PLA Bombers


Xi’an H-6K
Xi’an H-6G/H/M

XI’AN H-6K

Type: Strategic bomber. Designer: Xi’an Aircraft Design Institute (603 Institute). Manufacturer: Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC). First flight: 5 January 2007. Introduction: 2011. No. in service: ~20. Crew: 3. Length (m): N/A. Wingspan (m): N/A. Height (m): N/A. Empty weight (kg): N/A. Loaded weight (kg): N/A. Max take-off weight (kg): N/A. Internal fuel capacity (kg): N/A. Max level speed (km/h): N/A. Service ceiling (m): N/A. Ferry range (km): N/A. Combat radius (km): N/A. Flight Duration: N/A.

The H-6K is the latest variant of the H-6 family, with some 20 examples delivered to the PLAAF since 2007. Having received extensive system and structural upgrade for improved performance, the H-6K is primarily used as a platform for delivering precision-guided weapons from a ‘stand-off’ distance outside the range of enemy air defence. The most significant improvement on the aircraft is the replacement of the original WP-8 turbojet engines with two Russian Aviadvigatel D-30KP-2 turbofans, giving improved performance and payload capability. The aircraft also features improved avionics including a ‘glass’ cockpit with colour MFDs and a sophisticated self-defence EW/ECM suite. There are six external under-wing pylons for carrying weapons and EW/ECM pods.

  • Aerodynamic layout: The wings are mid-mounted, swept-back and tapered with blunt tips; There are fences on top of the wings and its landing gear pods extend beyond the wings trailing edges; Two turbojet engines with larger, round air intakes are mounted in wing roots and extend beyond the leading and trailing edges of the wing root; The fuselage is long and slender, bulging where the engines are mounted and tapered to the tail; The tail is swept-back, tapered fin and flats with blunt tips; The solid nose is pointed, replacing the glassed-in nose on the original H-6 design; The tail gunner compartment has been removed to provide additional space for the EW/ECM suite.
  • Fixed weapon: None
  • Hardpoints: 6 under-wing pylons, no internal bomb bay
  • Ground strike:
    • KD-63 air-launched cruise missile, TV-homing, 180 km range
    • KD-20 air-launched cruise missile, INS+TERCOM homing, 1,500—2,000 km
    • 250-kg (up to 36 under the six hardpoints) low-drag general-purpose bombs
  • Sensors:
    • Ground radar
    • Electro-optical targeting system (FLIR+TV)
  • Avionics:
    • RKG963A missile approach warning system
    • All-aspect radar warning receivers
    • Datalink for missile guidance
    • EW/ECM suite including flare/chaff dispensers
    • ‘Glass’ cockpit with coloured MFDs
  • Propulsion:
    • 2x Aviadvigatel D-30KP-2 turbofan engine, each rated at 103 kN (10,503 kgf, 23,150 lbf)
    • No in-flight refuelling capability

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