EurAsian Times Desk
April 23, 2021
China has announced the completion of its new stealth drone Feilong 2, claiming it could rival the US Air Force’s B-21 stealth bomber.
According to the South China Morning Post, Zhongtian Feilong Intelligent Technology – the Xian-based drone maker’s multirole high-subsonic UAV could be used for precision strikes on key assets such as enemy command centers, military airstrips, and aircraft carriers.
The Feilong-2 or Flying Dragon 2 could also be used with a swarm of drones to carry out reconnaissance and surveillance, a saturation attack, or damage assessment, it added.
According to the developer, the Feilong-2 or Flying Dragon-2 has similar speed, attacking range, payload, and stealth capabilities as the Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider, which is expected to take its maiden flight by July next year.
However, compared to the American aircraft, the Chinese stealth drone is much cheaper to produce with a longer life expectancy. This gives an edge to the Chinese drone over American B-21 Raider.
“This means the American B-21 has already fallen behind, even before it enters service,” a company statement quoted by SCMP said.
With an operating range of 7,000 km and an internal payload capacity of 6 tons, the Feilong-2 has a top speed of 780 km/hour and can fly at an altitude of 49,000 feet. However, the size of the UAV is not known yet.
The stealth features of the drone include a special coating to reduce reflection and ease visibility whereas its optical and active radars help identify the target when the weather conditions are adverse.
The B-21 Raider of the US Air Force (USAF) is an advanced heavy bomber being developed by Northrop Grumman under its Long-Range Strike Bomber Program (LRS-B). The strategic bomber could deliver both conventional and thermonuclear weapons.
The biggest fear for the states during any military conflict is the loss of lives of the army personnel. With the developing technology, drones have come to use to carry out targeted attacks on the enemies while minimizing a military’s own casualties. This has become the military’s key defense mechanism.
With the tensions between China and the US rising, their militaries are moving fast towards developing the next generation weapons systems and upgrading their existing ones.
And now the long-awaited Raider is finally under construction.
BY KYLE MIZOKAMI
JAN 22, 2021
The first two B-21 Raider bombers are currently under construction in Palmdale, California.
The first flight will take place in 2022.
The B-21 Raider will replace the B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit later this decade.
The first two B-21 Raider bombers are currently under construction in the California desert. The Air Force’s first new bomber in more than 30 years will replace most of the service’s heavy bombers—with the exception of the immortal B-52H Stratofortress. Although the B-21 Raider has mostly stayed on schedule, the Air Force has pushed the first flight back to the middle of 2022.
Of the two B-21s under construction, the first jet is “really starting to look like a bomber,” according to Air Force magazine. The second bomber is in its early production stages.
The B-21’s first flight was initially scheduled for December 2021, but Air Force officials warned last fall that the date was likely to slip. Officials seem fairly confident the Raider will fly next year, with the plane entering service “around 2026 or 2027.”
The B-21 is the Air Force’s first new bomber since the 1980s. The B-1B Lancer bomber entered service in 1986, and the B-2 Spirit bomber followed in 1997. The end of the Cold War cut the number of B-2 bombers from 132 to just 20, as the lack of a nuclear-armed adversary reduced the need for bombers. The Air Force’s fleet of B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers have proved useful in the last 30 years, racking up conventional missions against countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
The B-1 and B-2 bombers are reaching the end of their operational lives. The usefulness of the bombers in America’s 21st century land wars, plus rising tensions with nuclear powers like Russia and China, have prompted the Air Force to build the new B-21.
One bomber the B-21 Raider won’t replace is the B-52H Stratofortress, which the Air Force began producing in 1961. The 76 B-52Hs that are still on active duty are the oldest bombers in the Air Force’s inventory. The B-52 combines long range, a vast carrying capacity, and dependability into a platform the Air Force just can’t seem to quit.
The Air Force plans to upgrade the B-52 fleet’s engines, allowing the big bomber to soar on to 2050 or even later. By the mid-2030s, the Air Force’s entire bomber fleet should consist of just the B-21 and B-52.
