China’s New Stealth Drone ‘Feilong 2′ Already Ahead Of US’ B-21 Stealth Bomber – Chinese Experts


By

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.

Feilong 2

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.

B-21-RAIDER

B-21 Raider (Image: US Air Force)

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.


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’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 Unveils Model Of The New Flying Wing Stealth Bomber


October 27, 2019

On October 25, 2019, China’s published the first set of images of the model of “Xian H-20” Stealth strategic bomber at AVIC Xi’an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company Ltd. in Shaanxi, China.

The new flying wing stealth bomber appears has similar characteristics With the B-2 Spirit of the U.S. Air Force. There has been some speculation that this is actually China’s long-awaited H-20 stealth bomber design.

The H-20 is one of two stealth bomber designs that are currently in development in China, with the other being a smaller, regional deep-strike platform that likely has additional multi-role capabilities. Of the two, the H-20 is thought to be farthest along in development, with rumors about its imminent first appearance ramping-up in recent years.

The existence of such a capability would represent a giant leap in Chinese aerospace technological know-how. In essence, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force would advance from an updated 60-year-old design based on the Soviet Tu-16 Badger, in the form of its H-6K bomber derivatives, to a stealth flying wing strategic bomber.

Once China does unveil its H-20, it will enter an elite club made up of just two nations that have accomplished such a technological feat.

According to a study by Rick Joe at The Diplomat, Chinese publications began speculating about the H-20 in the early 2010s.

In September 2016, the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China confirmed that the next-gen long-range bomber is under development.

A small-scale test model of China’s next-generation bomber, a flying wing unofficially dubbed the H-20, has been spotted by satellite at Gaobeidian, a radar cross-section test range near Beijing.

In October 2018, Chinese media announced that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would publicly unveil its new H-20 stealth bomber during a parade celebrating the air arm’s seventieth anniversary in 2019. This comes only two years after PLAAF Gen. Ma Xiaotian formally revealed the Hong-20’s existence.

Apart from that China released a video teaser of its H-20 stealth bomber and trolled the US’s stealth bombers in the process

China’s state-run aviation and defense company, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, posted video celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, a subsidiary of AVIC

The video, which China Daily tweeted, ends with a shadowy wide shot of bomber-looking aircraft covered in a sheet with text reading “The Next” appearing on the screen.

The shot looks eerily similar to a Northrop Grumman advertisement of the B-21 Raider, which ran during the 2015 Super Bowl, The Drive reported, adding that China Defense Online may have also added the ending itself. As such, it’s unclear if it’s legit.

The Xian H-20 is a subsonic stealth bomber design. The aircraft will feature a wing design similar to that of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, with components already being manufactured. Analysts noted that the new type bomber may enter service by 2025.

China state media CCTV estimates the H-20 will have stealth features, a maximum takeoff weight of at least 200 tons and a payload capacity of up to 45 tons.

The H-20 resembles the U.S. Air Force’s B-2 Spirit bomber and the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator. However, military analyst Wang Mingliang told CCTV that the H-20 cannot be compared with the B-2 as it will perform missions beyond strategic bombings, such as electronic warfare.

Postulated characteristics include four non-afterburning WS-10A Taihang turbofans sunk into the top of the wing surface with S-shaped saw-toothed inlets for stealth. It’s worth noting that the WS-10 has been plagued by major problems, but that hasn’t stopped China from manufacturing fighters using WS-10s, with predictably troubled results.

The new strategic bomber is expected to have a maximum un-refueled combat radius exceeding 5,000 miles and payload between the H-6’s ten tons and the B-2’s twenty-three tons. This is because the H-20 is reportedly designed to strike targets beyond the “second island ring” (which includes U.S. bases in Japan, Guam, the Philippines, etc.) from bases on mainland China. The third island chain extends to Hawaii and coastal Australia.

The H-20 will also likely be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, finally giving China a full triad of nuclear-capable submarines, ballistic missiles and bombers.

Though the H-6 was China’s original nuclear bomber, these are no longer configured for nuclear strike, though that could change if air-launched nuclear-tipped cruise or ballistic missile are devised. Beijing is nervous that the United States’ limited ballistic missile defense capabilities might eventually become adequate for countering China’s small ICBM and SLBM arsenal.

The addition of a stealth bomber would contribute to China’s nuclear deterrence by adding a new, difficult-to-stop vector of nuclear attack that the U.S. defenses aren’t designed to protect against.

Analysts forecast the H-20’s first flight in the early 2020s, with production possibly beginning around 2025.

