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China unveils details on H-6K bomber long-range precision strike capabilities

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World Defense & Security News - China
 
 
China unveils details on H-6K bomber long-range precision strike capabilities
 
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has revealed its long-range precision strike capabilities. Beijing’s H-6K bomber can strike distant targets with precise ammunition, according to Chinese media. “The fact that our H-6K bombers have performed several long-distance drills far into the Pacific Ocean indicates that the H-6K fleet has become capable of conducting various operations such as long-range precision strikes,” Fu Qianshao, a PLAAF aviation equipment expert, told the newspaper China Daily.
     
China unveils details on H 6K bomber long range precision strike capabilities 640 001PLAAF H-6K long-range bomber
     
The maximum range of the H-6K bomber is 1,900 miles without refueling; however, it can be extended to 3,100 miles with two mid-air refuels.

The bomber can carry a payload of up to 12 tons. There are currently around 36 H-6K strategic bombers in service with the PLAAF.

In the past, our bombers could only deliver airdropped bombs and so were unable to conduct precision attacks, but the H-6K, with the adoption of some of our most advanced aeronautic technologies, is able to carry and launch air-to-surface cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles, which means it can take out multiple targets on the ground or at sea within one mission,” The Diplomat cited Fu as saying.

Emerging in prototype form in 2007, the H-6K is the most radically modified variant of the H-6 bomber, replacing its glass nose with a large solid nose housing a large radar and new electro-optical targeting pod. Its use of two Russian-made 12-ton thrust D-30-KP2 turbofans and lighter-weight composites have reportedly extended its range by 30% to a combat radius of 3,500 km.

The H-6K, although lacking stealth capacity, can carry up to seven YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missiles or CJ-20 subsonic land-attack cruise missiles, with an estimated range of 250 and 1,500 miles respectively.

Furthermore, during recent military exercises the H-6K overcame “enemy defenses” and “the enemy’s electromagnetic blockage.”

According to some military analysts, the only weakness of the bomber is its targeting system as well as the PLAAF’s overall targeting procurement network.