China’s military leaders talk up plans for the H-20 strategic bomber

An article published by the China Military Online website on 7 December has provided further insights into the requirements for China’s new strategic bomber.

China is developing a new long-range strategic bomber referred to in the article as the H-20.

While General Ma gave no details of the programme, Rear Admiral Yin, who is also a regular media commentator on Chinese military developments, commented that as the “cruise missiles, nuclear weapons, and other weapons and equipment that will be carried by domestic strategic bombers are all in place”, the time was right for China to develop a new strategic bomber.

He stated that China’s current long-range bomber, the Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) H-6 series (a modernised Tupolov Tu-16 Badger derivative) is not truly a strategic bomber and suggested that the new aircraft will have characteristics comparable with those of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

The experience and knowledge in the design of stealth aircraft gained from the development of the stealthy J-20 and F-31 combat aircraft, together with the associated understanding and application of advanced materials technology, also present an opportune moment to progress the requirement for a new strategic bomber.

Speaking of whether China can develop supersonic stealth strategic bombers, military expert Li Li said that this is technically Precisely because of the emphasis is laid on the stealth performance, the aircraft’s aerodynamic configuration will be quite different from that of a supersonic bomber. May be a more realistic solution to select from the stealth capability and supersonic penetration.