PLAAF BASE –49 B - NORTH OF LHASA – 1500 HRS
Captain Chen checked the flight plan again and again .He was to fly due south for about 250 km then turn south east to cross the line of actual control somewhere in the indian state of Arunachal and then again turn almost due south till the river Dihing ,a tributary of Brahmaputra before starting his bombing run on Digboi and Duliajan refinery .
PLAAF inteliigence have assured him their is no Indian AWAC in the area and most of the Migs stationed in the nearby air bases" were not very good night fighters "
But that was not his only problem .Firstly his payload have been halved because of high altitude take off restrictions in place
Secondly he was instructed to fly at not more than 1000 ft over ground level at all times making the fuel situation somewhat critical
Thirdly there was no confirmation if the latest Indian surface to air missiles "akash" was deployed in the target area or not .Intel reports have confirmed the Akash missiles were at par with Patriot 3 and capable of bringing down fighter sized targets at a distance of nearly 40 kms with a more than 95% chance of success. The H-6 he will be flying will be much larger.
He was also not sure if the Indian mirages and flankers that took part in the devastating strike on railroad will be ready for an air defense mission so quickly .He hoped not .
The only good news was the absence of Phalcon at least that will allow the H-6 flight to approach the line of actual control without detection if they can manage to fly real low through the Brahmaputra river valley as long as possible
n the postwar period, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin began high-priority programs to develop modern jet aircraft, using captured advanced German jet aircraft designs to give Red engineers a leg up on the task. One line of investigation was of course for a high-performance jet fighter, with this work culminating in the excellent Mikoyan MiG-15; the other line of investigation was for a jet bomber.
The experimental design bureau (OKB in its Russian acronym) under Andrei Tupolev started out development of a jet bomber with the "Tu-12", a jet-powered version of their Tu-2 twin-engine piston-powered bomber. It was really nothing but a practice exercise and there was never any serious intent to go into production.
The first attempt to develop a production machine focused initially on the "Tu-73", which was a straight-winged aircraft with a swept tailplane, powered by an imported Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet in a nacelle in each wing and a Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet in the tail, with the intake at the base of the tailfin. It featured a dorsal remote-controlled dorsal barbette with twin Nudelman-Richter NR-23 23 millimeter cannon behind the cockpit and a similar ventral barbette under the rear fuselage. Initial flight of the Tu-73 was in 1947. A "Tu-78" prototype was also built, being generally similar except for using license-built versions of the Rolls-Royce engines, with RD-45Fs in the wings and an RD-500 in the tail.
Improvements to the RD-45F led to the similar but more powerful "VK-1" turbojet, with 26.5 kN (2,700 kgp / 5,950 lbf) thrust. The VK-1 engines allowed elimination of the clumsy Derwent installation in the tail. Removing the Derwent also meant that a tail turret with twin NR-23s could be fitted. Given good performance, that was seen as adequate defensive armament, and the twin cannon barbettes were eliminated. However, twin fixed forward-firing NR-23s were fitted in the nose. The result was the "Tu-81", which was performed its initial flight in 1949. Prototypes were also flown of Tu-81R reconnaissance and Tu-89 torpedo bomber variants.
The Il-28 did not put the Tupolev OKB out of the jet bomber game. The Soviet Union needed a bigger and more advanced jet bomber beyond the Il-28, and in June 1950 a state requirement was issued to the Ilyushin and Tupolev OKBs for such an aircraft. It was to be a swept-wing machine, powered by Arkhip Lyulka AL-5 turbojets, with high subsonic performance and a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), a bomb load of 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds), plus armament of seven cannon. An option was provided to use more powerful Arkady Mikulin AM-3 engines, the engine development program permitting.
The Ilyushin OKB wanted to conduct the development program in two steps, beginning with what amounted to a scaled up version of the Il-28 designated the "Il-46", and then building a second prototype with swept wings as the "Il-46S". The Tupolev OKB chose to move directly to the swept-wing design, coming up with an aircraft designated "Tu-88", also referred to as "Type N" as a cover. It featured a pencil-like fuselage; all swept flight surfaces, with mid-mounted wings; twin AM-3 engines, with one in a nacelle on each side of the fuselage; a tail gun installation and remote-controlled barbettes for defensive armament; and tricycle landing gear, with main gear in a pod on the inboard rear of each wing.
