China’s new H-20 stealth bomber could hit Pearl Harbor: analysts


H-20 could alter the strategic calculus between the US and China by exposing US bases and fleets to surprise air attacks

By DAVE MAKICHUK

December 27, 2020

The H-20 “strategic bomber,” which was likely modelled after the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, above, was designed to penetrate anti-aircraft defences and drop devastating nuclear payloads. Credit: Handout.

Just when things were not going well for the Pentagon, vis-a-vis China’s rapid military growth, US planners now have to rethink the entire scenario.

There’s a new kid on the block, and “he” is terrifying.

It involves China’s new H-20 stealth bomber, which is believed to have a range of up to 7,500 miles, the UK’s Sun reported.

Analysts believe that would easily bring Hawaii — 6,000 miles away — into reach in chilling echoes of the 1941 attack by the Japanese, making it a “truly intercontinental” threat.

According to the South China Morning Post, which cited a London-based Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies report, the state-of-the-art H-20 can carry a massive weapons payload of 45 tonnes and fly great distances without mid-air refuelling.

The 630 mph war machine is still under development, according to the leading think tank, but the Pentagon fears one day it will be able to target US overseas territories such as Guam, The Sun reported.

“Armed with nuclear and conventional stand-off missiles, the H-20 would represent a major break from previous PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) doctrine and equipment development practice,” it reads.

The PLAAF is designed to be a regional force capable of missions on the first island chain – ranging from the Kuril Islands to Japan and onto the Philippines, The Sun reported.

“The H-20, by contrast, would give China a truly intercontinental power-projection capability,” the report said.

Plans for the H-20 were first announced in 2016 and the nuclear bomber may be ready to enter service in five years.

The “strategic bomber,” which was likely modelled after the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, was designed to penetrate anti-aircraft defences and drop devastating nuclear payloads.

Reports have said the H-20 will be able to deliver a payload of 45 tonnes, including nukes, and fire hypersonic cruise missiles.

Importantly, the Hong-20 will also complete the country’s so-called “nuclear triad,” The Sun reported.

This consists of ground-based ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and the long-range nuclear-capable bombers.

While the H-20 still remains mysterious to a large degree, it may not at all come close to rivaling the Air Force’s new B-21 Sky Raider, National Interest reported.

Quoting “military sources,” a report from The New Zealand Herald said the new and still somewhat mysterious H-20 bomber was to make its first public appearance at this year’s cancelled Zhuhai Airshow.

The New Zealand report also said the new supersonic stealth bomber could “double” China’s strike range.

If the H-20 does have the range and passable stealth characteristics attributed to it, it could alter the strategic calculus between the United States and China by exposing US bases and fleets across the Pacific to surprise air attacks, National Interest reported.

Strategic bombers make sense for China because Beijing perceives dominance of the western half of the Pacific Ocean as essential for its security due to its history of maritime invasion, and the challenge posed by the United States in particular.

The two superpowers are separated by five to six thousand miles of ocean — and the United States has spent the last century developing a network of island territories such as Guam, foreign military bases in East Asia and super-carriers with which it can project air and sea power across that span, National Interest reported.

Source: Asia Times “China’s new H-20 stealth bomber could hit Pearl Harbor: analysts”

Note: This is Asia Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China to modernize military, arsenal in next 5 years


By Liu Xuanzun and Leng Shumei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/2 20:12:14

China will develop and produce modern, advanced weapons and equipment in the upcoming five years, as the world could witness the debut of China’s first long-range, stealth-capable strategic bomber, the country’s third and electromagnetic catapults-equipped aircraft carrier, among other new weapons that aim to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, Chinese military experts and analysts predicted on Monday, after China’s recently released 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the Communiqué of the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) set the tone for the development of the country’s national defense and armed forces.

The roadmap is in line with China’s overall national strength and the urgent needs of national defense brought by the likes of hegemonies, power politics and regional instabilities in other parts of the world when China is having more development interests overseas, analysts said.

