Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR FEB 2016 Contents NEWS
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 17 | FEB 2016
China has revealed details about its
long-range airstrike capabilities, telling lo-
cal media that the H-6K strategic bomber
can now deploy precision guided muni-
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force
(PLAAF) spokesperson told the China
Daily in October that H-6K bombers had
undertaken several long-distance training
missions deep into Pacific Ocean air-
space to exercise the new capability.
“In the past, our bombers could only
deliver airdropped bombs and so were un-
able to conduct precision attacks, but the
H-6K, with the adoption of some of our
most advanced aeronautic technologies,
is able to carry and launch air-to-surface
cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles,
which means it can take out multiple tar-
gets on the ground or at sea within one
mission,” he said.
A re-engined and upgraded version of
the original H-6 bomber, the H-6K has
an unrefuelled combat radius of 3,500km
and weapons load of around 10,000kg.
The H-6K can carry at least six YJ-12
supersonic anti-ship missiles or CJ-20
land-attack cruise missiles, with an es-
vices director at BAE Systems, said: “Our
focus for the next generation Pacific 24
was to extend the operational capabili-
ties of a boat’s crew through the use of
shock-absorbing seats designed to re-
duce driver and crew fatigue.
“The new seats provide significantly
greater performance but are much heav-
ier, so we faced an additional challenge
to reduce the weight on the boat else-
where to compensate. Structural com-
posites and a lighter engine gave us the
biggest weight savings, whilst ensuring
we maintained the necessary payload
Work on the first RHIBs will start in ear-
ly 2016, with delivery to the RN spanning
News of the RN contract award follows
the company’s first in-water demonstra-
tion of an unmanned RHIB, with the tech-
nology developed envisaged as a poten-
tial retrofit to the Pacific 24 RHIB.
– Staff Reporters
Details emerge of Chinese H-6K long-range bomber
UK orders 60
ABOVE: The PLAAF H-6K strategic
bomber is now PGM-capable.
LEFT: The Royal Navy will receive the first
of 60 Pacific 24 Mk 4 RHIBs in 2016.
Image: BAE Systems
The UK Ministry of Defence has
awarded BAE Systems a £13.5 mil-
lion (AUD$27.6 million) contract for 60
new Pacific 24 rigid hull inflatable boats
The new-generation Mk 4 version from
the Pacific 24 RHIB range will equip
Royal Navy (RN) ships such as the new
timated range of 400km and 1,500km
respectively, and launch either from high
altitude. Various other indigenously-devel-
oped PGMs can also be carried.
The PLAAF reportedly operates about
36 H-6K bombers, with more likely to
come on line over the next several years
as the PLAAF continues modernisation
of its combat aircraft fleets.
River-class Batch 2 offshore patrol ves-
sels, Type 26 Global Combat Ships and
Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
The 7.8m Pacific 24 Mk 4 is a signif-
icant upgrade from previous models. It
features a 370hp twin turbo electroni-
cally controlled diesel engine with inbuilt
self-diagnostics. The boats have also
gained the Safety of Life at Sea accred-
itation meaning they can now be used for
rescue operations. Top speed is 38 knots.
Les Gregory, product and training ser-
For more information about Chinese PGMs see
‘China’s growing power projection and precision
strike capabilities’ in the August 2015 issue of
– Staff Reporters
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