aircraft a weapon which, pulling from the helicopter's reactor gave virtually unlimited payload although shorter ranged and inflicts less damage than the other weapons. The mount can rotate one hundred and twenty degrees to either side, forty degrees down, and fifteen degrees upwards.

In addition to the nose / chin gun, the attack helicopter has a total of four hard points on two stub wings. For the most part missiles and rocket packs are mounted on these hard points. Two medium range missiles, four short range missiles, or a mini-missile pack which has sixteen mini-missile can be mounted on the hard point. Bombs can be substituted for missiles on the hard points. While less common, 23 mm gun pods can also be mounted on the inner hard points on the stub wings. As with the main gun mount, the 23 mm gun fires ramjet ammunition. These gun pods can be combined with the nose gun when locked firing directly forward to target a single target. In such cases, the helicopter has to maneuver to target the guns.

Electronics were originally scavenged from a varieties of different sources although many are developed from Soviet systems. The helicopter mounts in a nose pod above the gun mount a forward looking infra-red system. The radar system is more similar to western radar systems in the AH-64 Longbow using a single radar antenna. Some export models lack the radar system. For self defense, the helicopter has a chaff and flare system along with an active jamming system. The helicopter is designed to be operated by a crew of two with the crew sitting one above and behind the other in a well armored cockpit. In comparison, a few Soviet helicopters had different crew numbers. This included the Ka-50 design with a crew of one and the Mi-24 with a crew of three.

Model Type: Changhe WZ-100-N
Class: Attack Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-Pilot / Gunner)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Nose Sensor Array (Nose)20
Chin Mount (Under Cockpit):35
[1] 30 mm 2A72 auto cannon25
[1] 23 mm auto cannon20
[1] 25 mm M242 Bushmaster25
[1] 14.5 mm machine gun / 40 mm grenade launcher20
Ordnance Racks / Stub Wings on sides (2):35 each
[2] Main Rotor (Five Blade):50 (10 per blade)
[2] Tail:40
Landing Gear (3):10 each
Reinforced Cockpit:80
[3] Main Body:170

[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the AH-64 Apache, crew takes only 1/2 damage from an impact.
[3] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive air fields.
Flying: Hover to 198.8 mph (172.8 knots / 320 kph) with a ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters.) Cruise speed is 180.2 mph (156.6 knots / 290 kph.) The helicopter has great maneuverability and vertical take off and landing capabilities.
Range: Effectively Unlimited but does overheat when operated for long periods of time. The WZ-100 engines will overheat after 4 hours of continuous operation when running at top speed and 8 hours when run at under 93.2 knots (81 knots / 150 kph)

Statistical Data:
Height: 12.63 feet (3.65 meters)
Rotor Width: 42.65 feet (13.0 meters)
Fuselage Length: 46.42 feet (14.15 meters)
Weight: 12,390 lbs (5,620 kg) empty and 16,535 lbs (7,500 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, two Changzhou Lan Xiang WZ108-N Fusion Turboshaft Should have an average life span of 8 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points
Black Market Cost: Extremely rare, costs range from around 9 to 15 million when available (Can sometimes sell for double that price).

