The following is a translation from Chinese media:
On the eve of China’s Lunar New Year festival, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited troops in Xian, Shaanxi Province, Northwest China. What drew people’s keen interest was that he personally boarded a H-6 bomber to learn about the functions of its equipment.
The H-6 is a quite outdated bomber. Its newest improved version, the H-6M, only has a range of 3,500 km. Though the air-to-ground cruise missiles it carries has a maximum range of 2,500 km, which enables it to attack all US military bases in northeastern Asia and Guam, it is slow with a subsonic speed and is not stealthy.
Therefore, there is little hope for it to break enemy air defence. Moreover, judging by its engines, its maximum takeoff weight is only 90 tons, too low compared with US and Russian bombers.
Why then was Xi’s high-profile visit of the outdated bomber so significant?
It shows his great interest in the development of Chinese bombers, which is essential for China to achieve integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defence.
Source: huanqiu.com “Experts: H-6 armed with cruise missiles can cover US military bases in northeastern Asia” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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