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.
Rumor that China has conducted a test launch of an air-launched anti-ship ballistic missile from a modified H-6K intermediate-range bomber. The anti-ship version would presumably be conventional; another ALBM possible has nuclear option. https://t.co/mwFGif3fab— Hans Kristensen (@nukestrat) 31 июля 2018 г.
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.
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.