The main mission objective of China’s H-6K bomber is to strike key strategic points deep within enemy territories, the state broadcaster revealed, leading experts to predict that the warplane could eventually be armed with hypersonic weapons that can destroy hostile military hubs 3,000 kilometers away within minutes.

Together with J-20 stealth fighters, H-6Ks could devastate the enemy’s fighting capability even before a war gets fully underway, analysts said.

“In a war, our main objective is to launch attacks on an enemy’s deep and vital positions, paralyzing their facilities. This is what we especially excel at,” said H-6K pilot Li Ping, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Tuesday.

While the H-6K is not a stealth warplane, nor does it have outstanding speed to penetrate deep into hostile territory, it is equipped with very advanced weapons including air-launched cruise missiles, enabling it to attack targets far away, Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“The H-6K can remain within a safe zone, launch its missiles that can reach targets 2,000 kilometers away,” Wang said, noting that these missiles are difficult to intercept due to their stealth capabilities.

“With China developing hypersonic weapons [missiles that fly at least five times the speed of sound] in recent years, its attack range and speed could become even greater than a conventional cruise missile, potentially capable of taking out targets deep within hostile territories 3,000 kilometers away within just a few minutes,” Wang predicted.

Assuming each H-6K can carry six missiles, 10 bombers can attack as many as 60 vital military hubs, which could destroy the enemy, he said.

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CCTV also reported that the Air Force’s J-20 fighter jets have been conducting full-scale, beyond-visual-range aerial combat exercises.

The J-20 could partner with the H-6K and clear the sky by  shooting down hostile aerial hubs such as early warning aircraft and tanker aircraft, while the H-6K will scorch land hubs such as command centers and missile positions, according to Wang.

The H-6Ks are undergoing frequent training under combat scenarios together with early warning aircraft and fighter jets, CCTV reported.

In 2018, the munitions the H-6Ks used in exercises were multiple times greater than in past years, the report said.


Source: Global Times

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  1. Xian H-6 is only a (1954!) Tu-16 copy with only 9t payload…
    Let me be dubious when they talk about less than 1500kg hypersonic missiles able to fly for 3,000km : it’s simply NOT feasible : hypersonic flight requires a LOT of fuel, even if there were advances in propulsion/fuel efficiency, such missiles will still be big and heavy : just think about the Mach4 (maximum : when it comes to hit the target : most of the flight is done at much lower speed) Russian/Indian BrahMos : it ranges only 400km for 2.5 tons in its air-launched version, there’s a surface launched version with a booster ranging 600km and weighting 3 tons.
    Here’s a REAL air launched hypersonic missile which was cancelled by JFK himself in 1962 :
    Oh, it worked well, it was just judged useless since… Silo or submarine launched ballistic missiles were doing the same job! And it’s a 5 tons missile ranging 1,850 km with exo-atmospheric flight…
    In fact, H-6 can carry just ONE hyper-sonic ballistic missile and as an anti-ship asset, an air launched version of Dong-Feng DF-21

    “leading experts to predict that the warplane could eventually be armed with hypersonic weapons that can destroy hostile military hubs 3,000 kilometers away within minutes”
    >>> And more leading ones would predict it’s easier to load 10-12 conventional (or not) MIRVs into a submarine-launched ballistic missile, exactly what McNamara explained to JFK about the AGM-48 Skybolt in 1962 : Skybolt was simply cancelled as it was a useless boondoggle!

    “noting that these missiles are difficult to intercept due to their stealth capabilities”
    >>> Most of anti-ballistic systems use EO+IR guidance. At Mach 2.8, you already have temperatures like 650-700°C due to air friction alone… And even a Scud is hypersonic…
    Where the fück do they find their “experts”?
    Seems that China needs a McNamara coming with conclusion that the Chinese MIC is into syphoning money from the tax-payers with useless expensive projects.
    Seems US would need one too in order to trash some dumb programs like F-35 and a few others which are also serious blunders, so is it for B-21 which is supposed to have a $500M flyaway cost (my 2c it will be much more!) but, with the R&D and the numbers planned, it will end with no less than $700M… Err, before the cancellation of B-2A purchases, Northrop proposed to build 20 more for $550M/unit… Restarting the B-2 production with an improved B-2B would had mad more sense that starting a clean-sheat program which will again dilapidate gigantic money in R&D while you already have a platform able to do the job available : B-52 has been built in 8 different versions, only the latest B-52H version is still used and has been upgraded many times.

    “The J-20 could partner with the H-6K and clear the sky by shooting down hostile aerial hubs such as early warning aircraft and tanker aircraft, while the H-6K will scorch land hubs such as command centers and missile positions, according to Wang”
    >>> Whatabout stealth refuellers?
    The big ones will end flying much further from the theatre, followed by MQ-25 providing a mid-range (or more) refuelling for fighters…

    They’re trying to find out where are there integrating nodes in the [US] force structure that they can attack, whether it’s the overhead [satellites], or AWACS or JSTARS or tankers.
    One of the easiest ways to defeat that strategy is disbursement, so if one can disperse the fuel … it’s harder to defeat the ability to fuel its assets and stay in the fight…
    Same thing for the AWACS :
    The AWACS strategy is changing too. What is coming now are much more powerful emitters without the need for a receiver, the fighters being the receivers, thus letting their own radars off. Doing so, you can also take the emitter much more away from the scene…
    In other terms, goodbye the J-20 strategy to go after “aerial hubs” with a long-range tanker-killer.

    Land hubs? Err, did they ever heard about “lilly-pads”? The time of giant bases is gone!
    And you have fighter-jets like Rafale, Gripen, Super-Hornet, F-35B etc which can operate from barely anywhere : a few hundred meters of road and a warehouse become an airbase,
    add in the equation assets like the XQ-58 Valkyrie UCAV with near 4,000km range to be used as wingman (or its European equivalent from Airbus), you stat having a very complex picture…

    Your command centre can be in a garage, under a tent or even into a business jet as much as on the other side of the planet… In other terms, you end with a decentralised and networked structure much more difficult to go after…
    And when it comes to missile positions, they move more and more easily, just think about the EuroSAM SAMP/T : the full battery with its 6 launchers can be gone in less than 5 minutes and it takes no more time to reactivate elsewhere…

    In case of Chinese attack, because, hey, it’s China who is claiming part of the territory of its 18 neighbours belonging to her, even in countries she’s in good terms with (Russia, Nepal, Pakistan, N.Korea), it’s China that illegally occupies Tibet, India in Kashmir (Ladakh/Aksai Chin), Filipino Paracel islands, not speaking about claims about the South China sea being her private lake in total violation of the international law of the sea, so we have to see China as the potential aggressor, the shifts in defensive strategies simply render the advice of this/these “experts” obsolete.

    I sometimes ask myself who deemed some “experts” as… experts…
    I suppose there were the same kind who considered that WW2 would be fought like WW1?