The plenary session made “making significant strides in the modernization of national defense and armed forces in the next five years” one of the main goals for the development of the economy and society in the 14th Five-Year Plan, and stressed that the development of the economy should go side by side with the strengthening of the military.

Among others, it is arranged in the 14th Five-Year Plan that the military should be enhanced by technologies, the integrated development of mechanization, informatization and intelligentization should be accelerated, key and innovative fields should develop in a coordinated way, and the layout for national defense and technology industry should be optimized.

By the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2027, the centennial goal of military development should be achieved; by 2035, the country should achieve the modernization of the national defense and armed forces, it was announced at the plenary session.

Additions to arsenal

Looking back at the past five years, the Chinese military’s arsenal saw many breakthroughs across all services, with many new and top-level weapons and equipment commissioned or made debuts, including the J-20 stealth fighter jet, Y-20 large transport aircraft, Z-20 utility helicopter, H-6N strategic bomber, Type 055 large destroyer, Shandong aircraft carrier, Type 15 light tank, PCL-181 truck-based howitzer, DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missile, DF-17 hypersonic missile and DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile.

To follow the 14th Five-Year Plan and reach the goals, China is expected to continue its momentum in the domestic development of modern weapons and equipment in addition to the military reform and scientific military exercises, analysts said.

The 14th Five Year Plan period will be a very hopeful and fruitful period for the PLA Air Force, as the long-range, stealth-capable strategic bomber will likely make its long-expected public debut, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Monday.

China has been reportedly developing the new bomber, often dubbed the H-20, for many years, and its maker, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, has been hinting its development since 2018.

“We have been studying on the bomber for a certain period. As we have conquered the difficulties in large aircraft production, stealth technologies and engine design and production. The time is ripe for us to roll out a new bomber,” Fu predicted.

The aircraft is expected to be a fourth-generation bomber, compared to China’s current H-6 bomber platform, which is only of the first generation, Fu said, noting that it will come out with world-leading design and technologies. Its stealth capability and range will at least as good as the US’ B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, Fu predicted.

In other warplane developments, Fu believes that China will start to mass-produce and improve the J-20 fighter jet, with its engines replaced with more powerful ones; drones and artificial intelligence will also see advanced developments.

In terms of the PLA Navy, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, predicted that China’s third aircraft carrier is very likely to be commissioned during the 14th Five Year Plan period.

The new carrier is expected to be much larger, and the country’s first one using a flat flight deck equipped with electromagnetic cat apults to release aircraft, a more efficient way than the ski-jump approach used on the country’s previous carriers, analysts said.

In accordance with the PLA’s carrier groups construction, the construction of supporting warships for the carriers, including destroyers like Type 052D and Type 055, as well as amphibious assault and landing ships, anti-submarine warfare aircrafts, will likely continue in the next five years, Li told the Global Times on Monday.

“Overall, in the following 10 years, the PLA Navy will develop more systematically and integrated, centering on the construction of aircraft carrier groups,” Li said.

In specific, new amphibious vessels will be launched and existing destroyers and frigates, such as the Type 055 and Type 054A, will be upgraded. The network integration of the PLA Navy will also be improved, Li noted.

China is reportedly developing the electromagnetic railgun, which is widely expected by analysts to be installed on an upgraded version of the Type 055.

A type of aircraft carrier-based stealth fighter jet, rumored to be developed based on China’s second type of stealth fighter jet the FC-31, could also make its debut in the coming years, along with the aircraft carrier-based early warning aircraft the KJ-600, observers said.

China’s centennial goal of military development in 2027 aims to develop the military with the capability to defend national sovereignty, safeguard against security threats posed by the hegemony in western pacific region and protect overseas development interests as China’s overseas economic presence grows, Li said.

As the world has seen a rise in strategic competition, constant armed conflicts and regional warfare, and increasingly obvious instability and uncertainty in security, China as a rising power with huge development interests both at home and abroad requires its military to adapt to new missions, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.

