The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could soon be launching the H-20 stealth bomber. It is a warplane that could effectively double its strike range, as the top brass upgrades its weapon systems, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Multiple commanders of the PLA Air Force have stated that China was adamant to have a top-notch warfare capability in both offensive and defense operations to establish a strong strategic deterrence, something President Xi Jinping has also said recently.
The country wanted to have a strong air defense and as a result, it has been steadily working on its 20 series aircraft. The series includes the Y-20 heavy lifter, Z-20 helicopter, and J-20 stealth fighter. The H-20 is expected to fulfill the role of the stealth bomber, which was not present in Chinese defense before.
China has been endeavoring to make stealth bombers since the early 2000s. This started after officials gained access to an American F-117 Nighthawk shot down in Yugoslavia. The B-2 Spirit, with a flowing design and stealth functions, had entered service, and the U.S. now had the capability to fly and strike targets without being detected.
In 2013, China hinted that it was working on an aircraft that could carry ten tons of ordnance and fly for 4.790 miles (8,000 km) without the need for mid-air refueling.
In 2018, the formal announcement came, and it was found that the model will have a fly wing design.
The arrival of H-20 will complete the PLA Air Force’s plans to achieve a nuclear triad, an important milestone as it looks to up its deterrence game. China is also coming up with B-2 soon.
It is a possibility that the H-20 will be worse off when compared to the B-2 as well since the U.S. bomber has seen upgrades over the years as well.
The next time the Chinese reveal an aircraft, it might just be better than the U.S.-built ones.