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Chin Gun Mount: The cannon is mounted under the nose of the helicopter. Four different weapon system can be mounted. One is a 30 mm chain gun, a second is a 23 mm gun, a third is a 25 mm gun which is a copy of the American 25 mm Bushmaster mount, and the final is a 14.5 mm machine gun combined with a 40 mm grenade launcher. Most helicopters serving in Chinese forces are armed with the 30 mm chain gun although a few are armed with the combination 14.5 mm and 40 mm grenade launcher. The others are mounted on export models. Gun mount has a 120 degree arc of fire from side to side, can angle down up to forty degrees and can angle up at ten degrees. If combined with guns on the inner wing hard points, the gun locks in place.
    1. Modified 2A72 30 mm Auto Cannon: Mounted on most Chinese military models and fires 30 mm rounds. In addition, it is available for export. The weapon is a modified version of the Soviet 2A72 Auto Cannon. Used special ramjet ammunition for greater damage compared to normal ammunition types.. Weapon has the longest ranged and inflicts the greatest damage of any gun mounts available for the helicopter.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,560 feet (2,000 meters / 2 kilometers). But can be fired at up to 13,200 feet (4,000 meters) with a -4 penalty
      Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for a 20 round burst, 3D6 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot / gunner (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 520 rounds (26 bursts).
    2. Norinco-23 23 mm Auto-Cannon: Cannons fires a 23 mm rounds and only carried on export models of the WZ-100 attack helicopter. New ammunition types were designed for the cannon to increase in damage and inflicts good damage. Still, the gun has less range and damage than the more popular 30 mm auto cannon although does have a larger payload.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,310 meters)
      Mega Damage: 4D6 per 10 round burst, 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, and 2D4 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot / gunner (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 900 rounds each (90 short bursts and 30 long bursts)
    3. Norinco C-242 25 mm Chain Gun: A reverse engineered version of the American M242 Bushmaster and only carried on export versions of the WZ-100 attack helicopter. As with the other auto cannons, special ramjet ammunition had been developed for the 25 mm chain gun. In many ways the gun is between the 30 mm and the 23 mm gun in performance. Initially there were problems with reliability but this was eventually solved.
      Maximum Effective Range: 5,000 feet (1,524 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 for a burst of 20 round, 3D4 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot / gunner (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 600 rounds (30 bursts)
    4. Combination 14.5 mm machine guns / 40 mm grenade launcher: Carried on both some Chinese military models and export models. The machine gun fires special ramjet ammunition similar to the auto cannons. The machine gun is useful to engage aircraft while the grenade launcher is primarily effective against ground targets. Grenade launcher is fairly similar to the much newer Wellington grenade launcher except can only fire bursts and grenades carry a slightly less powerful warhead. Still is extremely effective.
      Maximum Effective Range: 14.5 mm Machine Gun: 4,500 feet (1371.6 meters.) 40 mm Grenade Launcher: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 14.5 mm Machine Gun: Single shot does 1D6 and 40 round burst does 1D4x10. 40 mm Grenade Launcher: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft (3.7 m) and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft (0.9 m), burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft (12.2 m) and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft (2.4 m.) Other special rounds are available.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot / gunner (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 14.5 mm Machine Gun: 800 rounds (20 bursts.) 40 mm Grenade Launcher: 400 rounds.
  2. One (1) Ion Beam Blaster (Later Models): Mounted next to the main gun in the chin mount and rotates along with the main weapon, this weapon was added on later versions of the helicopter to give the attack craft a weapon system that does not rely on ammunition. The weapon system inflicts fairly good damage but has a relatively short range. The weapon is used for a variety of different targets. The weapon can fire single shot or three round bursts.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,600 feet (488 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D6 for single shot and 6D6 for three round burst.
    Rate of Fire:Equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  3. Four (4) Ordnance Hard Points: The helicopter has a total of two heavy hard points on each stub wing. The helicopter can carry either two medium range missiles, or four short range missiles on each hard-point, or a Mini-Missile box launcher containing sixteen Mini-Missiles. The hard-points can also carry bombs of comparable type to the missiles mentioned. The only restriction is that each hard-point must carry all weapons of the same type. In addition, the 23 mm auto-cannon can only be mounted on the inner hard points of the stub wings.
    1. Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried. In two pilot versions, short range missile racks are controlled by either the pilot or the weapons officer.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired / bombs can be dropped one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must be the same range missiles.
      Payload: Two (2) medium range missiles / medium bombs or four (4) short range missiles / light bombs per each hard point.
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The mini missile pods are normally carried for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles. In two pilot versions, mini missile pods are controlled by the pilot.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
    3. Norinco-23 23 mm Auto-Cannon in Hard Point Pod: Mounted only on the inner hard points. Fixed in place, the weapon is the same auto cannon as is carried in the nose mount but in a fixed pod and having a smaller payload. The weapon pods can be linked to the nose gun mount for greater damage and shares the same fire control systems. It is also normally fires ramjet ammunition to increase damage compared to conventional rounds.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,310 meters)
      Mega Damage: 4D6 per 10 round burst, 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, and 2D4 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot / gunner (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 450 rounds each (45 short bursts and 15 long bursts)
  4. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half.
    Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

Special Equipment:
Consider the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2012, Kitsune. All rights reserved.