How many H-6 series does the People’s Liberation Army have:
In the eyes of many people, the H-6 bomber of the Chinese Air Force is a symbol of backwardness. Compared with the strategic bombers of the United States and Russia, the H-6 bomber is small in size, small in bomb load and short in range.
As a medium-range bomber with a maximum take-off weight of less than 100 tons, most people think that the combat capability of the H-6 is very low, which makes the long-range strike capability of the PLA Air Force and the United States and Russia have a big gap . Japan really does not Are you afraid of the H-6 bomber?
One: The H-6 family is “blooming”
As the only bomber type of the PLA, the aviation industry has tapped the potential of the H-6 to the extreme. Now the improved H-6 equipped by the Chinese Air Force and Naval Aviation is the largest bomber family in active service in the world, with a total number of more than 200.
In the recent period of time, the frequency of public appearance of the H-6 bomber may be the highest among the PLA military aircraft.
The H-6K also formed a formation with other fighter jets to deter Taiwan from approaching. It can be seen that the PLA attaches great importance to the application of the H-6 bomber in actual combat.
At present, there are as many as 8 or 9 improved models of the H-6 series bombers equipped by the PLA. The H-6K and H-6N equipped by the Air Force aviation are the most representative, and the H-6J equipped by the naval aviation is the main platform for air anti-ship strikes.
Not only that, the H-6 has also been converted into the first-generation air tanker of the People’s Liberation Army, which can refuel our army’s J-10 and J-8D fighters in the air.
The PLA’s H-6 series bombers have put pressure on potential opponents around them . What role does the H-6 play in the PLA’s long-range strike system?
2: What are the Air Force Air Forces doing with the H-6?
At present, the Chinese Air Force has 3 bomber aviation divisions and 1 independent bomber brigade, and most of the bomber regiments are mainly equipped with H-6K bombers.
Take the “Shenwei Flying Brigade” of a certain regiment of the Air Force Aviation Corps as an example. The unit is still deep in Guanzhong, and still dispatches multiple H-6Ks to attack the Western Pacific Ocean thousands of kilometers away for exercise missions.
There are four main types of weapons used by the Chinese Air Force for ground strikes: long-range air-launched cruise missiles, air-to-ground missiles, precision-guided bombs and ordinary aerial bombs.
The improved H-6 is the only platform of the Chinese Air Force that can launch long-range air-launched cruise missiles, and the H-6N is a rare bomber in the world that can launch air-launched ballistic missiles.
The Changjian-20 air-launched cruise missile carried by the H-6K has a range of 1,500 kilometers, and the combat radius of the H-6K bomber is more than 2,500 kilometers. This means that the H-6K is capable of hitting strategic campaign targets thousands of kilometers away.
More importantly, the H-6K’s maneuverability and range are much higher than cruise missile launchers and naval ships. This allows the H-6K to have a wider strike flexibility. A H-6K generally carries 4 Changjian 20 cruise missiles.
The full H-6K regiment can launch nearly 100 air-launched cruise missiles at the opponent at a time. Although it cannot be compared with the mounts of US and Russian strategic bombers, it is enough for the Chinese Air Force.
Although the tactical aircraft such as the J-16 and JH-7A of the Chinese Air Force can also carry air-to-ground weapons to attack the ground, most of them are air-to-ground missiles with a range of only a few hundred kilometers and precision-guided bombs with a range of tens of kilometers.
In the ground-to-ground mode, the combat radius of the tactical aircraft will be greatly reduced. Taking the J-16 fighter jet as an example, when it is mounted with more than 6 tons of ammunition, the maximum combat radius may only be about 800 kilometers.
Although some people say that relying on aerial refueling can increase the combat radius, the cost and redundancy of the mission should be greatly reduced.
3: What do naval aviation rely on H-6 for?
The main combat task of the Chinese naval ground-based aviation is to strike against ships. At present, the naval aviation’s strikes against ships are undertaken by three types of combat operations.
They are the introduction of 24 Su-30MK2 fighter jets from Russia, the domestic JH-7A fighter-bomber and the H-6 bomber. Now the latest bomber equipped by the naval aviation is the H-6J bomber.
The JH-7A fighter-bomber can mount 2 Eagle Strike 83K air-to-ship missiles to strike at sea targets. As a medium subsonic air-to-ship missile.
The warhead weight of more than 200 kilograms and the launch weight of more than 800 kilograms are more than enough to deal with medium-sized targets such as destroyers, but for the large-scale maritime targets of aircraft carriers, it seems a little thin.
The H-6J can carry 6 heavy YJ-12 air-launched supersonic anti-ship missiles. The YJ-12 missile weighs more than 2 tons and is a veritable heavy anti-ship missile.
The combination of the H-6J and the Eagle Strike 12 enables the Chinese naval aviation to deal with large-scale targets at sea with thousands of kilometers. It can be said that the anti-ship capability is the world’s top.
As long as 2 YJ-12 missiles are hit, the opponent’s 10,000-ton missile destroyer will be sent to the bottom of the sea. If large targets such as aircraft carriers are directly hit by 5-6 YJ-12 anti-ship missiles, they will completely lose their combat effectiveness.
Now, the bomber regiments of the East China Sea Fleet and the South China Sea Fleet have a lot of H-6J bombers to replace the H-6G bombers that were in service before. Although the H-6G also has the ability to carry Eagle 12 missiles, due to the limited pylons, the amount of bombs carried is limited. Only half of the H-6J.
It can be said that the YJ-12 missile is the backbone of the Chinese Navy’s new generation of anti-ship weapons. Of course, only the H-6J can make it exert great power.
Four: Defects of H-6
Of course, we must have a clear understanding that the potential of the H-6 bomber has been drained, although the range and combat radius meet the basic requirements of the Chinese navy and air force.
However, in the face of modern air defense firepower, the H-6K and H-6J have almost no penetration capability. You must know that the eastern coastal direction of China is the most densely deployed area of fourth and a half and fifth-generation fighter jets in the world.
Thousands of advanced fighter jets from the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and other countries have gathered in the Western Pacific region. The penetration direction of the H-6K and H-6J is full of dangers.
It is only possible to rely on tactical aircraft to provide cover for our army’s bombers to enter the launch position. The Chinese Air Force and Navy also need more powerful stealth bombers to improve their long-range strike capabilities.
The latest H-20 strategic bomber of the Chinese Air Force is under intensive research and development. If the H-20 is equipped with an Air Force bomber division and a naval aviation regiment, its ability to strike ground strategic campaign targets and maritime maneuvering targets will be multiplied.
As veterans in the PLA’s battle sequence, the H-6K and H-6J play an irreplaceable role. Not only is Japan afraid of the combat strength of the two bombers, but the Taiwan authorities are also paying attention to the latest developments in the H-6 series.
We don’t want them to be used, but it is necessary for them to step up and live up to their mission.