The initial (unarmed) prototype Tu-88, now assigned the service designation of "Tu-16", performed its first flight on 27 April 1952, with N.S. Rybko at the controls. The Tu-16 went into state trials in November 1952, with the trials extending into March 1953. The original verdict was a "thumbs down", and in fact Andrei Tupolev himself was disappointed in the performance of the machine. In particular, it was obvious that it wouldn't come close to meeting its range specification.
However, the Tu-16 was still an impressive aircraft, and the problems were not regarded as "show-stoppers": approval for full production of the Tu-16 had already been granted, in December 1952. The trials simply indicated issues that needed to be addressed, and the second Tu-16 prototype, which performed its first flight on 6 April 1953 with Rybko at the controls, incorporated such improvements as a lighter airframe, increased fuel capacity, and longer nose. The second prototype was also closer to production spec, with defensive armament and offensive radar system. The second prototype successfully completed trials a year later, in April 1954, with a recommendation for service acceptance issued in May 1954.
The Ilyushin Il-46 program had been halted in the summer of 1953 and the swept-wing Il-46S prototype was never built. The Ilyushin OKB did develop two swept-wing twin-engine bombers, the "Il-30" and the "Il-54", but neither entered service and their histories are obscure. At the same time the Il-46 program got the axe, work towards manufacture of the Tu-16 was begun at State Factory 22 in Kazan. The first production Tu-16 was rolled out at the Kazan factory on 29 October 1953.
A total of nine Tu-16s performed a fly-past at the May Day parade in Moscow on 1 May 1954, and 40 performed a fly-past at the Tsushino Air Show in August. NATO assigned the type the codename "Badger"; these early machines would acquire the modified designation of "Badger-A" once later versions were introduced.
The Kazan plant built the majority of Tu-16s. Acquisition of the Tu-16 was a high priority for the USSR, and so Kazan production was soon supplemented by manufacture of aircraft at State Factory 1 in Kuibyshev (now Samara). A number were also built at State Factory 64 in Voronezh from 1955. The last new-build Tu-16s were rolled out in 1963.
Tu-16s were produced in large quantity and served in a wide range of roles, flying as bombers, missile carriers, torpedo bombers, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) platforms, reconnaissance and maritime surveillance platforms, electronic countermeasures (ECM) platforms, inflight refueling tankers, search and rescue (SAR) platforms, and trials / experimental platforms. Many were heavily modified during their lives to take on new roles for which they had not originally been built. They generally flew in natural metal finish, though AVMF machines often sported natty maritime colors of dark gray on top and light gray underneath.
The Tu-16 was flown by a number of export users. The largest was Red China, which signed a license production agreement with the USSR to build the type in the late 1950s. The first Chinese Tu-16, or "H-6" as it was designated in Chinese service, flew in 1959. Production was performed by the plant at Xian, with at least 150 built into the 1990s. They normally flew in spiffy overall white colors.
Along with the H-6 free-fall bomber, an "H-6A" nuclear bomber was built, as well as an "H-6B" reconnaissance variant, "H-6C" conventional bomber and "H-6E" nuclear bomber with improved countermeasures, and the "H-6D" antiship missile carrier. The H-6D was introduced in the early 1980s and carried a C-601 antishipping missile (NATO codename "Silkworm", an air-launched derivative of the Soviet P-500 Permit / NATO "Styx") under each wing. The H-6D featured various modernized systems and sports an enlarged radome under the nose. The H-6 has also been used as a tanker and drone launcher. Later H-6 production featured extended curved wingtips.
Many H-6A and H-6C aircraft were updated in the 1990s to the "H-6F" configuration, the main improvement being a modern navigation system, with a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation receiver, Doppler navigation radar, and inertial navigation system. New production began in the 1990s as well, with Xian building the "H-6G", which is a director for ground-launched cruise missiles; the "H-6H", which carries two land-attack cruise missiles; and now the "H-8M" cruise missile carrier, which has four pylons for improved cruise missiles and is fitted with a terrain-following system. Apparently these variants have no internal bomb capability, and most or all of their defensive armament has been deleted.
Chinese H-6s have been exported to a number of nations as the "B-6"