“The centennial goal is in line with national strength,” Song stressed.

Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, had pointed out in May that from a global perspective, the proportion of China’s defense expenditure to GDP has remained at around 1.3 percent for many years, far below the world average of 2.6 percent.

Source: Global Times “China to modernize military, arsenal in next 5 years”

Photos

China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet displays its new coating of stealth material and flies over the exhibition hall at Airshow China 2018 on Tuesday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The Shandong aircraft carrier is moored at a naval port in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

Source: Global Times “China to modernize military, arsenal in next 5 years”

Note: This is Global Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Behold, The Stealth Fighter China Could Have Had


David Axe, Contributor Jul 21, 2020,03:30pm EDT

The Shenyang Snow Owl scale model. CCTV VIA ALERT 5

A fleeting shot in a Chinese documentary reveals, for the first time, the shape of the stealth-fighter design that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force rejected in favor of the Chengdu J-20.

A scale model of the Shenyang Snow Owl made a brief appearance in China Central Television’s documentary series Memory of the Military Industry, according to aviation blog Alert 5.

The Snow Owl is a three-wing design with canards, a delta-shape wing and horizontal stabilizers. The three-wing layout reportedly made the Snow Owl highly maneuverable, but at the cost of stealth. The edges of wings are major sources of radar reflectivity.

J-31. CHINESE INTERNET

Despite the PLAAF’s rejection, it seems Shenyang didn’t entirely abandon the Snow Owl design. The company’s J-31 export fighter looks a lot like the Snow Owl, minus the canards. Shenyang has built at least two J-31 prototypes but has yet to find a buyer for the type.

The Snow Owl is an artifact of a period of explosive growth in China’s warplane industry. In addition to producing J-20s, the Chinese aerospace industry is working on as many as four new radar-evading types—potentially the H-20 bomber, the J-18 jump jet, the JF-XX fighter-bomber plus an unspecified fighter type.

But American stealth aircraft still outnumber their Chinese rivals. As of early 2020, there were a little over 700 low-observable warplanes in all the world. Around half of the stealth planes are F-35s—and most of those are American. U.S. Air Force F-22s account for another quarter of the global fleet.

Source: Forbes “Behold, The Stealth Fighter China Could Have Had”

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.


China Is Building Two New Stealth Bombers (And We Have The Details)


In January 2018, two sentences in an annual report by the DIA on Chinese military power sent a minor shockwave rippling across the defense-related internet.

by Sebastien Roblin July 8, 2020

Here’s What You Need To Remember: If the JH-XX is truly under active development, then additional rumors and photos may eventually surface. Until then, the supersonic stealth-bomber’s development status must come with an asterisk, even if that won’t dissuade model-makers and defense writers alike from speculation.

In January 2018, two sentences in an annual report by the DIA on Chinese military power sent a minor shockwave rippling across the defense-related internet:

The PLAAF is developing new medium- and long-range stealth bombers to strike regional and global targets. Stealth technology continues to play a key role in the development of these new bombers, which probably will reach initial operational capability no sooner than 2025.”

Bombers, plural. In a separate chart, an un-designated next-generation “Tactical Bomber” is listed, denoted as being equipped with a high-resolution Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, precision-guided bombs and long-range air-to-air missiles.

In the last few years, China’s development of what appears to be a subsonic long-range heavy strategic bomber called the H-20 has become increasingly evident—especially in 2018, when the Chinese government began teasing a public unveiling to take place in 2019. The flying wing bomber, which apparently resembles the U.S. B-2 Spirit in form and function, is to be produced by Xi’an Aircraft Corporation, which already manufactures older H-6 strategic bombers and the chubby Y-20 transport plane.

