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H-6 Variants

  • H-6 - Conventional bomber. Tupolev Tu-16 produced under license in China, first flew in 1959. An early Soviet-built prototype conducted China's first aerial nuclear weapon test at Lop Nor on 14 May 1965.
  • H-6A - Nuclear bomber.
  • H-6B - Reconnaissance modification.
  • H-6C - Conventional bomber, initially designated H-6III, with improved counter-measures suite. .
  • H-6D - Anti-ship missile carrier, initially designated H-6IV, introduced in early 1980s, armed with two air-launched C-601 missiles, one mounted under each wing. Fitted with larger radome under the nose and various improved systems. Later upgraded to either two C-301 supersonic anti-ship missiles, or four C-101 supersonic anti-ship missiles. The upgraded H-6G version, capable of carrying four YJ-8 (C-801) anti-ship missiles was under development as of 2002 and began to replace the H-6D as of 2010. .
  • H-6E - Strategic nuclear bomber with improved counter-measures suite, entered service in 1980s. The H-6E/I designation is usually applied to block upgrades of the H-6A distinguishable by the low profile nose radome for the cloned Rubin-1 Short Horn attack radar.
  • H-6F - Upgraded H-6A and H-6C aircraft modified in the 1990s with new Inertial Navigation Systems, doppler navigation radar and GPS receiver.
  • H-6G - This new variant was first revealed at the 2002 Zhuhai Airshow in an AVIC I promotional video. It is capable of carrying 4 YJ-83K AShMs under its wings. By 2010 the H-6G had entered service with PLA Naval Aviation, replacing the earlier H-6Ds. Other sources less certainly had associated the H-6G nomenclature with a variant that would provide targeting data to ground-launched cruise missiles, analogous to the Tu-95RTs Bear D in role. Few details were available for this variant, other than reports that it lacks internal bomb bay and defensive armament. The targeting support variant was said to have been built in the 1990s, which is inconsistent with the pause in H-6 production between roughly 1990 and 2006.
  • H-6H - Land-attack cruise missile carrier, built in the 1990s, armed with a pair of KD-63 TV/datalink guided cruise missiles, derived from the HY-4 Sadsack. Lacks internal bomb bay and defensive armament. This variant has all guns removed, the dorsal station faired over and the ventral station replaced with a large bulged radome, retaining two missile pylons. This variant is armed with
  • H-6I - Modified version powered by four Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 512 turbofan engines, originally purchased as spare engines for Hawker Siddeley Tridents in service with CAAC. Modifications included a lengthened fuselage and smaller engine nacelles with smaller air intakes in the wing roots, with the original turbojet engines replaced with two Spey turbofans. Two more Spey engines mounted on pylons, one under each wing, outboard of the undercarriage sponsons.
  • H-6M - Cruise missile carrier [the cruise missile type has yet to be disclosed], fitted with terrain-following system and four under-wing hardpoints [two more pylons outboard] for weapons carriage. No internal bomb bay or defensive armament. This variant may use the bomb bay fuel tank developed for the H-6U tanker to extend operating radius. The H-6M adds removes the aft gunner's blisters and ventral radome to cut drag. Probably converted from the older H-6E/F, and US sources claim 25 airframe rebuilds were planned as stop-gap solution pending the more advanced H-6K.
  • H-6K - "God of War / Ares" Latest new production H-6 variant with six ASM wing hardpoints, re-engined with D-30KP turbofan engines replacing the original Chinese turbojets. Other modifications include larger air intakes, re-designed flight deck with smaller / fewer transparencies, sealed over rear and large die-electric nose radome. Production may have resumed in early 2006, with first units entering service by 2011. China showcase a novel H-6K model of bomber aircraft in the military parade in Beijing on 03 September 2015, according to military sources. The aircraft, independently developed for long-distance precision strikes, was loosely based on a previous bomber model, but 90 percent has been refitted, according to Bao Lianjing, leading pilot of the parade debut formation. "Besides the tiller and the rudder, everything else has been upgraded," Bao said. The new aircraft requires only half the crew needed for the previous one, which means the pilots must multitask between controlling the craft, communication, air situation assessment and weapon control.
  • H-6N CH-AS-X-13 Carrier
  • HD-6 (Hongzhaji Dian-6) - Electronic warfare variant with solid nose and canoe fairing containing electronic counter-measures equipment.
  • HY-6 (Hongzhaji You-6) - First refuelling tanker variant in Chinese service. Retained PV-23 fire control system of H-6, can be deployed as a missile launcher.
  • HY-6U / H-6U - PLAAF dedicated refueling tanker with PV-23 fire control system and Type 244 radar deleted
  • HY-6D - PLANAF aerial refueling tanker, converted from H-6D, with metal nose cone, while HY-6D had glass nose. PV-23 fire control system is retained enabling the aircraft to serve as a missile carrying and launching platform.
  • HY-6DU / H-6DU - PLANAF aerial refuelling tanker, modified HY-6D, with PV-23 fire control system removed.



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Page last modified: 09-08-2018 00:07:36 ZULU