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China Military H 6K Long Range Strategic Bomber to boost China Military power


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The Xian H-6 (Chinese: 轰-6; pinyin: Hōng-6) is a licence-built[1] version of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 twin-engine jet bomber, built for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force.

Delivery of the Tu-16 to China began in 1958, and the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) signed a licence production agreement with the USSR to build the type in the late 1950s. The first Chinese Tu-16, or "H-6" as it was designated in Chinese service, flew in 1959. Production was performed by the plant at Xian, with at least 150 built into the 1990s. China is estimated to currently operate around 120 of the aircraft.[2]

The latest version is the H-6K, a heavily redesigned version capable of carrying air-launched cruise missiles. According to United States Department of Defense, this will give the PLAAF a long-range standoff offensive air capability with precision-guided munitions.[3]

The H-6K, first flying on January 5, 2007,[5] entered service in October 2009 during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China,[6] and is claimed to make China the fourth country with a strategic bomber after US, Russia and the United Kingdom.[6][7] With a reinforced structure making use of composite materials,[7] enlarged engine inlets for Russian Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines giving a claimed combat radius of 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi),[6] a glass cockpit with large size LCD multi-function display,[8] and a reworked nose section eliminating the glazed navigator's station in favour of a more powerful radar, the H-6K is a significantly more modern aircraft than earlier versions. The bomb bay has been replaced by extra fuel capacity, and six underwing pylons for CJ-10A cruise missiles. The rear 23 mm guns and gunner position are replaced by electronic components.[8]

The H-6K is designed for long-range attacks and stand-off attacks. It is considered a strategic bomber. It is capable of attacking US carrier battle groups and priority targets in Asia. This aircraft has nuclear strike capability.[9] While previous models had limited missile capacity (the H-6G could only carry two YJ-12 anti-ship missiles and the H-6M two KD-20/CJ-10K/CJ-20 land attack cruise missiles), the H-6K can carry up to six YJ-12 and 6-7 LACMs; a single regiment of 18 H-6Ks fully loaded out with YJ-12s can saturate enemy ships with over 100 supersonic missiles. Although the aircraft has a new nose radome housing a modern air-to-ground radar, it is not clear if the bomber or other Chinese assets yet have the capability to collect accurate targeting information for successful strikes against point targets in areas beyond the first island chain.[10][11][12]

In January 2009, it was reported that an indigenous turbofan engine, the WS-18, was under development for use in the H-6K.[13]

In 2015, about 15 H-6Ks were in service.[14]

A H-6K fitted with a refuelling probe may have first flown in December 2016. Besides extending range, a possible mission for the variant may be to launch satellites or ballistic missiles.[15]

Defense Intelligence Agency chief Ashley confirmed that China is developing two new air-launched ballistic missiles, one of which can carry a nuclear warhead.[16][17] The H-6K would be suited to launch such missiles

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