TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA – One photo shows that China has deployed at least one H-6J bomber to Woody Island or Yongxing in the northern part of the South China Sea for the first time.
If true, The War Zone reports, deploying a bomber capable of carrying the missile forward would be a significant addition to China’s military might in the South China Sea.
And, “It can present new challenges for potential opponents in the region, such as the United States,” wrote The War Zone, an online media from the US, in its report, Wednesday (12/8/2020).
According to The War Zone, the first to mention the H-67 deployment on Woody Island was the Chinese Military Aviation blog, but only said it happened in August 2020.
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A photo later surfaced on Twitter showing ground crews inspecting an unarmed H-6J apparently shortly after landing on Woody Island.
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Woody Island is located about 200 miles south of Hainan Island. Woody is the largest island in the disputed Paracel Archipelago in the South China Sea.
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It is also unclear whether this was the only H-6J bomber to land on Woody Island or part of the traveling bomber group.
Regardless, actually landing at the island’s outpost is a significant development which could suggest more regular deployment plans in the future.
Earlier, in May 2018, an H-6K belonging to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLA) made what appeared to be a touch-and-go landing on Woody Island.
The mission showed the base was capable of handling larger aircraft, although there was no evidence the twin bombers actually landed at that time.