Eurocopter and Avicopter are jointly developing the six-ton EC175 helicopter, also called Z15 in China. The Zhi-15 (Z-15) is a 6,000 kg-class medium utility helicopter jointly developed by Harbin Aviation Industry and Eurocopter. The helicopter aims to fulfil the growing demand for this class of helicopter in both civil and military markets in the next decade.
According to Chinese media, the medium helicopter project was initially set as a 5,500kg class design, but later changed to 6.000kg after reviewing the potential market needs. The helicopter is likely to enter PLA service in 2015~2020, by which time its current Mi-8/17, S-70, Z-8 and Z-9 fleets will be reaching their life span. The new 6,000kg class helicopter will possibly available in several variants for army support, naval antisubmarine warfare (ASW), and search and rescue (SAR) roles.