The B-21 will be both a conventional and nuclear-armed bomber. In the conventional role, it will likely carry the GPS-guided Joint Directed Attack Munitions (JDAMs) and the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM). For nuclear missions, the bomber will probably carry the B83 and B61-12 nuclear gravity bombs. Other possible payloads include sea mines, air-to-air weapons, drones, and hypersonic weapons
The B-21 will be a flying wing design, a specialty of Northrop Grumman’s since the end of World War II. The blending of the fuselage and wing, combined with the lack of horizontal and vertical stabilizers in the rear, is generally thought of as the best shape possible to avoid enemy radars from all directions. A bomber penetrating deeply into enemy territory will likely have radar waves bouncing off it from multiple angles, making all-around stealth a necessity.
Overall, the trend for the B-21 is a refinement of the B-2A’s original flying wing shape. The leading edge shape of the B-21 is simpler than the B-2A’s sawtooth trailing edge. The cleaner, simpler trailing edge is probably how the original stealth bomber was supposed to look, but in the 1980s, a last-minute demand by the Air Force that the Spirit be capable of low-altitude flight necessitated an expensive design change. As a result, the plane is likely optimized for medium- and high-altitude flight.
The B-21 is named after “Doolittle’s Raiders,” the B-25 Mitchell crews that raided Tokyo in 1942. The “21” is a nod to the plane being the Air Force’s first new strategic bomber for the 21st century.
The Air Force will build at least 100 B-21 Raiders for $80 billion, though it would prefer as many as 220. The bombers will be based at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.
Source: Popular Mechanics “The B-21 Bomber Could Be the Coolest Plane Ever”
Note: This is Popular Mechanics’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
The bomber could usher in new tactical approaches to how modern operations move forward in
By Kris Osborn | Warrior Maven Published 1 day ago
The much-anticipated, high-tech B-21 bomber will “come on in two years,” bringing new dimensions of stealth, software, attack possibilities and nuclear deterrence to the U.S. Air Force. It would even possibly usher in new tactical approaches to how modern operations may move forward in the years ahead.
In a conversation with the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies regarding the importance of modernizing the nuclear triad, Air Force Chief of Staff General Stephen Wilson confirmed that the stealthy new aircraft will “come on in two years.”
There has been discussion about its first test flight being imminent, and service weapons developers consistently express that the program has been progressing very successfully for several years now. Naturally, details regarding its specific developmental nuances are likely not available, as it is a black program. However, prototyping, software development and the overall success of the program has been well-documented. Given all of these factors, it would by no means be surprising if the B-21’s readiness for operations was merely a few years away. Senior weapons developers have long said the aircraft is expected to arrive in the 2020s, so indeed it may very well be on the earlier end of that.
AIR FORCE TECH STOPS DRONES FROM BEING SHOT DOWN
In recent months, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Joseph and Air Force Acquisition Executive Dr. William Roper, all visited Palmdale, California for an on-site discussion with B-21 scientists and weapons developers with the aircraft’s maker Northrop Grumman.
During the visit, Roper commented on the extent to which the B-21 will bring new dimensions to stealth attack, saying it will “push the boundaries in hardware technologies, like stealth,” and “blaze new trails in agile software development,” according to an Air Force report on the visit.
Roper has long-been an advocate for software modernization as a technical foundation for rapid, agile modernization; he recently published some significant comments about the B-21’s progress regarding software and key elements of mission command, saying that developers recently completed an essential software-empowered process intended to bring greater levels of information processing, data management and computerized autonomy.
NAVY ARMS SEA DRONES FOR OCEAN ATTACK
While few details are available regarding the B-21s technical composition for obvious reasons, there are some interesting comments made by Air Force developers as well as observations that can be made by simply looking at available images.
Through virtualization and software-hardware synergy, B-21 sensors, computers and electronics can better scale, deploy and streamline procedural functions such as checking avionics specifics, measuring altitude and speed and integrating otherwise disparate pools of sensor information. In effect, it means war-sensitive sensor, targeting and navigational data will be managed and organized through increased computer automation. This will allow pilots to make faster and more informed combat decisions.
