“The fact that our H-6K bombers have performed several long-distance drills far into the Pacific Ocean indicates that the H-6K fleet has become capable of conducting various operations such as long-range precision strikes,” Fu Qianshao, an aviation equipment expert with the PLA Air Force, told China Daily on Tuesday.
“In the past, our bombers could only deliver airdropped bombs and so were unable to conduct precision attacks, but the H-6K, with the adoption of some of our most advanced aeronautic technologies, is able to carry and launch air-to-surface cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles, which means it can take out multiple targets on the ground or at sea within one mission,” he said. Source China.org.cn
CJ-10A (KD-20) anti-ship/land attack cruise missile
Variants of the CJ-10 anti-ship/land attack cruise missile can be launched from different platforms. Six are carried by Xian H-6K strategic bomber, The missile is also carried on board the Type 095 and 052D destroyers and on land-based mobile launchers. Source Asia Times
KD-63 land-attack cruise missile
KD-63 TV-guided air-to-surface missile – Image: errymath.blogspot.com
The KD-63 relies on inertial navigation, with input of datalink command (and possibly GPS signal correction) and TV terminal guidance. The missile is fitted with a CCD camera, which transfers images of the target back to the carrier bomber. The bomber’s onboard fire-control computer then sends correction command back to the missile until it hits the target. Alternatively, the missile can be guided using a manual command to line of sight (MCLOS) method, where the weapon operator manually ‘flies’ the missile remotely to its target. The communications between the missile and the carrier bomber is via the datalink antenna located underneath the bomber’s fuselage behind the bomb bay doors.
Carrying a 500kg high-explosive (HE) warhead, the KD-63 was designed to hit large fixed land targets, such as bridges, airport, command posts, and barracks. Its TV-seeker can lock on a typical target at a distance of 12 km. The missile’s effectiveness is greatly hampered at night or in adverse weather conditions. It is also vulnerable to enemy jamming due to its dependence on the carrier aircraft for guidance command.
|Launch weight||2,000 kg|
|Warhead||500 kg HE|
|Max range||180 km|
|Min range||20 km|
|Guidance||Inertial + datalink command + GPS? + TV terminal|
|Max target detection range||18 km|
|Max target lock-on range||12 km|
|Launch altitude||200 – 5,000 m|
|Flight altitude||7 – 1,000 m (typical 600 m)|
|CEP||2 – 6 m|
KD-88 TV or imagining infrared-guided missile
KD-88 air-to-surface missile is similar in concept to the U.S. AGM-84 SLAM, but is fitted with a TV-seeker which is more prone to adverse weather and enemy jamming – Image: errymath.blogspot.com
The KD-88 (KongDi-88, official designation K/AKD88) is the land-attack version of the YJ-83K (YingJi-83K) series air-launched subsonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. It is PLA’s second-generation standoff weapon, designed for use against fixed high-value targets. The baseline version of the missile is fitted with a TV-seeker for terminal guidance, which only allows the missile to be operated in good weapon conditions in day light. Alternatively the missile could be fitted with semi-active radar or infrared imaging seekers for all-weather, day/night operation capability.
KD-88 uses inertial navigation with datalink command and TV terminal guidance – Image: errymath.blogspot.com
The TV-guidance version of the missile, designated KD-88, was commissioned by the PLA around 2006. The missile uses inertial navigation system (INS) with datalink command and possibly GPS inputs for mid-course correction. The terminal guidance of the missile can be controlled either by the aircraft’s fire-control computer automatically or by the weapon operator manually. The carrier aircraft carries a targeting pod under its fuselage for receiving television images of the target from the missile and transmit guidance command back. Source errymath.blogspot.com
New strike capabilities of H-6K bombers: Details
The development of this new variant officially started in May 2003. The #001 prototype first flew on January 5, 2007 at XAC. Two prototypes were produced (861 & 862). Its major improvement is to replace two fuel-thirsty WP-8/AM-3 turbojet engines with Russian D-30KP-2 turbofan engines (TO thrust 12,000kg, similar to the engine used by Il-76MD in service with PLAAF), resulting in a greater range (combat radius ~3,500km) and a higher cruise speed. Around 55 D-30KP-2 engines were imported from Russia between 2009-2011. As the result the engine compartment was completely redesigned and appears longer.
