Chinese PLA Air Force H-6K Bomber Conducts Touch-And-Go Landing on Woody Island in South China Sea

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force H-6K long-range strategic bomber conducted a touch-and-go landing on the Woody Island in the Parcel Islands in the South China Sea.

Woody Island (called as Yongxing Island by China) is the largest of the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Yongxing/Woody Island is occupied and administered by China (PRC) as part of Sansha city of Hainan Province.

The airport on the island is called Yongxing Island Airport and it has a runway that is 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) long, capable of handling any fourth generation fighter aircraft of the PLA Naval Air Force such as the Chengdu J-10AH, Shenyang J-11BH, Xian JH-7A, or Sukhoi Su-30MK2.

The airport has four hangars, a radar navigation station and four large fuel tanks, enabling it to serve as a forward deployment base for refueling warplanes on combat missions.

According to some reports, HQ-9 Surface to Air Missile (SAM) system and Shenyang J-11BH fighter aircraft are deployed on the island.

Xian H-6:

Xian H-6 is a licence-built version of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 twin-engine jet strategic bomber, built for PLAAF by Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC).

In 2007, the PLAAF introduced the bomber’s latest variant, H-6K, fitted with a more powerful and fuel-efficient engines and modern electronics and capable of carrying air-launched cruise missiles. According to United States Department of Defense, this will give the PLAAF a long range standoff offensive air capability with precision-guided munitions (PGM).

The bomber can carry a payload of up to 12 tons. The H-6K can carry up to seven YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missiles or CJ-20 subsonic land-attack cruise missiles.

China is estimated to currently operate around 120 of the aircraft.

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