Xian H-6

Xian H-6

Infobox Aircraft
name=Xian H-6
type= Strategic Medium bomber
manufacturer=Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation

first flight=1959cite web|url=http://www.vectorsite.net/avtu16.html|title=VectorSite|work=The Tupolev Tu-16 "Badger"|accessdate=2007-01-12]
retired= Iraq (1991)
Egypt (2000)
number built=>150
status=Active service with PRC
unit cost=
primary user=PLA Air Force
more users=Egyptian Air Force Iraqi Air Force
developed from=Tupolev Tu-16
variants with their own articles=

The Xian H-6 is a license-built copy of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 twin-engine jet bomber, built for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force.

Delivery of the Tu-16 to China began in 1958, and the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) signed a license production agreement with the USSR to build the type in the late 1950s. The first Chinese Tu-16, or "H-6" as it was designated in Chinese service, flew in 1959. Production was performed by the plant at Xian, with at least 150 built into the 1990s. China is estimated to currently operate around 120 of the aircraftThe Federation of American Scientists & The Natural Resources Defense Council "Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning" p. 93, 94 [http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/china/Book2006.pdf] ] .


The first domestically produced H-6 was completed in 1968 and evidence of bombing training was recorded by U.S. spy satellites on Aug. 13. 1971. By March of the following year, the CIA estimated that the PRC had 32 aircraft operational with an additional 19 awaiting completion.

The H-6 was used to drop nine nuclear devices at the Lop Nur testsite. However, with the increased development in ballistic missile technology, the nuclear delivery capabilities that the H-6 offered diminished in importance. The CIA estimated in 1976 that the H-6 had moved over to a dual nuclear/conventional bombing role.

Developed versions

Along with the H-6 free-fall bomber, an "H-6A" nuclear bomber was built, as well as an "H-6B" reconnaissance variant, "H-6C" conventional bomber and "H-6E" nuclear bomber with improved countermeasures, and the "H-6D" antiship missile carrier. The H-6D was introduced in the early 1980s and carried a C-601 antishipping missile (NATO codename "Silkworm", an air-launched derivative of the Soviet P-500 Permit / NATO "Styx") under each wing. The H-6D featured various modernized systems and sports an enlarged radome under the nose. The H-6 has also been used as a tanker and drone launcher. Later H-6 production featured extended curved wingtips.

Many H-6A and H-6C aircraft were updated in the 1990s to the "H-6F" configuration, the main improvement being a modern navigation system, with a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation receiver, Doppler navigation radar, and inertial navigation system. New production began in the 1990s as well, with Xian building the "H-6G", which is a director for ground-launched cruise missiles; the "H-6H", which carries two land-attack cruise missiles; and now the "H-6M" cruise missile carrier, which has four pylons for improved cruise missiles and is fitted with a terrain-following system. Apparently these variants have no internal bomb capability, and most or all of their defensive armament has been deleted.