Source: Fighter Jet World “China Unveils Model Of The New Flying Wing Stealth Bomber”

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


China’s Very Own B-2 Stealth Bomber? Meet the H-20 Stealth Bomber


Scared yet?

by Sebastien Roblin August 25, 2019

According to a study by Rick Joe at The Diplomat, Chinese publications began speculating about the H-20 in the early 2010s. Postulated characteristics include four non-afterburning WS-10A Taihang turbofans sunk into the top of the wing surface with S-shaped saw-toothed inlets for stealth. It’s worth noting that the WS-10 has been plagued by major problems, but that hasn’t stopped China from manufacturing fighters using WS-10s, with predictably troubled results.

In October 2018, Chinese media announced that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would publicly unveil its new H-20 stealth bomber during a parade celebrating the air arm’s seventieth anniversary in 2019.

(This first appeared several months ago.)

Prior news of the H-20’s development had been teased using techniques pioneered by viral marketing campaigns for Hollywood movies. For example, the Xi’an Aviation Industrial Corporation released a promotional video in May 2018 pointedly imitating Northrop Grumman’s own Superbowl ad for the B-21 stealth bomber, portraying a shrouded flying wing bomber in its final seconds. Later, the silhouette of a possible new bomber appeared at a PLAAF gala. This comes only two years after PLAAF Gen. Ma Xiaotian formally revealed the Hong-20’s existence.

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 U.S. bases and fleets across the Pacific to surprise air attacks.

Only three countries have both the imperative and the resources to develop huge strategic bombers that can strike targets across the globe: the United States, Russia and China. 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.

Xi’an Aviation, the H-20’s manufacturer, also builds China’s H-6 strategic jet bombers, a knockoff the 1950s-era Soviet Tu-16 Badger which has recently been upgraded with modern avionics, aerial refueling capability and cruise missiles in the later H-6K and H-6J models. Beijing could easily have produced a successor in a similar vein, basically a giant four-engine airliner-sized cargo plane loaded with fuel and long-range missiles that’s never intended to get close enough for adversaries to shoot back.

Alternately, analyst Andreas Rupprecht reported that China considered developing a late-Cold War style supersonic bomber akin to the U.S. B-1 or Russian Tu-160 called the JH-XX. This would have lugged huge bombloads at high speed and low altitude, while exhibiting partial stealth characteristics for a marginal improvement in survivability. However, such an approach was already considered excessively vulnerable to modern fighters and air defense by the late twentieth century. A Chinese magazine cover sported a concept image of the JH-XX in 2013, but the project appears to have been set aside for now.

Instead, in the PLAAF elected to pursue a more ambitious approach: a slower but far stealthier flying wing like the U.S. B-2 and forthcoming B-21 Raider. A particular advantage of large flying wings is they are less susceptible to detection by low-bandwidth radar, such as those on the Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye radar planes, which are effective at detecting the approach of smaller stealth fighters.

While China’s development of stealth aircraft technology in the J-20 and J-31 stealth fighter was an obvious prerequisite for the H-20 project, so apparently was Xi’an’s development of the hulking Y-20 ‘Chubby Girl’ cargo plane, which established the company’s capability to build large, long-range aircraft using modern computer-aided design and manufacturing techniques—precision technology essential for mass producing the exterior surfaces of stealth aircraft.

According to a study by Rick Joe at The Diplomat, Chinese publications began speculating about the H-20 in the early 2010s. Postulated characteristics include four non-afterburning WS-10A Taihang turbofans sunk into the top of the wing surface with S-shaped saw-toothed inlets for stealth. It’s worth noting that the WS-10 has been plagued by major problems, but that hasn’t stopped China from manufacturing fighters using WS-10s, with predictably troubled results.

The new strategic bomber is expected to have a maximum un-refueled combat radius exceeding 5,000 miles and payload between the H-6’s ten tons and the B-2’s twenty-three tons. This is because the H-20 is reportedly designed to strike targets beyond the “second island ring” (which includes U.S. bases in Japan, Guam, the Philippines, etc.) from bases on mainland China. The third island chain extends to Hawaii and coastal Australia.

In a U.S.-China conflict, the best method for neutralizing U.S. air power would be to destroy it on the ground (or carrier deck), especially in the opening hours of a war. While ballistic missiles and H-6 bombers can already contribute to this with long-range missiles, these are susceptible to detection and interception given adequate forewarning. A stealth bomber could approach much closer to carrier task forces and air bases before releasing its weapons, giving defenses too little time to react. An initial strike might in fact focus on air defense radars, “opening the breach” for a follow up wave of less stealthy attacks.