In previous statements, Roper has referred to the B-21’s inclusion of “Containerized Software,” which refers to an ability to program computer operating systems to streamline and compartmentalize different functions simultaneously, yet without launching an entire machine for each app, according to the “Kubernetes” website. Roper cited Kubernetes, which is a computer system for “automating application deployment, scaling and management.” Much of this, as cited by Roper, is made possible through what’s called application containerization; it is defined as an operating system-level “virtualization method used to deploy and run distributed applications,” according to Techtarget.com. Containerization enables multiple “isolated applications or services to run on a single host and access the same operating system.”
By drawing upon software-enabled virtualization, systems can upgrade faster, reduce their hardware footprint and better employ automation, AI and machine-learning applications. In all-out warfare terms, this means B-21 pilots can share information and find and destroy targets such as enemy air defenses much faster than ever before. This is something that can expedite precision weapons attack and identify approaching air and ground threats and, perhaps of greatest importance, keep pilot crews alive.
While many of the details regarding the B-21’s stealth technologies remain mysterious, a quick look at its configuration seems to indicate a few interesting new developments. The engine “inlets” are more curved and embedded in the fuselage, compared to its predecessor the B-2. The body surrounding the inlet appears more rounded and slightly less angular as well, suggesting newer methods of implementing “low radar signature” stealth engineering. Naturally, fewer edges, angular shapes or protruding structures are likely to generate much less of a return signal to enemy radar. Also, the back of the aircraft seems to show little or no heat dispensing, as if to suggest that an internally-buried engine is emitting an even smaller heat signature than the current state-of-the-art stealth engines. Or, there simply could be new ways of managing how heat is dissipated or released from the aircraft to lessen or remove any detectable heat signature. In addition, to be less “findable” by enemy sensors, a stealth fuselage is built to effectively mirror the surrounding atmosphere in order to eliminate any detectable temperature difference. Finally, the structural shape of the crew’s command center cockpit on the B-21 seems to have a slightly lower incline than the B-2, making the shape slightly more rounded or “blended” into a seamless, less detectable configuration.
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Warrior Maven and the defense editor of The National Interest.
Source: Fox News “New Air Force stealth bomber arrives in just ‘2 years’”
Note: This is Fox News’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Last week the Air Force announced it had successfully test-dropped a new type of munition called CLEAVER from one of its special operations MC-130J Commando II aircraft. In one sense this is just the latest in a long history of releasing weapons from transport planes, but in another it is a milestone towards a very different type of air strike.
The Commando II is a heavily modified version of the four-engined C-130 Hercules transport, which proved itself a surprisingly effective bomber during the Vietnam War. The new role came out of Project Commando Vault, a U.S. Army effort to create landing sites for helicopters in dense jungle using explosives. No existing bomb was powerful enough, and this led to the development of the mammoth BLU-82, a 15,000-pound monster delivered by parachute. Too big for bombers, the BLU-82 was dropped by C-130s. Rather than the standard TNT, the BLU-82 was loaded with a high-energy gelled slurry explosive of ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum. The blast created a landing area which would otherwise take weeks to clear.
Popular myth says that BLU-82s were just rolled out of the back by the loadmasters, the it was really more complex. The bomb was secured to a wooden pallet with webbing and rigged with ‘knives’ which automatically separated the bomb from the pallet as it slid down the loading ramp.
The BLU-82 was so successful, and the blast so awe-inspiring, their use was extended to psychological warfare – it created a mushroom cloud visible for miles – and combat. One bomb dropped near Xuan Loc reportedly killed more than 250 enemy troops.
The BLU-82 was brought back for the 1991 Gulf War, being dropped from MC-130 aircraft mainly for psychological effect. It was later replaced by the even bigger 21,600-pound GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB, a.k.a. “Mother Of All Bombs”) used in Afghanistan. While MOAB has GPS guidance, experience in Vietnam showed that the C-130s could drop bombs to within 200 feet of the target.
The test of the new CLEAVER munition is not just about dropping heavy ordnance on lightly-defended targets. The name is short for Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles with Extended Range (CLEAVERs), and while the launch technique is similar, down to the same wooden pallets sliding down ramps, as the name indicates this is a different sort of beast. As an ‘Air Vehicle’ with ‘Extended Range,’ CLEAVER is more akin to a cruise missile than a bomb. The Air Force has stated that not only will it have gliding wings, like those that give the JDAM ER glide bomb a range of over 45 miles, it will also be powered. Range is anyone’s guess.