However, the stealth “tactical” or “medium” bomber was news—sort of. The fighter-bomber in question is believed to refer to the JH-XX, a rival stealth bomber concept proposed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation believed to have been passed over in favor of the longer-range H-20. Shenyang is better known for producing fighters, including Chinese derivatives of the Russian Flanker jet and a J-31 stealth fighter which may be exported or serve on Chinese aircraft carriers.

The first image of this JH-XX concept was leaked at a convention in 2013. Then in May 2018, the prestigious Chinese magazine Aviation Knowledge flashed concept art on its cover of a futuristic-looking stealth jet measuring roughly thirty meters in length, with two huge turbofan engines atop the rear fuselage, canted tail-stabilizers near identical to Northrop’s YF-23 Black Widow stealth prototype, a big bomb bay in the belly and side weapon-bays for carrying long-range air-to-air missiles. This image has since inspired model kits and online fan-art. (One should bear in mind that speculative artwork of the “F-19 stealth fighter” in the 1980s ended up bearing little resemblance to the actual F-117 stealth jet.)

It’s not clear why the DIA believes the JH-XX is actively under development. Rick Joe of The Diplomat, who has written arguably the most detailed English-language profile of the JH-XX prior to the DIA report, expressed his skepticism in a series of tweets:

Regarding the DIA report ‘confirming’ a PLA stealthy medium bomber; the info hasn’t changed since last year when I wrote this piece: ‘To the best of our knowledge the JH-XX does not seem to be actively pursued…’”

Now, maybe the DIA report was based on classified intel the public is not privy to, but from the quality of the rest of the report I doubt it,” he said in a separate tweet. “Chances are they relied on some open source/public articles about JH-XX and interpreted them a bit over zealously.”

Thus, it may be prudent to wait for further evidence to emerge before taking the JH-XX’s active development as a given.

Why would PLA even order two types of stealth bombers? Effectively, the JH-XX would represent a different set of design compromises. The H-20 trades speed in exchange for greater payload, range and stealth. The ‘game plan’ is for such a bomber is to penetrate enemy airspace without being detected at all, as it doesn’t have the agility to evade enemy fighters or missiles. It’s projected range of five thousand miles would allow it strike targets across the Pacific, especially if combined with aerial refueling and long-range missiles.

The JH-XX would likely have shorter range (900-1500 miles) and a smaller payload than the H-20, but would be much faster at speeds up to twice the speed of sound. (Note, however, that friction generate at Mach 2 may erode the expensive coatings of radar-absorbent materials on stealth aircraft.) Thus, while an JH-XX might eventually be detected as it sprints towards its target, the combination of speed and reduced detection range would theoretically give interceptors and air defenses too little time to react.

Overall, the H-20’s long range and heavier payload is more useful to the PLA. However, the JH-XX would bring a different mix of capabilities and might be better for penetrating certain very dense air-defense networks where evading detection may not be possible even for a stealthy H-20.

The United States and the Australian Air Force formerly operated supersonic F-111 Aardvark regional bombers that had a similar mission profile, though lacking in stealth characteristics. Furthermore, in the early 2000s, the Pentagon considered procuring bomber variants of the Raptor stealth fighter and the YF-23 before passing on that idea in favor of the B-21 Raider strategic stealth bomber. In fact, Tyler Rogoway and Joseph Trevithick at The Drive speculate that the JH-XX concept may have been informed in part by technical documents possibly acquired by Chinese hackers for these aircraft.

Unlike the H-20, the JH-XX’s high speed would make it viable for carrying air-to-air missiles, not only for self-defense, but for hit-and-run attacks on vulnerable support planes, or to rapidly intercept incoming bombers. While the JH-XX likely wouldn’t be optimized for short-range aerial dogfights against highly maneuverable fighters, its stealth, speed and large payload could still make it a deadly delivery platform for beyond-visual range air-to-air missiles.

