Chinese Analogue to Russian Kinzhal Cruise Missile Allegedly Spotted in Testing

© AP Photo / Shao Jing/Xinhua Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force Su-30 fighter, right, flies along with a H-6K bomber as they take part in a drill near the East China Sea (File)
Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force Su-30 fighter, right, flies along with a H-6K bomber as they take part in a drill near the East China Sea (File) - Sputnik International
Federation of American Scientists' Nuclear Information Project director Hans Kristensen has pointed to the recent testing of what he believes may be a new Chinese nuclear-capable air-launched anti-ship missile.

A modified Xian H-6K strategic bomber, (a license-built version of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 bomber) may have conducted testing of a new hypersonic missile, Kristensen wrote in his Twitter account, citing the account of a reliable Chinese military aviation enthusiast and researcher.

The bomber, believed to belong to the People's Liberation Army Air Force's 10th Bomber Division flying out of Anqing, reportedly successfully test-fired the air-launched hypersonic missile, whose payload can presumably include both a conventional and nuclear charge.

In this undated photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. - Sputnik International
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Earlier this year, US military intelligence told media that the PLAAF conducted at least five flight tests of the CH-AS-X-13, a two-stage solid-fuel ballistic missile with a 3,000 km range. The missile is believed to be a light-weight composite materials-based variant of China's DF-21 medium range ballistic missile. US experts believe the missile, which is capable of reaching US soil, will be ready for deployment by 2025.

But observers say the missile may also be a CJ-10K, a second-gen Chinese land-attack missile derived from the Kh-55, a Soviet-Russian cruise missile introduced in the 1980s and acquired by China from Ukraine in the 1990s. China began the deployment of the CJ-10K in the 2000s.

Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the Kinzhal, a new Russian air-launched maneuverable hypersonic cruise missile, had been tested aboard the Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber. The missile has already been deployed, and has seen extensive flight training aboard the MiG-31BM supersonic interceptor aircraft, which can carry a single Kinzhal. The Russian president revealed the missile's existence in a speech to lawmakers in March, citing it and other new missile technology as a means to guarantee Russian security following the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and NATO's expansion along Russia's borders.

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