BEIJING ($1 = 7.25 Chinese yuan) — Early next week, from November 8 to 13, the China 2022 air show will kick off in China. The event will be hosted by Zhuhai City. Preparations are already in full swing and the first curious shots have started to arrive.
An interesting missile was spotted under the wing of a Chinese aircraft – the Xian H-6K bomber. Military experts, media and analysts say this is the first official appearance of this version of the missile. The missile belongs to the family of B-611 solid-fueled short-range ballistic missiles – the CM-401.
The CM-401 is a short-range hypersonic ballistic missile [SRBM]. It is the air-launched variant of the Chinese ballistic missiles of this class. Some experts compare the CM-401 to the Russian Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile system.
Initially, we used to see the Chinese CH-AS-X-13 anti-ship ballistic missiles under the wings of this type of bomber. The appearance of the CM-401 and its upcoming presentation at the airshow suggest that Beijing is able to vary its choice of strike weapon. The Xian H-6K is an aircraft capable of carrying nuclear and hypersonic weapons.
Mounting the CM-401 under the wing of the aircraft makes sense. Currently, it is more cost-effective and financially viable to develop air-launched options than more expensive ground-based systems. The appearance of this hypersonic missile on an airborne platform is consistent with the rapid expansion/production model that the PLA has adopted to equip its combat force, including strategic level systems.
China continues to work on improving the performance of its current and future ballistic missiles. For example, as we reported on September 18, China is working on a supersonic anti-ship missile capable of diving underwater.
The South China Morning Post, citing scientists involved in the project, reports that a five-meter rocket will be able to fly at a speed of 2.5 times the speed of sound to a height of about 10 kilometers before plunging beneath the water. Under water, the rocket will be able to travel a distance of 20 kilometers.
As the newspaper notes, as soon as the missile comes within 10 kilometers of the target, it goes into torpedo mode, moving underwater at a speed of up to 100 meters per second, forming a giant air bubble around it, greatly reducing drag. In addition, the missile can change course or dive sharply to a depth of 100 meters, if necessary, to avoid underwater defense systems without losing speed.
The main difficulty faced by scientists is the creation of a power plant capable of providing the necessary thrust both in the air and under water. According to scientists, this problem can be solved with the help of boron, which actively reacts in both environments, releasing a huge amount of heat.
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