One last intriguing application of the JH-XX concept could be naval strike. The PLA Naval Air Force currently operates 250 JH-7 ‘Flying Leopard’ supersonic naval strike bomber. These non-stealthy planes depend on long-range anti-ship missiles and electronic warfare to overcome the formidable air defenses of modern surface warships. A stealth fighter bomber could conceivably get much closer to, say, an opposing carrier-task force, before being detected—giving the targeted vessels a much smaller window to engage their defenses. Of course, stealth capabilities might also make the JH-XX an especially survivable electronic warfare and spy plane in its own right. Naval analyst Robert Farley has speculated that the JH-XX might even be intended for carrier deployment.

If the JH-XX is truly under active development, then additional rumors and photos may eventually surface. Until then, the supersonic stealth-bomber’s development status must come with an asterisk, even if that won’t dissuade model-makers and defense writers alike from speculation.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

(This first appeared last year.)

Source: National Interest “China Is Building Two New Stealth Bombers (And We Have The Details)”

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


The Xian H-20: China’s Latest Next-Generation Stealth Bomber Is Coming


The Xian H-20, which is expected to double the country’s strike range, could make its public debut at this year’s Zhuhai Airshow.

by Peter Suciu

Here’s What You Need To Remember: If the U.S. and its allies deploy more of the next-generation fighter in the region, China may feel compelled to respond by speeding up its Xian H-20 program in the latest – and increasingly expensive and increasingly dangerous – tit-for-tat in the region.

While the goal of a stealth bomber is not to be seen – at least on radar – the Chinese military is reportedly weighing how to officially introduce the still-to-be-delivered next-generation warplane. Military experts, who have anticipated the arrival of the long-range aircraft for a while, may have to extend their wait at least until November.

The Xian H-20, which is expected to double the country’s strike range, could make its public debut at this year’s Zhuhai Airshow. But that is only providing the coronavirus pandemic is under control and contained. Should it make a return this autumn, the Xian H-20 could become akin to “Waiting for Godot” where its promised arrival is continually delayed.

“The Zhuhai Airshow is expected to become a platform to promote China’s image and its success in pandemic control – telling the outside world that the contagion did not have any big impacts on Chinese defence industry enterprises:” an unnamed source told the South China Morning Post this week.

The aircraft had been previously teased about in viral marketing campaigns that wouldn’t seem out of place for a Hollywood blockbuster, and Chinese media had teased that the aircraft would be part of a parade to celebrate the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s seventieth anniversary in 2019.

There have also been concerns that if the bomber were to make an appearance at this year’s airshow that it could heighten tensions by directly threatening countries that are within its strike range, notably Japan, South Korea and even Australia, including U.S. bases in those countries as well as in the U.S. territory of Guam.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has estimated that the bomber has a cruising distance of more than 5,300 miles and could fly at subsonic speeds, while carrying four powerful hypersonic stealth cruise missiles.

This has provided Beijing with what has been described as a “nuclear triad” of ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles and air-launched weapons. Such a combination of arms has been seen to provide the United States with 24/7 deterrence to prevent catastrophic actions from adversaries, but it could certainly change the power dynamic among China’s regional rivals.

Last year in an annual report to Congress, the DoD warned that China could be inching closer to such a nuclear triad.

“The Beijing leadership is still carefully considering whether its commission will affect regional balance, especially as regional tensions have been escalating over the Covid-19 pandemic,” another unnamed source told the South China Morning Post. “Like intercontinental ballistic missiles, all strategic bombers can be used for delivering nuclear weapons.”

However, as the report to Congress also noted, a true nuclear triad is about more than just possessing the military platforms and weapons.

“To have a true triad involves doctrine, it involves training, a lot of things,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver explained as reported by Business Insider last May. Schriver added that the Chinese military is “heading in that direction, toward having capable delivery systems in those three domains.”

