China Unveils New H-6N Bomber with Aerial Refueling Capability

China has unveiled its new H-6N long-range strategic bomber with aerial refueling capability at the National Day military parade held in Beijing on October 1.

During the massive parade in celebration of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, three H-6N bombers flew over the Tian’anmen Square.

The new H-6N is the latest entry to China’s H-6 bomber family, with many improvements compared to its predecessor H-6K. The major structural differences are the nose-mounted in-flight refueling (IFR) probe and the elimination of the under-side bomb bay to accommodate large missiles externally.

The aerial refueling capability will significantly extend the operational range and weapons load of the bomber, which is expected to be supported by the Il-78 tanker aircraft.

It was also reported earlier that the H-6N bomber will have the capability to be armed with anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), likely a special version of DF-21 ASBM, externally underneath the fuselage.

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