The idea then is that transport aircraft standing off well outside the range of air defenses will be able to launch large numbers of cruise missiles to hit enemy targets. Again, not a new concept. Back in the 1970s there were arguments about canceling the troubled B-1 bomber or developing alternatives based on cruise missiles. The argument went that new cruise missiles with a range of a thousand miles or more meant that the launch aircraft could be a cargo carrier. Why settle for a B-52 with just 20 missiles when you could get something bigger – jumbo-sized, in fact?
Boeing BA pushed out a proposal for Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft (CMCA), a modified 747 airliner with the cabin stripped out and replaced with rotary launchers, each loaded with eight cruise missiles. Missiles would be ejected from a bay door in the rear of the aircraft and each launcher would be slid back in turn by an overhead handling system as the previous one emptied. One CMCA could carry 72 cruise missiles, more than three times the payload of the B-52, and the 747’s impressive range made global reach a possibility. And the acquisition and operating costs would be a fraction of a full-on bomber.
Of course, the CMCA was never built, and the B-1 Lancer went ahead despite its perceived high cost – followed by the even more expensive B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which, depending on how you calculate it, cost around $2 billion a plane.
Now the Air Force has revived the idea of an Arsenal Plane – again, one that would stand off at long range lobbing missiles rather than attempting to slip through anti-aircraft defenses. This might be based on a B-1 or B-52, reflecting their reduced ability to take on modern surface-to-air missiles – or it might be a C-17 transport.
Such a plane might be seen as a direct competitor to the Air Force’s showpiece B-21 Raider, a next-generation stealth aircraft. Production is cost optimistically pegged at $550m (2010 dollars) per aircraft, which has raised considerable skepticism.
However, things have moved on considerably since the 1970s, and a closer look at CLEAVER reveals that it is not simply a war of getting a warhead to a target. In their press release, the Air Force describe the latest test as a step towards “multi-engine platform carrying large quantities of network-enabled, semi-autonomous weapons.” (My emphasis)
This concept, also explored in the Air Forces Gray Wolf and Golden Horde programs, which may be linked to CLEAVER, has groups of weapons acting together. Rather than flying a pre-designated mission, they are able to react in real time, sharing information and changing plans. The group, “sometimes called a swarm” will help each other locate targets, assign weapons to specific targets and possibly assess and evade or destroy defenses. These are not just smart bombs, but bombs which work together to be smarter.
Interestingly, this same concept of “network-enabled semi-autonomous weapons” is used to describe the munitions launched by the Arsenal plane.
The key term may be ‘large numbers.’ Unlike current Tomahawk cruise missiles which cost about $1.4 million apiece and can only be used a few at a time, CLEAVER is envisaged as something that would arrive en masse and swamp defenses. The networked, semi-autonomous weapons could attack a large number of targets, and, thanks to their ability to co-ordinate, could destroy more of them than any present system – with minimal involvement by humans.
Delivering that sort of mass attack looks like more of a job for a Boeing C-17 Globemaster, cargo capacity 170,000 pounds, than a B-21, likely to be significantly smaller than the B-2 Spirit with its 40,000-pound payload.
CLEAVER represents a step-change in air weapons, and new developments in laser defenses mean that big transport planes may be able to protect themselves from missiles. Shiny new bombers like the B-21 may prove much less important than those ‘large numbers’ of cheap CLEAVERs stacked on their wooden pallets, pushed out the back of anonymous transports.
Source: Forbes “Why U.S. Air Force’s CLEAVER Could Be A Step Change In Air Weapons”
Note: This is Forbes’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
National Interest republished its 2018 article yesterday titled “Danger: Should We Fear China’s New H-20 Stealth Bomber?” that speculates China’s H-20 bomber will be a stealth bomber similar to US B2 stealth bombers. So did some Chinese media and military fans.
Chinese media and military fans may lack expertise about the most advanced technology but US military experts may not. The argues “speed is the new stealth”.
China has kept its development of most advanced weapons strictly confidential so that information about the strategic bomber it has been developing is entirely unavailable.
