PLAAF H-6Ks to compete at Russian International Army Games

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force will send H-6K bombers, J-10A fighters, JH-7A fighter-bombers, IL-76 and Y-9 transport aircraft, and a team of airborne troops to Russia to participate in the International Army Games.

PLAAF H 6Ks to compete at Russian International Army Games 001 A PLA airforce H-6K bomber is seen during a training module in preparation for the International Army Games on July 12, 2018
(Credit: Xinhua/Yang Pan)

The International Army Games 2018, initiated by the Russian Ministry of Defense, will start on July 28. It is co-organized by China, Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Iran.

It will be the first time that H-6K bombers and Y-9 transport aircraft have gone abroad to take part in military competitions, a spokesperson for the PLA Air Force said at a press conference.

The H-6K, a domestically-developed intermediate and long-range bomber, has flown over the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait and carried out patrols around the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan since it made its debut in March 2015.

Participation in the International Army Games is an effective way to improve fighting capabilities under real combat conditions, said the PLA air force spokesperson, adding the troops will strengthen military training and war-preparedness to improve their ability to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The H-6K is the latest version in the H-6 line of strategic bombers for the PLAAF. It can carry up to seven KD-20 nuclear-capable cruise missiles under its wings and inside the weapon bay. The PLAAF currently flies about 120 H-6s bombers.