The Xian H-20 certainly provides the third piece of the triad, but the aircraft won’t instantly level the playing field. The speed of the H-20 is reportedly slower than its original design. However, the H-20 could be an answer to the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. If the U.S. and its allies deploy more of the next-generation fighter in the region, China may feel compelled to respond by speeding up its Xian H-20 program in the latest – and increasingly expensive and increasingly dangerous – tit-for-tat in the region.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

This article first appeared earlier this year and is being republished due to reader interest.

Source: National Interest “The Xian H-20: China’s Latest Next-Generation Stealth Bomber Is Coming”

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Russia Begins Building First Stealth Bomber – Report


By AFP

13 hours ago

Photo stealth bomber

Stealth bombers are designed to evade radar detection while carrying large amounts of weaponry.

Defense Ministry

Russia has begun manufacturing the prototype of its first strategic stealth bomber, the state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday, as the country presses ahead with the modernization of its military.

Quoting defense industry sources, TASS said the state-controlled United Aircraft Corporation was overseeing the project.

It said material was being shipped for the project and that work had begun on the cockpit of the bomber, known as the PAK DA.

“The final assembly of the entire machine should be complete in 2021,” one of the sources told TASS.

Stealth bombers are designed to evade radar detection while carrying large amounts of weaponry.

Russian officials have revealed few details of the project, though last year Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said aircraft maker Tupolev — which is part of United Aircraft Corporation — was in charge.

Reached by AFP, United Aircraft Corporation spokesman Sergei Loktionov declined to comment on the report. Tupolev also did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Reports have said the plane will feature a flying wing design similar to U.S. stealth bombers, fly at subsonic speeds and carry strategic cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons.

The U.S. Air Force’s B-2 stealth bombers are among the world’s most feared aircraft.

China is working on its own long-range stealth bomber — the Xian H-20 — with the South China Morning Post reporting this month that it could make its first public appearance at an airshow in November.

Source: The Moscow Times “Russia Begins Building First Stealth Bomber – Report”

Note: This is The Moscow Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China urged to expand nuclear arsenal to deter US warmongers


By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/8 16:23:40

Nuke-equipped bomber and missile development important to safeguard national security: experts

China reveals its most advanced nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41, at the National Day parade in Beijing on October 1, 2019. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/GT

Facing rising strategic threats from the US, China needs to increase its number of nuclear warheads and complete a technologically advanced nuclear triad by developing the H-20 strategic stealth bomber and JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missiles to deter potential impulsive military action by US warmongers, experts said on Friday.

Having a nuclear arsenal appropriate to China’s position will help establish a more stable and peaceful world order, which will be beneficial for the whole world, they said.

This year, the US has been applying amplified military pressure on China, sending all manner of warships and warplanes at an increasing frequency to areas including the South China Sea, East China Sea and Taiwan Straits.

The Pentagon is also planning to deploy ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missile installations to the first island chain to contain China’s military development, which would not have been possible had the US not quit the INF Treaty, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Since May 1, the US has sent B-1B strategic bombers to the East China Sea on at least three occasions, edging near the island of Taiwan.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike group and the USS America amphibious assault ship carried out exercises on March 15 in the South China Sea. After COVID-19 broke out on the aircraft carrier, even more frequent military provocations were made by the US in an attempt to show the US’ military strength had not been hindered.

Making matters worse, the US has been advocating the development and actual use of low-yield nuclear weapons, claiming they are “safer” than more destructive ones.

Chinese military experts urged the country to expand its nuclear arsenal to deter the US from its ambition to contain China through military means and dispel thoughts of irrational military action by US warmongers.

China needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time and have at least 100 DF-41 strategic missiles to curb US strategic ambitions and impulses toward China, said Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin on Friday.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Friday that the US is pressuring and threatening China in all fields. Since the US no longer sees nuclear weapons as a mere deterrence – now viewing them as deployable on the battlefield – China will have to expand its nuclear arsenal in response to this huge threat.

When asked to comment on whether China will build more nuclear warheads and DF-41 missiles and if China will join an arms treaty with the US, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on Friday that major countries should have prioritized responsibility and an obligation to reduce strategic nuclear weapons.

