The Xian H-6 aircraft has lower operational costs and maintenance needs than Russian and American bombers and is suitable to strike operations. Despite the airframe age, modern H-6 variants are among the most sophisticated in the world, compared to many bombers.
The H-6 medium-range bomber is tactical and strategic, with many contradictions.
This model is riddled with inconsistencies due to the Chinese aviation industry, which has been in use for more than a half-century because there is no replacement model. Finally, the medium-range bomber was upgraded to the current model with a wide range of options. Its combat effectiveness was inextricably linked to the strategic standard. The Tu-16 prototype was initially positioned as a medium-range jet bomber for the H-6. Since the United States and the Soviet Union competed in aviation after World War II, everyone wanted to be stronger. Each successively developed countless bombers based on inheriting German aviation technology.
And with the advent of the atomic bomb, how to drop the nuclear bomb across the ocean to the opponent’s homeland has become the design standard, so the Tu-16 area of 7,000 kilometers and a 3-ton bomb load were not enough. Soon the Tu-16 was replaced by the Tu-95, and the Tu-22M and the Tu-160 strategic bomber were subsequently developed. Still, the Chinese aviation industry was not as good as the Soviet Union. After the introduction of the Tu-16, the H-6 was finally imitated. The requirements for it have become both tactics and strategy. Due to the lack of scientific research capabilities and primary industries, it has been half a century since the transition from tactics to quasi-strategy. The range is 7,000 kilometers, and the combat radius is 2,300 kilometers.
In the 1960s, with the breakthrough in the development of china’s nuclear weapons, the two were combined into a three-in-one strategic nuclear deterrent space-based launch platform. Although the performance is a little ordinary, it is the standard for the airborne horizontal bombing. Still, in theory, it has the capability of strategic nuclear counterattack. However, with the rapid development of missile technology and more and more jet engines, the shortcomings of the old H-6’s short range, slow flight speed, and limited bomb load were immediately magnified. Under the modern air defense system, it is impossible to penetrate the defense successfully. Although want to upgrade as soon as possible, I can only consider improvement and upgrade based on the prototype because there is no technical source.
H-6D/D anti-ship bomber is the first-generation missile launch platform to improve battlefield survivability away from anti-aircraft fire. In 1981, the H-6D, capable of launching anti-ship missiles, made its maiden flight and could carry two C-601 or C-801 anti-ship missiles. In 1985, after mass production, it achieved export sales in the second year.
In the 1970s, two strategic bombers were tried with engine replacement and fuselage enlargement as the standard: the twin-engine H-6I and the four-engine H-8. The H-6I replaced the two engines with four “Spey,” the thrust is 1.68 tons larger than that of the WS-8, not only the thrust is more potent but also the weight and fuel consumption are lower. . After the actual first flight, the H-6I performed well, the range was increased to 8,060 kilometers, and the bomb load reached 6 tons. Because the Air Force believed that the Spey procurement cost was high and the localization was insufficient, it finally decided to dismount the aircraft.
The H-8 is its follow-up model. There are four-engine and six-engine versions. It adopts the method of enlarging the fuselage and hanging the engine to achieve the best effect with the most straightforward improvement. The US-made JT-3D turbofan engine is used. Due to the intensive development of the Yun-10 project in the same period, the shortage of resources must be optimized to ensure the guarantee, and economical construction has become an essential budget. In the end, the H-8, unfortunately, became a blueprint machine. In terms of performance, it can reach the standard of the Tu-95. If it can succeed, it will be an actual combat bomber. In the era of strategic application, the range exceeds 10,000 kilometers, and the combat radius exceeds 4,000 kilometers.
After the new century, with the accelerated construction of the strategic air force, fighter jets with large ranges and large ammunition loads, such as the J-10, J-11, J-16, and J-20 stealth fighter jets, have made rapid progress. However, there has been no breakthrough in the field of large bombers, so it is inevitable to make significant improvements and upgrades with the H-6 as the prototype. The corresponding models are the three versions of the Air Force and HNA K/N/J.
For the H-6K bomber, the belly bomb bay was changed to a fuel tank to increase the range, and six towers were set under the wing. At the same time, the D-30KP-2 turbofan engine was replaced, and the weapons, radar avionics, and other systems were updated. After the improvement, it can long-range raids, large-area patrols, and out-of-zone strikes. The actual performance is similar to that of the H-6I of the year. The maximum take-off weight is increased to 95 tons, the bomb load is increased to 9 tons, the full range is more than 8,000 kilometers, and the combat radius is more than 3,000 kilometers. Although this standard can not be called a strategic bomber, with the blessing of long-range missiles, it can already strike outside the defense zone.
For example, the H-6K has two carrying modes and performs horizontal bombing with 36 aerial bombs, 250 kg, and just 9 tons. If completing air defense and extra-strike missions, mount YJ-63 air-to-ground missiles, CJ-10 cruise missiles, YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missiles, etc. Changjian-10 has a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, and YJ-12 ranges up to 2,500 kilometers. 400 km. The bomber, with a range of 8,000 kilometers, plus these two long-range missiles, is refueling in the direction of the strategic bomber.
The H-6N strategic bomber, which is said to be a strategic bomber, is supported by data. It is improved based on the K type. The most significant appearance change is installing air-refueling equipment and a half-buried bomb bay on the belly, with a maximum range of more than 10,000 kilometers, a combat radius of more than 4,000 kilometers, and a full bomb load of 12 more tons. The number of external mounts on both sides has not increased. It usually carries 6 Longjian cruise missiles or YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missiles.