Chinese H-6K Armed with New Russian Kinzhal-like Hypersonic Air-Launched Ballistic Missile?

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 06:45 AM, November 4, 2022
  • 860
Chinese H-6K Armed with New Russian Kinzhal-like Hypersonic Air-Launched Ballistic Missile?
PLAAF H-6K bomber carrying new air-launched ballistic missile in Zhuhai for Airshow China 2022 @Chinese state media

China’s H-6K bomber has made an appearance with new weapons – possibly new hypersonic air-launched ballistic missiles similar to Russia’s Kinzhal –  for the first time, ahead of the upcoming Airshow China 2022.

The H-6K carried one such missile on each wing. The exact type of the weapon is not yet clear, but it seems like a kind of air-to-ground missile with a design very close to a ballistic missile, Chinese state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reports.

While the designation of the missile remains unknown, "2PZD-21" was written on its body.

Previously, the H-6K had displayed its capabilities to carry subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles, and this could be the first time the general public has seen the H-6K carrying a type of air-launched ballistic missile.

It is expected that this H-6K with the missiles will be put on static display at the Airshow China 2022 (Nov. 8-13) in Zhuhai.

“The missiles carried by the H-6K have some resemblances to the Russian Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile by appearance, so it is possible that this type of new missile is also hypersonic,” Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, was quoted as saying by the Global Times on Thursday.

Chinese H-6K Armed with New Russian Kinzhal-like Hypersonic Air-Launched Ballistic Missile?
Russian MiG-31K fighter armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missile @Russian state media

Being air-launched usually provides a missile with extra range compared with being launched from the ground. The aircraft can also launch a missile from a location closer to the enemy, making the missile more difficult to intercept/

It can likely hit stationary targets as well as slowly moving targets like aircraft carriers, Song said.

The expert added that this new type of missile could also have ground-launched and vessel-launched variants.

It is also possible that other types of tactical aircraft, like fighter jets and fighter bombers, can carry such a missile under their bellies, observers said.

Chinese H-6K Armed with New Russian Kinzhal-like Hypersonic Air-Launched Ballistic Missile?
PLAAF H-6K bombers @China MoD
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