Jul 14, 2015
China Wants to Develop a New Long-Range Stealth Strategic Bomber
In the meeting the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) was also referred to as a “strategic force” a title usually reserved for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery Corps – Beijing’s “de facto strategic missile force,” according to China Daily.
The new bomber should be capable of striking targets as far as the “second island chain” – an area stretching from the Kurils in the North through Japan, the Bonins, the Marianas, the Carolines and Indonesia in the South – the paper further states.
The PLA’s definition of a long-range strategic bomber is a minimum range of 8,000 km (5,000 miles) without refueling and the capacity to carry a payload of more than 10 tons of air-to-ground ammunition.
This definition would correspondent to the sparse details available on China’s prospective subsonic stealth bomber – the H-20 (or H-X) – which could enter service by 2025 some analysts note.
H-20 is believed to be able to evade modern air defense systems and penetrate deep into the enemy territory. Some analysts argue that the primary mission of the new bomber will be do attack U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups.
The PLAAF currently operates approximately 15 H-6K nuclear-capable bombers, a locally built version of the Russian Tupolev Tu-16 Badger which can “reach Okinawa, Guam and even Hawaii from China’s mainland, depending on the bombers armament.