* Xian H-6 - Chinese medium bomber aircraft, Tupolev Tu-16 produced under license. One prototype conducted China’s first aerial nuclear weapon test at Lop Nor on May 14th 1965
* Xian H-6A - Nuclear bomber.
* Xian H-6C - Improved H-6A with better EW/ECM suite.
* Xian H-6D (H-6-IV) - PLANAF anti-ship missile bomber, armed with two YJ-6 (C-601/CAS-1 Kraken) anti-ship missiles (the air launched version of Silkworm missile, later upgraded to either two C-301 supersonic anti-ship missiles, or four C-101 supersonic anti-ship missiles. An upgraded version, capable of carrying four YJ-8 (C-801) anti-ship missiles is currently under development. cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/groundattack/h6.asp|title=H-6 Medium Bomber|work=Sinodefence.com|date=2005-11-26|accessdate=2007-01-16]
* Xian H-6E - Strategic nuclear bomber version, entered service in 1980s.
* Xian H-6F - Mid-life upgrade for H-6A and H-6C in 1990s. New integrated navigation system, GPS, and doppler radar.
* Xian H-6H - Missile-bomber version developed in late 1990s, armed with two KD-63 land-attack cruise missile (LACM). First successful test in 2002, possibly entered service in 2004-2005.
* Xian H-6K - Unconfirmed designation (possibly a modified H-6H) reported by Jane's Information Group and others in September 2006. Reports noted Chinese press had published photographs of a prototype carrying unknown missiles resembling the Soviet-designed Raduga Kh-55 intermediate-range, land attack cruise missile.cite news|url=http://www.janes.com/defence/news/jmr/jmr060929_1_n.shtml|date=2006-09-29|accessdate=2007-01-16|title=Chinese H-6 bomber carries 'improved missiles'|last=Isby|first=David C.|work=Jane's Missiles and Rockets|publisher=Jane's Information Group]
* Xian H-6U - PLAAF airborne tanker with two under-wing refuelling pods. [cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/airlift/h6tanker.asp|title=H-6 Tanker|accessdate=2007-01-16|date=2006-05-27|work=Sinodefence.com]
* Xian H-6DU - PLANAF airborne tanker conversion from H-6D.
* Xian H-6M - Stand-off missile carrier version. No internal bomb bay (claimed to have saved/reduced 400kg in weight), designed to carry up to 4 YJ-83 (C-803) anti-ship cruise missile or an air-launched variant of the YJ-62 (C-602) long range, anti-ship cruise missile. Said to be equipped with terrain following radar for low-altitude flight [cite web|url=http://china-defense.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_china-defense_archive.html#114456313065920667|accessdate=2007-01-16|date=2006-04-28|title=New Life for an Old Design|work=China Defence Blog] . Production of this variant is believed to have resumed in early 2006.
* Xian H-6 Testbed - One H-6 with serial number # 086 was converted to engine testbed and remained in service for 20 years, until it was eventually replaced by a converted Ilyushin Il-76 for engine testbed.


* People's Liberation Army Air Force : 80-120 upgraded H-6 in service
* People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force :; EGY
* Egyptian Air Force : "Some" H-6s acquired in mid-1970s along with spares for the Egyptian Tu-16 fleet. Last aircraft retired in 2000.; IRQ
* Iraqi Air Force : Four H-6s acquired during Iran–Iraq War. All destroyed in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

pecifications (Tu-16)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet

length main=34.8 m
length alt=114 ft 2 in
span main=33.0 m
span alt=108 ft 3 in
height main=10.36 m
height alt=34 ft 0 in
area main=165 m²
area alt=1,775 ft²
empty weight main=37,200 kg
empty weight alt=82,000 lb
loaded weight main=76,000 kg
loaded weight alt=168,000 lb
max takeoff weight main=79,000 kg
max takeoff weight alt=174,000 lb
engine (jet)= Xian WP8
type of jet=turbojets
number of jets=2
thrust main=93.2 kN
thrust alt=20,900 lbf
max speed main=1,050 km/h
max speed alt=567 knots, 656 mph
cruise speed main=Mach 0.75
cruise speed alt=768 km/h, 477 mph
range main=6,000 km
range alt=3,200 nm, 3,700 mi
combat radius main=1,800 km
combat radius alt=970 nm, 1,100 mi
ceiling main=12,800 m
ceiling alt=42,000 ft
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=460 kg/m²
loading alt=94 lb/ft²
** 2× 23 mm (0.906 in) Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 cannon in remote dorsal turret
** 2× NR-23 cannon in remote maventral turret
** 2× NR-23 cannon in manned tail turret
** 1× NR-23 cannon in nose (occasional addition)
** 6 or 7 KD-88 missile (anti-ship or air-to-surface)
** YJ-6 (C-601) anti-ship missile
** YJ-81 (C-602) anti-ship missile
** 1× Kh-10 (AS-2 'Kipper') anti-ship missile semi-recessed in bomb bay "or"
** 1× Kh-26 (AS-6 'Kingfish') anti-ship missile on port underwing hardpoint "or"
bombs=9,000 kg (20,000 lb) of free-fall weapons


External links

* [http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/groundattack/h6.asp H-6 Medium Bomber]
* [http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Badger.html Xian H-6 Badger]

ee also

* Tupolev Tu-16
similar aircraft=
* Avro Vulcan
see also=

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