May 3, 2006:
China has resumed production of the Russian Tu-16 Badger jet bomber. The Chinese began building copies of this 1950s design in 1968, but had stopped production by the 1990s. The new model is called H-6M and is rigged to carry four YJ-83 cruise missiles. The 72 ton H-6M has two engines and a range of over 5,000 kilometers. This model will be used by the navy, to seek out and attack warships. The 1600 pound YJ-83 missile has a range of 120 kilometers and a max speed of about a thousand kilometers an hour. The 360 pound armor piercing warhead is designed to do serious damage to large ships, like American aircraft carriers. The missile comes in low, just above the water, and aims for the waterline of a ship. It's not known how many H-6Ms will be produced. Probably no more than a few dozen.