The H-20 will also likely be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, finally giving China a full triad of nuclear-capable submarines, ballistic missiles and bombers. Though the H-6 was China’s original nuclear bomber, these are no longer configured for nuclear strike, though that could change if air-launched nuclear-tipped cruise or ballistic missile are devised. Beijing is nervous that the United States’ limited ballistic missile defense capabilities might eventually become adequate for countering China’s small ICBM and SLBM arsenal. The addition of a stealth bomber would contribute to China’s nuclear deterrence by adding a new, difficult-to-stop vector of nuclear attack that the U.S. defenses aren’t designed to protect against.

Some Chinese publications also argue that the H-20 will do double-duty as a networked reconnaissance and command & control platform similar to U.S. F-35 stealth fighters. This would make sense, as China has developed a diverse arsenal of long-range air-, ground- and sea-launched missiles, but doesn’t necessarily have a robust reconnaissance network to form a kill-chain cueing these missiles to distant targets. Theoretically, an H-20 could rove ahead, spying the position of opposing sea-based assets using a low-probability-of-intercept AESA radar, and fuse that information to a firing platform hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The H-20 could also be used for electronic warfare or to deploy specialized directed energy.

The crescendo of publicity surrounding the H-20 indicates the PLAAF believes the plane will soon be ready enough to show to the public—and international audiences. Once revealed, analysts will pour over the aircraft’s geometry to estimate just how the stealthy it really is, looking for radar-reflective Achilles’ heels such as exposed engine inlets and indiscrete tail stabilizers. However, external analysis cannot provide a full assessment, because the quality of the radar-absorbent materials applied to surfaces, and the finesse of the manufacturing (avoiding seams, protruding screws, etc.) has a major impact on radar cross-section.

It is worth bearing in mind, however, that an H-20 seeking to slip through the gauntlet of long-range search radars scattered across the Pacific to launch CJ-10K cruise missiles with a range of over nine hundred miles would not require the same degree of stealth as an F-35 intended to penetrate more densely defended airspace and launch small diameter bombs with a range of 70 miles.

Analysts forecast the H-20’s first flight in the early 2020s, with production possibly beginning around 2025. If the H-20 is judged to be of credible design, the Pentagon in turn will have to factor the strategic implications of China’s stealth capabilities, and will likely seek to field implement counter-stealth technologies which formerly have been mostly vaunted by Russia and China. The publicity which the often-secretive Chinese government is according the H-20 also indicates Beijing’s hope the bomber will serve as a strategic deterrent to foreign adversaries—even before its first flight.

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.

Source: National Interest “China’s Very Own B-2 Stealth Bomber? Meet the H-20 Stealth Bomber”

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.


China to Test Flight H-20 Long-range Strategic Stealth Bomber


SCMP says in its report “Why the new H-20 subsonic stealth bomber could be a game changer for China” that according to CCTV China is making “great progress” in developing its H-20 subsonic stealth strategic bomber and “military analysts expect it will make maiden flight soon”.

According the report, H-20 has been developed since the early 2000s. It is “a stealth aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of at least 200 tonnes and payload of up to 45 tonnes.”

It can carry nuclear weapons and is expected to fly at subsonic speeds with an estimated range of more than 8,500 or 12,000 km according to military experts’ various estimates. As it is able to refuel in the air, the range can be greatly enlarged.

The bomber will thus complete China’s nuclear triad.

For conventional warfare, the bomber will enable China to hit US nuclear aircraft carriers far away in the ocean.

Military experts expect that H-20 will enter service by 2025.

Is that Made in China 2025?

If China can make such bomber for its Made in China 2025, what other high-tech goods China will not be able to make by 2025?

No wonder Trump is so worried about China’s rise as to carry out a trade war to stop China’s rise in spite of the sufferings the trade war may bring to American people.

Sorry for him and other American hawks. This and other similar news may make it hard for them to fall asleep at night.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2169472/why-new-h-20-subsonic-stealth-bomber-could-be-game-changer-china.


China teases its new stealth bomber


Big News

By Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer June 8, 2018

H-20
Keeping in mind that the video image could very well bear little or no resemblance to the actual bomber, the bomber appears to be a large, cranked flying wing.
Xian Aircraft Corporation

AVIC, the Chinese conglomerate, teased audiences worldwide with the first official glimpse of the country’s first stealth bomber. The preview comes at the end of an eight-minute video made to celebrate the Xian Aircraft Corporation’s (XAC) 60th anniversary on May 8, 2018. The giant flying wing aircraft appears shrouded in canvas inside a high tech hangar. The visual resemblance to Northrup Grumman’s 2015 Super Bowl ad showing off the B-21 Raider stealth bomber is presumably deliberate. It is likely AVIC’s way of proclaiming that it’s arrived, fast on American heels, to the exclusive club of strategic bombers.

