H-6 Bomber Aircraft Discussions


gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
The H-6? Not even close to US mainland. That's not the parallel with B-52. I'm referring to the constantly upgrading antique airframes with modern radars, sensors, comm tech, electronics etc. The modern H-6's internals are lightyears ahead of the Tu-16 or the earlier H-6s.

PLA needs something a class or two heavier than the JH-7A for air launched ordinance that J-16 and JH-7A cannot handle. These include air launched cruise missiles, heavier YJ series anti-surface, air launched ballistic missiles. The H-6 also has far superior payload capacity and range. Nothing else in PLA covers these capability gaps so the H-6 continues receiving upgrade developments, funding, and orders. At least until replacements are in production.

It's not about reaching US mainland. China has no real capability to attack the US and really would have no benefit in doing such a thing even if the capability is there. The H-6 is now a core part of China's defensive tactics in the SCS and western Pacific. They can also reach US bases in the region. If we're talking about MAD, China relies on ballistic missiles, HGVs, and SSBNs. It really needs to stockpile huge numbers of these to remove American hawks even entertaining the idea of preliminary strike. At the moment its ICBM and warhead numbers may be a little precarious. PLAN's SSBN numbers are also pathetic compared to the US but commensurate with other major nuclear powers. Obviously PLAN is waiting for 096 paired with improved JL-3s. JL-3s are impressive and ready like the DF-41 but China needs a lot more SSBNs and HGV equipped warheads or other MARVs (delivers superior results and survivability compared to MIRVs).

The H-6 itself isn't all that impressive even considering the upgrades but its utility is valuable.
There is more to the H-6K than modern electronics. It uses a turbofan engine which is like two decades more modern than the original turbojets. The engine has much lower fuel consumption and more dry thrust which means the aircraft has more range and can carry more payload. The airframe itself is made with more modern composite materials and hence lighter. The long distance strike and nuclear variants of the modern H-6 have in-flight refueling.

So the modern H-6 can hit targets in the second island chain and likely beyond. I would not be surprised if the sensors were able to target surface ships with cruise missiles at long distances. Absent something like the Tu-22M3 it is the next best thing and is quite likely a relatively cheap aircraft to build considering its capabilities. It basically uses the same engine as the Y-20, the D-30, and supposedly the Chinese have recently cloned this engine as the WS-18.
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
There is more to the H-6K than modern electronics. It uses a turbofan engine which is like two decades more modern than the original turbojets. The engine has much lower fuel consumption and more dry thrust which means the aircraft has more range and can carry more payload. The airframe itself is made with more modern composite materials and hence lighter. The long distance strike and nuclear variants of the modern H-6 have in-flight refueling.

So the modern H-6 can hit targets in the second island chain and likely beyond. I would not be surprised if the sensors were able to target surface ships with cruise missiles at long distances. Absent something like the Tu-22M3 it is the next best thing and is quite likely a relatively cheap aircraft to build considering its capabilities. It basically uses the same engine as the Y-20, the D-30, and supposedly the Chinese have recently cloned this engine as the WS-18.
They appear to have extensive ECM and EW equipment, which greatly improves their defensive abilities. Incoming interceptors and SAMs can face heavy jamming and spoofing. There appears three ways the H-6 has implemented this. The first is an ECM dedicated aircraft from modified H-6G. The second is building these electronic systems into the modern versions. The third is being able to add these abilities by external pods.

These two pics shows ECM and ESM pods. It also shows blisters on the back and bottom of the aircraft. The blister on the top is for satellite communication while blister on the bottom is for communication with SAMs and surface ships. Easily a heavily networked asset.

49559888051_f2ee60e56b_h.jpg735f7d7b6f51b29e9913d3c9cd7ba91e_w.jpg
 

xyqq

Junior Member
Registered Member
For reference, tu 16 is usually credited with:
79 ton mtow weight.
9 ton weapon payload
36 tons of fuel carried.
So the following can be approximated regarding manufacturer's empty weight (MEW):
Tu-16: MEW around 79 - 9 - 36 = 34 tons
H-6K: MEW around 95 - 12 - 40 = 43 tons
Tu-16's WP-8 (AM-3) engines weigh 3.1 tons each, and H-6K's WS-18 (D-30KP-2) engines weigh 2.3 tons each.
Is it safe to assume that added electronics (Radar, Satcom etc.) and equipment (APU, pylons etc.) weigh close to 10 tons?
 

GTI

Just Hatched
Registered Member
So the following can be approximated regarding manufacturer's empty weight (MEW):
Tu-16: MEW around 79 - 9 - 36 = 34 tons
H-6K: MEW around 95 - 12 - 40 = 43 tons
Tu-16's WP-8 (AM-3) engines weigh 3.1 tons each, and H-6K's WS-18 (D-30KP-2) engines weigh 2.3 tons each.
Is it safe to assume that added electronics (Radar, Satcom etc.) and equipment (APU, pylons etc.) weigh close to 10 tons?
Shouldn’t you also factor in the greater use (or usage, period) of composite materials in the H-6K as well?
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Tu16 empty weight is 37 tons. When fully loaded with fuel it can't carry it's maximum weapons payload. But that is true for pretty much every combat plane.

H6k should be no exception. I wouldn't be surprised if its empty weight is 40 tons or so.

Despite composites, due to much bigger requirements the structure might be a lot stronger so it can carry all that additional weight. It's not just weight itself but additional hardpoints and especially if the outer most hardpoints on wings can carry heavy missiles it would likely require very much beefed up wing structure. Meaning a lot heavier wing. Which again means heavier wing box, heavier landing gear etc.
 

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