Upgraded PLAAF air bases for Xian H-6 bombers
The last couple of months, China is progressing very well in the reopening of People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF, Chinese Air Force) air bases that had been dormant for decades.
The Nanyang-Neixing air base (N32.973274, E111.882773) in the Henan province is operational by now. Not only the apron area and runway saw major modernisations including twenty shelters for H-6 size aircraft. Also the caverns in the neighbouring mountain were enlarged to a serious degree with multi new H-6 size entrances.
Rumour has it that the nuclear role Xian H-6N bombers of the 106th Brigade are based here (serials 55x3x). This H-6 variant was first shown to the public during the Beijing flypast in October 2019.
Only 400 km to the east, the dormant air base at Lu’an (N31.62806, E116.269537) in the Anhui province is currently undergoing a major modernisation. This includes the construction of many H-6 size shelters on the new aprons. Whether also the cavern will be made available again will be known within a few months.
Nanyang-Neixing air base
The Xian H-6 is currently in full production in three versions for the Chinese Air Force and Chinese Navy at Xi’an-Yanliang. The original design of this aircraft, the Tupolev Tu-16, first took to the air on 27 April 1952, only one week after the first flight of the XB-52.