The new H-6 Bombers of the Chinese Air Force has made its appearance in the South China Sea (SCS). The H-6 practiced attacks on surface ships, long-distance strikes beside night landings and surveillance missions. The drills conducted by Xian H-6 bombers coincide with Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) getting combat-ready against India along the LAC.
As per reports from Chinese state-run Global Times, this was the first time the H-6 bomber was revealed by the military. During the practice, the new H-6 bomber was also joined by the H-6G bomber as both planes displayed their prowess over the contentious waters of the South China Sea.
During the drills, the warplanes under the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command Navy Aviation Force successfully completed training exercises including takeoff and landing in daytime and nighttime, long-distance strike and attacks on surface targets, said Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a Defense Ministry spokesperson.
The drills were a routine arrangement in the annual schedule and contributed to the pilots’ technique and tactical ability, as well as the troops’ all-weather combat capabilities, Ren said.
Military experts told the Global Times that the training subjects are very combat-oriented, and showed that the H-6J, which made its first public appearance, already has the capability to conduct all-weather combat missions and is also capable of accurately attacking moving maritime targets.
According to experts at EurAsian Times, the introduction of the H-6J bomber shows the might of Beijing’s airpower. The PLAAF now spreads from the Ladakh in the mighty Himalayas to the South China Sea.
The H-6J is an upgraded variant of the decades-old H-6, a large bomber platform which first flew almost 60 years ago. Its size and longevity, interestingly, appear to parallel the Vietnam-era historic B-52.
The H-6J can carry seven YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, with six under the wings and one in the weapon bay. The H-6J’s weapon capacity is about twice that of the H-6G, with 50 per cent farther combat radius to about 3,500 kilometres.
The new Chinese bomber presents some interesting similarities to the American B-52. While it has a slightly different fuselage and external shape, reports that it has all-weather sensors and an ability to hit moving targets at sea are without question new technological capabilities.
The H-GJ also comes at a time when QUAD countries Australia, India, Japan and the United States have united to counter Chinese aggression in the SCS. While the SCS situation has not gone out of hand yet, actions in the area clearly show countries are preparing for an all-out war.