China always operates under a “no first use” policy when it comes to nuclear weapons, and China’s related policy is moderate and responsible, Hua said.

China views nuclear weapons only as a strategic deterrence, but any deterrence needs to be strong enough to halt military aggression toward China, analysts said. If a nuclear weapon is dropped on China, Chinese nuclear weapons must be sufficient to wipe out the enemy in retaliation, experts said.

China revealed its most advanced nuclear weapon at the National Day military parade held in Beijing on October 1, 2019. The road-launched DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is capable of striking the US homeland with multiple nuclear warheads.

China is reportedly testing the JL-3 nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and developing the Type 096 nuclear-powered strategic submarine to launch the missile. Also in development is the H-20 strategic stealth bomber, comparable to the US’ B-2.

Beijing-based military expert Wei Dongxu told the Global Times on Friday that China’s next-generation SLBM will have a longer range and carry more nuclear warheads, providing more powerful deterrent and counterattack capabilities. The rumored H-20 bomber can carry both nuclear and conventional weapons, fly across continents and conduct strategic deterrent missions, making it a trump card for the Chinese Air Force.

Song said the complete development of a nuclear triad – nuclear weapon launch capabilities from sea, land and air – is necessary for China as the US’ strategic weapons are a threat to China, and China needs to continuously upgrade its nuclear arsenal.

Military experts said that it is possible that China and the US might engage in a regional conflict.

For instance, this may become a reality if the US continues to challenge China’s bottom line on the Taiwan question, Song said, noting that China must keep its bottom lines on its core interests. The source of China-US confrontation would come from the US’ continued provocation using China’s core interests, he said.

Developing nuclear weapons can deter wars, but they can also be used in wars, and this is why future conflict can be unpredictable, Song said.

China has held only a small number of nuclear weapons, far fewer than the US in both quantity and quality, but the US is asking China to join strategic arms reduction talks. That is a treaty China will not join unless it comes into possession of the same level of nuclear weapons as the US, Song said.

China has no intention of launching a nuclear arms race with the US, but moderately expanding its nuclear arsenal in both quantity and quality is in line with the demands of national security, Song said.

Wei said, “China’s development of new strategic weapons does not mean it will actively attack or threaten any country. Instead, it wants to increase its own strategic defense capabilities, deterring other major powers from taking reckless action.”

China, as a responsible major country in the world, should have nuclear deterrence capabilities appropriate to its position and strategic interests, Wei asserted.

China’s upgrading of its nuclear weapons will also contribute to the establishment of a new strategic balance, Wei said, noting that if China has stronger strategic deterrence capabilities, countries that tend to wage wars will be less likely to start one. “This will be good for the whole world,” he said.

Source: Global Times “China urged to expand nuclear arsenal to deter US warmongers”

Note: This is Global Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China’s long-range Xian H-20 stealth bomber could make its debut this year


  • Beijing ‘carefully considering’ unveiling the plane at the Zhuhai Airshow in November at a time of heightened regional tension
  • H-20 will give China the nuclear triad of submarines, ballistic missiles and bombers
An artist’s impression of what the H-20 may look like. Photo: Weibo
An artist’s impression of what the H-20 may look like. Photo: Weibo
China’s new generation strategic bomber is likely to be ready for delivery this year, but Beijing is said to be weighing the impact of its unveiling at a complex time in regional relations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Military sources said the Xian H-20 supersonic stealth bomber – expected to double the country’s strike range – could make its first public appearance at this year’s Zhuhai Airshow  in November, if the pandemic was sufficiently under control.

“The Zhuhai Airshow is expected to become a platform to promote China’s image and its success in pandemic control – telling the outside world that the contagion did not have any big impacts on Chinese defence industry enterprises,” a source said.

But the appearance of the bomber at this year’s air show could heighten tensions by directly threatening countries within its strike range, especially Australia, Japan and the Korean peninsula.