However, in March 2016 China’s Science and Technology Daily media learned from Tan Yonghua, head of No. 6 Research Institute under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) in an interview with him when he attended NPC (National People’s Congress, China’s parliament) that China had succeeded in developing a new type of scramjet to achieve the speed of Mach 4.5. It is hopeful for future products to achieve the speed of Marh 7 to 10 and above.
Pentagon also knows that speed is the new stealth as a hypersonic warplane detected and tracked cannot be intercepted with the best weapons available now. It. However, lacks the funds to develop such new weapons and has to be satisfied with its stealth F-35 and B-2 stealth warplanes and only has funds for development of a better stealthy B-21 bombers.
That is not the case with China. There was a report in September 2015 on China’s test of a hypersonic aircraft but it turned out the aircraft only reached Mach 4.5 as mentioned by Tan Yonghua. (See my post “The Mystery of China’s Hypersonic Flying Vehicle” on September 27, 2015.) However, Tan was confident that China may achieve the speed of Mach 7 or above, why shall China follow the US example to make its H-20 similar to US B2 bomber instead of a hypersonic bomber.
As the US has not successfully developed its B-21 bomber and it has not yet been proved that China is unable to develop new radar to detect and track it, there is no hurry in China’s development of H-20 bomber. Just take time to develop an irresistible hypersonic bomber.
I believe that H-20 may well be a hypersonic bomber.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/danger-should-we-fear-chinas-new-h-20-stealth-bomber-110681.
National Interest’s article “Why Everyone Is Right to Fear America’s Mighty B-21 Bomber” shows US arrogance as it believes that others may be scared by the mere initial ideas about a stealth bomber the US has not been able to make yet.
The US has made its littoral combat ships and believes that they are able to scare others’ navy but find that no one is scared as such ships simply have no reliable air defense.
It has developed very expensive Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers with formidable cannons but find it cannot afford the ammunition of the cannons resulting in the destroyer becoming laughing stock.
It has perfect ideas about the development of its F-35 stealth fighters but takes more than a decade to become able to mass produce the fighter jets. Still the warplanes cannot fly at Mach 1.3 without booster and is barely able to fly at such a speed for a minute.
With such poor track records of weapon development, can others be scared by US ideas about its new stealth bomber that may take a decade to develop? Such ideas may well become obsolete in a decade due to the fast progress of technology.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-everyone-right-fear-americas-mighty-b-21-bomber-79161.
Scientists are developing a probe to track stealth bombers at night
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 November, 2017, 11:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 November, 2017, 4:09pm
China is developing a new type of spy satellite using ghost imaging technology that could change the game of military cat and mouse within a decade, according to scientists involved in the project.
Existing camouflage techniques – from simple smoke bombs used to hide tanks or soldiers on battlefields to the hi-tech radar absorption materials on a stealth aircraft or warship – would be of no use against ghost imaging, physics experts said.
Quantum ghost imaging can achieve unprecedented sensitivity by detecting not just the extremely small amount of light straying off a dim target, but also its interactions with other light in the surrounding environment to obtain more information than traditional methods.
A satellite equipped with the new quantum sensor would be able to identify and track targets that are currently invisible from space, such as stealth bombers taking off at night, according to researchers.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit operated by the United States is the world’s only stealth bomber in service able to deliver a strategic strike on an enemy.
B-2s take flight mostly under the cover of night, in part to avoid high-definition optical cameras on spy satellites. They have a special coating to deflect or absorb microwaves of certain bandwidths produced by space-based synthetic aperture radars, as well as heat-suppression technology to dodge infrared sensors. Its successor, the B-21, is under development with improved but similar technologies. It is expected to enter service by 2025.
Gong Wenlin, research director at the Key Laboratory for Quantum Optics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai – whose team is building the prototype ghost imaging device for satellite missions – said their technology was designed to catch “invisibles” like the B-2s.
He said his lab, led by prominent quantum optics physicist Han Shensheng, would complete a prototype by 2020 with an aim to test the technology in space before 2025. By 2030 he said there would be some large-scale applications.
While ghost imaging has already been tested on ground-based systems, Gong’s lab is in a race with overseas competitors, including the US Army Research Laboratory, to launch the world’s first ghost imaging satellite.
