10/15/2013 Defence IQ Press
Has China cloned an AH-64D Apache? Or has it got its hands on the real thing? A photo that surfaced on the China Defence Blog suggests one of the two scenarios must be true.
Speculation is mounting that it could be a downed Apache picked up in Iraq, such as in the 2003 attack on Karbala where two U.S. pilots and their rotary wing craft were captured. At the time, US authorities claimed to have destroyed the helicopter in an airstrike the following day. It could either be the actual Apache that was shot down, or it could be the result of an elaborate reverse engineering effort on China’s part to create a perfect copy of the helicopter.
Another question is why was it not covered up? Transporting an illicit piece of military hardware like an Apache in broad daylight and within range of anyone with a point-and-shoot camera doesn’t appear to make sound military strategy. It’s led some to claim it may be nothing more than a movie prop, although that seems unlikely given the level of detail clearly on show in the photographs.