A new variant of the Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) H-6 long-range, anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM)-carrying bomber appears to have entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF).
Satellite imagery taken on 7 September shows that four of the aircraft were on the ground at the PLANAF air base at Guiping-Mengshu.
Although the design of the H-6 is derived from the Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-16 ‘Badger’, which China started to licence-build in 1959, new airframes of the bomber continue to be built by XAC.
The aircraft at Guiping-Mengshu are assessed to be a variant of the H-6K, which has been in service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) since about 2011.
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