BEIJING – The Science and Technology Daily of China published an article titled Conjecture on China’s Strategic Bomber Performance on December 4, saying that China’s Air Force Commander Ma Xiaotian revealed that China is developing next-generation long-range bombers at an open day activity on September 1, confirming the “legendary” “H-20” bomber.
Recently, a China Central Television (CCTV) program also showed a suspected CG graph of China’s H-20 bomber, which further made a big splash among military fans.
When asked when China’s next-generation strategic bombers will make the debut, Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, director of the PLA Navy’s Expert Consultation Committee, said that we should have some patience.
China has never developed such a large-tonnage and long-range strategic bomber before. The H-6 bomber in service is medium-sized but not a strategic bomber. Having the strategic bomber will become one of the symbols of China’s air force as a strategic service, said Yin Zhuo.
Yin Zhuo also held that the strategic bombers that China is developing will be surely on a par with B-2 of the US and have the stealth performance.
Yin introduced that the next-generation strategic bombers need a longer development cycle, usually more than ten years. China boasts some favorable conditions for developing strategic bombers: China has accumulated some experience from the development of J-20 and F -31 stealth fighters, so the material and design is not a big problem. China has developed Y-20, C-919 and other large aircraft, so the relevant technical reserves are useful for developing strategic bombers.
Cruise missiles, nuclear weapons and other weapons and equipment that will be carried by domestic strategic bombers are all in place, so it is just in time for China to develop strategic bombers, said Yin Zhuo. Leveraging the rich technical reserves, the development cycle may be shorter.
Speaking of whether China can develop supersonic stealth strategic bombers, military expert Li Li said that this is technically demanding indeed. Because if the emphasis is laid on the stealth performance, the aircraft’s aerodynamic configuration will be quite different from that of a supersonic bomber. It may be a more realistic solution to select from the stealth capability and supersonic penetration.