The team showed the engineering feasibility of the technology with a ground experiment in 2011. Three years later the US army lab announced similar results.
“We have beat them on the ground. We have confidence to beat them again in space,” Gong said.
The ghost imaging satellite would have two cameras, one aiming at the targeted area of interest with a bucket-like, single pixel sensor while the other camera measured variations in a wider field of light across the environment.
The target could be illuminated by almost any light source such as the sun, moon or even a fluorescent light bulb. Alternatively, a pair of physically “entangled” or “correlated” laser beams could be generated from the satellite to light up the object and its surroundings.
By analysing and merging the signals received by the two cameras with a set of sophisticated algorithms in quantum physics, scientists could conjure up the imaging of an object with extremely high definition previously thought impossible using conventional methods.
Gong said darkness, cloud, haze and other negative elements impairing visibility would no longer matter.
“A ghost imaging satellite will reveal more details than the most advanced radar satellite,” the research director said.
Because quantum imaging can collect data from a wide spectrum of light, the images they produce would look “more natural” to human eyes than the black-and-white radar images based on the echo of high-frequency electromagnetic waves of narrow bandwidths, he said.
The ghost camera could also identify the physical nature or even chemical composition of a target, according to Gong. This meant the military would be able to distinguish decoys such as fake fighter jets on display in an airfield or missile launchers hidden under a camouflage canopy.
Tang Lingli, a researcher with the Academy of Opto-Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said numerous new devices had been built, tested in the field and were ready for deployment on ground-based radar stations, planes and airships.
“Satellite is the next step,” she said.
Tang said ghost imaging could be achieved using different methods in either quantum or classical physics, and it would work best with other intelligence gathering methods including optical cameras and synthesised aperture radars.
“Each detection method has its unique advantages. It depends on the circumstances and nature of the mission as to which one should be used, if not all [of them],” said Tang, who is also the general secretary of the National Committee on Remote Sensing Technology Standardisation and a supervisor of the national ghost imaging project.
Xiong Jun, a professor of physics who studied quantum optics at Beijing Normal University, said ghost imaging could become a game changer for military operations.
Some 200 quantum optics scientists gather in China every year to share their new discoveries and the latest advances in engineering applications.
Xiong said he had seen ghost imaging used in ground-based radar systems and spy planes, but the satellite project had not been publicly discussed because of its sensitivity.
Many engineering challenges would have to be overcome to build such a satellite, he said.
If the satellite used a natural light source such as the sun and moon, it would need to have extremely fast sensors to detect the tiny changes in light down to a few nanoseconds – or one thousand-millionths of a second – and catch the quantum physics in action.
If it used an artificial light source such as a laser, it would need to be very powerful to reach a distant target near the ground.
But Xiong noted that China had built and run the world’s first and only quantum satellite, which provided a large amount of experimental data – and engineering experience – for its scientists.
Source: SCMP “Could ghost imaging spy satellite be a game changer for Chinese military?”
Note: This is SCMP’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
China’s yidianzixun.com posted an article on April 2 on China’s urgent need for development of strategic stealth bomber.
The article says that the US has already the most powerful bomber fleets in the world, including 90 B-52Hs, 90 B-1Bs and 20 B-2s
China, however, though has made great progress to catch up in developing J-20 stealth fighter jet and Y-20 large military transports, but has not made any strategic stealth bomber that can reach US homeland.
US development and deployment of its new B-21 bomber will make China more vulnerable to US bombers.
China has to respond with the development of its strategic stealth bomber. However, it takes 10 years to develop such bomber. If China is able to begin commissioning the bomber, it takes 10 years to produce 120 such bombers to counter the 100 B-21 the US will commission.
As a alternative, China has improved its H-6 bombers. However, even the most advanced version of H-6 H-6K armed with KD-20A long-range cruise missile can only reach the Guam, far from US homeland.
The better alternative will be an aerospace bomber that may carry bunker-busting bomber weighing one ton each and reach US homeland within an hour. There has been speculation that China has been developing such prompt strike capability.
However, the article still believe development of strategic bomber is the best choice as it will shake US no. 1 position in the world
Source: yidianzixun.com “Can China’s new generation of stealth bomber make US anxious? Shake its no. 1 position in the world” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chiense)