Video

Thrilling aerobatics fill the skies to open air show in central China

“The Beijing leadership is still carefully considering whether its commission will affect regional balance, especially as regional tensions have been escalating over the Covid-19 pandemic,” another source said.

Tensions in the region have worsened in the past month with a war of words between Beijing and Washington over the pandemic, and both sides increasing naval patrolsof the Taiwan Strait and South and East China seas.

The arrival of the H-20 would mark the completion of China’s “nuclear triad” of ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles and air-launched weapons.

An H-6K bomber, or China’s B-52, flies over the South China Sea. Photo: AP
An H-6K bomber, or China’s B-52, flies over the South China Sea. Photo: AP

Chinese state television has said the H-20 could alter the strategic calculus between the US and China by doubling the strike range of its current H-6K, dubbed the country’s B-52.

The H-20 has reportedly been designed to strike targets beyond the second island ring – which includes US bases in Japan, Guam, the Philippines and other countries – from bases in mainland China. The third island chain extends to Hawaii and coastal Australia.

It will be equipped with nuclear and conventional missiles with a maximum take-off weight of at least 200 tonnes and a payload of up to 45 tonnes. The bomber is expected to fly at subsonic speeds and could potentially unleash four powerful hypersonic stealth cruise missiles.

For the J-20, engineers were developing high-thrust turbofan WS-15 engines, but the jet is understood to be using either Chinese WS-10B or Russian-built AL-31FM2/3 engines, which compromise its manoeuvrability and stealth capabilities at subsonic speeds.

Military enthusiasts have speculated the H-20 might use the NK-321 Russian engine but two independent military sources said it would be equipped with an upgraded WS-10 engine.

“The WS-10 is still a transitional engine for the H-20 because it is not powerful enough. The eligible replacement may take two to three years for development,” one of the sources said.

The second said the speed of the H-20 would be slower than its original design, with some of its original combat capability being reduced.

“That’s why the American air force doesn’t care about the H-20, because it is not strong and powerful enough to cause any challenge to their B-2 and B-21 bombers.”

If the US decided to deploy more F-35 supersonic fighter jets – it has already sold about 200 to Japan and South Korea – it could push China to bring forward the unveiling of the new bomber, the second source said.

“For example, if some US decision makers decided to deploy up to 500 F-35s to Japan, South Korea, and even Singapore, India and Taiwan – making almost all of China’s neighbours in the Indo-Pacific region use F-35s to contain China – that would push Beijing to launch the H-20 as soon as possible.”

The H-20 is believed to have been in development since the early 2000s. The project to develop a strategic bomber was first announced by the People’s Liberation Army in 2016.


China’s H-20 May Well Be a Hypersonic Strategic Bomber


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.


US Military to Fall Behind China’s despite Huge Budget


Forbes’ article “Building The Air Force We Need To Meet Chinese And Russian Threats” begins by saying, “In January, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released its unclassified assessment of China’s military capabilities, with the telling subtitle: ‘Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win.’ As DIA director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley explained: ‘China is building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains which will enable China to impose its will in the region.’ He went on to emphasize: ‘…the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] is on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapons systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world.’”

The writer of the article blames former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for ceasing production of stealth fighter F-22 as he predicted that China would not have any stealth fighter jet by 2020 but why did he no change his mind to regard China’s military development as a “threat” when China tested its J-20 stealth fighter for the first time when he visited China in 2011? Because he was arrogant and did not believe that China would succeed in satisfactorily developing J-20 by 2020.

Now, Pentagon has changed its mind and begun to take China’s military development seriously. However, the US lacks funds to substantially increase its military budget. With much smaller budget, China is still able to catch up with and surpass the US. What if it substantially increase its budget? China has lots of funds to do so.

How can the US stop its own decline and China’s rise?

Think about that.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Forbes’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.forbes.com/sites/davedeptula/2019/02/11/building-the-air-force-we-need/amp/.