Other improvements include a redesigned solid nose housing a large ground search radar developed by the 38th Institute and a chin mounted EO turret containing FLIR, CCD TV camera and a laser designator for night/poor weather missions.
The H-6K retained the basic aerodynamic layout of the H-6/Tu-16 ‘Badger’. The original glass-in nose has been replaced by a solid nose and redesigned cockpit window (1); The air intakes have been enlarged to support the new DK-30 turbofan engines (2); There is an under-chin electro-optical turret containing FLIR and TV sensors (3); The forward-fuselage has been added with new EW/ELINT and communication antennas (4); There is a spherical radome located under the fuselage behind the bomb bay doors, possibly for data link with the KD-20 cruise missile (5); The vertical tail fin has been added with all-aspect radar warning receivers and missile approach warning system (6); There are six under-wing payload hard points for carrying the KD-20 missiles (7); The tail gun turret has been completely removed and replaced by space for additional avionics (8); EW/ECM suite including flare/chaff dispensers (9). Source chinadefencetoday.com
Chin mounted electro-optical turret containing FLIR and TV sensors
The aircraft also has nose mounted ECM antennas, nose and tail MAWS sensors, RWR/ECM antennas on top of the vertical tailfin, a SATCOM antenna on the top of rear fuselage, a datalink antenna underneath the rear fuselage, solid tail cone housing electronics with the tail gunner compartment removed, 6 underwing missile pylons and use of composite materials to reduce weight. Its cockpit has been completely redesigned featuring 6 color MFDs.
The aircraft would carry a datalink pod under a small pylon underneath the rear fuselage
The aircraft now has 3-member crew located in the forward cabin (two pilots+navigator/WSO), each equipped with a new ejection seat (HTY-6F) to improve survivability. Chinese Military Aviation
Ejection seat (HTY-6F) during test
|Dimensions and weight|
|Length||~ 34 m|
|Wing span||~ 33 m|
|Height||~ 10 m|
|Weight (empty)||~ 35 t|
|Weight (maximum take off)||?|
|Engines and performance|
|Engines||2 x Saturn D-30KP-2 turbofan|
|Combat radius||3 500 km|
|Missiles||6 x CJ-10A land attack cruise missiles, YL-12 anti-ship missiles|
Updated Jan 11, 2017
A PLAAF H-6M (K/JH6M?) cruise missile carrier was seen here carrying a KD-20 ALCM under its left wing. First entering service in 2007, this new variant (S/N 40x7x) were converted from the older H-6F, as its twin 23mm tailguns are retained. Similar to the naval H-6G, H-6M was modified with a large chin mounted surface search radar and two pairs of underwing pylons. Other noticeable features are the much improved self-protecting measures including UV band MAWS sensors on the nose and above the rear gunner compartment, RWR antennas on the vertical tailfin tip, and chaff/flare dispensers along the side of rear fuselage. Its cockpit was also upgraded with some analog displays replaced by color MFDs. The KD-20 ALCM is carried underneath the large inner pylon while a KG600 ECM pod is carried underneath the smaller outer pylon. A small pylon underneath the fuselage behind the bomb bay could be the place to carry additional datalink pod (for guiding the KD-63 ALCM?). The same type of ALCM is also carried by H-6K (see below). H-6M is speculated to be a low-cost, stop-gap solution until the more advanced H-6K enters PLAAF service. A recent video (February 2015) suggested that two KD-63 ALCMs could also be carried in place of KD-20. The latest image (July 2016) indicated that a dorsal SATCOM antenna has been installed on some H-6Ms. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
Strike Radius of H-6K
Air force now able to launch long-range, precision strikes: Here
Chinese Air Force Gets More H-6K Strategic Bombers: Here
Chinese Military Aviation: Here