A newly released video shows the Chinese air-launched ballistic missile in action, dropped by an H-6K bomber

There has been a significant development regarding China’s military capabilities. A video was published showing China’s H-6K bomber firing an air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) for the first time. This event marks a notable advancement in China’s military technology, as the H-6K is a modernized version of the older H-6 bomber, which itself is derived from the Soviet-era Tu-16 Badger.

Footage has been published, apparently for the first time, showing a Chinese H-6 bomber dropping one of the shadowy ballistic missiles and has in the past been widely understood to be a ship-killing weapon designed for use as part of the country’s fast-evolving anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategy. However, many questions remain about the role of the weapon and its capabilities.

The missile, possibly designated as 2PZD-21, KD-21, or YJ-21, was displayed at the Air Show China in Zhuhai in November 2022. It’s believed to be part of China’s anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategy, and while it has been assessed as an anti-ship weapon, its exact role and capabilities remain uncertain.

The H-6K bomber, primarily a land-attack platform, raises the possibility that the ALBM could also be intended for land targets, similar to Russia’s Kinzhal missile. The development of such weapons indicates a focus on enhancing the reach and precision of China’s aerial strike capabilities.

(With Inputs From International Agencies)