Cranked Wing?
Assuming the XAC anniversary video is accurate, the H-20 could be the world’s first large cranked flying wing (the B-21 Raider appears to be a conventional flying wing, like the B-2).
Iron Eagle

Keeping in mind that the video image could be pure theater and bear little or no resemblance to the actual bomber, the craft appears to be a large flying wing, optimized for stealth. A bent in the leading edge of the wing suggests that the bomber, tentatively identified as the “H-20”, may utilize a cranked wing design, in which the outer edges of the wings have less sweep than the blended fuselage, similar to the X-47B UAS. The fuselage bulges prominently and is expected to hold the cockpit, and air intakes for the engines.

H-20
Chinese officials have already stated their need for a strategic bomber that can at the very least, strike Hawaii and other mid Pacific targets. Noted artist Bai Wei has put together information from Chinese research articles and leaks to produce this speculative picture of the H-20 stealth bomber, which may fly by this decade.
Bai Wei

China’s willingness to promote its next-generation stealth bomber in public media is part of a wider trend in promoting new Chinese platforms like J-20 stealth fighters and aircraft carriers as part of China’s growing power. While the new plane is covered in canvas, it’s intended as a clear message to both domestic and international audiences.

Source: Popular Science “China teases its new stealth bomber”

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


China has big plans for a modern bomber


The H-20 is China’s future stealth bomber.

By Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer April 28, 2018

H-6K
The H-6K—a modernized version of a 60-year-old Soviet design—is the only mass-produced bomber in the world today.
Xinhua

China’s defense industry has been rapidly modernizing, though a few key gaps still lie between the nation and its bid to become a major military power. One such gap: a long-range bomber.

Right now, Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) builds the H-6K, a version of the 1950s Soviet Tu-16 Badger medium bomber modernized for avionics and increased range. But a series of reports demonstrate that, along with fielding modern missiles and expanding its range of military activities across the Pacific Ocean, China is planning to build out its strategic bomber force with a new generation of planes.

Air Delivery
A H-6M bomber can carry two cruise missiles, giving China a strategic strike capability previously held only by the U.S. and Russia. The newer H-6K bomber can carry 7 missiles, and the planned H-X stealth bomber will likely be able to carry at least a dozen.
Chinese Military Aviation

After years of speculation, in September 2016 People’s Liberation Army Air Force commander General Ma Xiaotian announced that China was researching the development of a long-range bomber. The news was reflected in the 2017 U.S. Defense Department Annual Report on the Chinese Military, which said China was developing a strategic bomber with a “nuclear mission.”

H-20
Artist Bai Wei has put together information from Chinese research articles and info leaks to produce this speculative picture of the H-20 stealth bomber.
Bai Wei

The future strategic bomber, tentatively identified by Chinese Internet commentators as H-20, is believed to be a flying wing bomber designed for range and stealth and built by XAC. Since the H-20 needs to have a range of around 6,200 miles in order to strike strategic intercontinental targets while carrying a useful payload of 10-20 tons, it will need four turbofan engines. Those turbofan engines are likely to be non-afterburning versions of the WS-10 engine, which would provide about 8 tons of thrust.

All that would make the H-20 similar in size to the the United States’ B-2 by Northrom Grumman, a craft that also has four 8-ton engines. It would be armed with bombs and, likely, systems like the 1,200-mile-range CJ-10 land attack cruise missiles, which would be carried in internal weapon bays. Future weapons could include GB-6A stealth cruise missiles and hypersonic scramjet missiles.

Sharp Sword Flight
The Sharp Sword UCAV is a Chinese attack drone, a modified version of which could act as a robotic wingman to the future H-20 stealth bomber.
=GT via China Defense Forum

It’s also possible that the H-20 could act like an airborne command, particularly given China’s recent research in ‘centaur’ unmanned and manned aircraft teaming and datalinking of sensor nodes with long-range missiles. The U.S. Air Force has reported plans of the same role for the B-21 Raider stealth bomber.

JH-XX
This fan-made CGI, drawn from a model displayed at a Chinese airshow, shows the JH-XX fighter bomber. If built, it would could attack targets as far out as Guam at supersonic speeds.
Bai Bei

The H-20 concept is often confused with another of China’s nebulous future aircraft, a supersonic regional-ranged bomber known as JH-XX. That’s a totally separate bomber, but still worth highlighting here. First seen in model form at airshows in 2013, the JH-XX (which has not been confirmed by officials) was reported to have an 80-100-ton takeoff weight and supersonic capabilities. The 30-meter-long aircraft looks to have a main weapons bay under the central fuselage for carrying armaments like anti-ship missiles (such as the YJ-12), as well as two weapon bays on either side of the fuselage that could carry air-to-air missiles like the PL-15 and PL-10. Its reported 1,500-mile combat radius would be enough to strike U.S. carriers and even bases like Guam. That all being said, whoever’s building it might have problems finding supersonic turbofan engines that are large enough.

The JH-XX would have been most similar in mission profile to the Russian Tu-22M Backfire bomber, another supersonic regional bomber designed to attack enemy aircraft carriers nearing the homeland. But unlike the Tu-22M, the JH-XX could be armed with air-to-air missiles to fire back at enemy interceptors and missiles. Still, unlike the H-20, there has been no official mention of an aircraft with the JH-XX’s profile from either American or Chinese sources.

H-6N
The H-6N bomber is a modified H-6K for the purpose of launching the DF-21 ALBM, to increase China’s conventional and nuclear strike options.
Angadow

Of course, this is all informed speculation, and it’s unclear what kind of success these future-facing developments will really have. In the short-term, China’s strategic air deterrent is being modernized in another novel manner: via an air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). The ALBM, according to U.S. Defense Department sources, is a variant of the DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile, with improvements increasing its range to about 1,800 miles. The Chinese ALBM will be carried by a modified variant of the H-6K, the H-6N, which has a refueling probe to increase its range to 3,700 miles.

Peter Warren Singer is a strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He has been named by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues. He was also dubbed an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. Jeffrey is a national security professional in the greater D.C. area.

Source: Popular Science “China has big plans for a modern bomber”

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


China Developing Nuclear Capable Air-launched Ballistic Missile?


US media The Diplomat says in its report on April 10 titled “Revealed: China’s Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Ballistic Missile”, “China is developing and has been flight-testing a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) along with a new long-range strategic bomber to deliver it”. The information was revealed by US government sources, but no Chinese sources have revealed any information about the bomber and missile.

The report says that China is developing H-6N with a range of 6,000km to carry the missile of the range of 3,000km. The total range of 9,000km enables the missile to hit Hawaii and Alaska. That will supplement China’s second strike capability of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles from silos and road-mobile launchers and SLBMs from strategic nuclear submarines.

Note: The report is but speculation, especially, US characterized underestimate of China’s ambition. The report regards such medium-range bomber as what former Chinese air force commander General Ma Xiotian said about the strategic bomber China has been developing. Do you think Gel. Ma will be proud of such non-stealth medium-range bomber and regard it as China’s long-range strategic bomber?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on The Diplomat’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://thediplomat.com/2018/04/revealed-chinas-nuclear-capable-air-launched-ballistic-missile/.


China Developing Strategic Bomber with World Leading Design, Standards


He Shengqian, leader of bomber research and development team, says China’s future bomber will be world leader in design and technological standards. Photo from CCTV footage

In its report “Official again mentions Chinese air forces’ future bomber! Prouder with greater self-confidence this time”, mil.huanqiu.com quotes He Shengqiang, responsible person of China’s bomber research team as saying that China’s future bomber must satisfy the requirements for first-class military and meet the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. He believes that the design of China’s future bomber will be leader in its mode of combat application and technological standards.

He said that on TV screen in CCTV’s “Military Report” program on the drill of China’s new H-6K medium-range bombers. The program describes how PLA air force’s Shenwei brigade has overcome jamming, penetrated radar networks, identified decoys and hit its targets in the drill.

On TV screen, Guo Cuangping, a H-6K pilot, says that he used H-6K’s advanced equipment to tell real targets from decoys and effectively hit the targets.,

Then He Shengqiang, the person in charge of the research and development of H-6K was interviewed on H-6K’s characteristics and performance. He says that with H-6K, Chinese air force has initially obtained the long-range strike capabilities that cover China’s entire territories. That is what his team has developed for the air force to obtain integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defense.

On their continuous efforts for the future, he said the above about China’s future bombers.

That is not the first time China’s future bomber was mentioned. As far back as September 1, 2016, the then air force commander Ma Xiaotian says, “We are now developing a new generation of long-range strike bomber. You will see it in the future”

Chinese air force commander on China’s future bomber. Photo from CCTV footage.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Official again mentions Chinese air forces’ future bomber! Prouder with greater self-confidence this time” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese).