China is about to launch a stealth bomber to counterbalance the US B-21

The Chinese Air Force said it will soon announce the H-20 bomber, a weapon considered a counterweight to the B-21 line that the US is preparing to commission.

In an interview on the sidelines of the March 11 parliamentary session in Beijing, Deputy Commander of the Chinese Air Force Wang Wei announced that the country’s H-20 stealth bomber development project is going smoothly, Didn’t encounter any technical problems.

Deputy Commander Wang said China will soon launch the H-20, adding that the aircraft will be commissioned and put into mass production not long after completing test flights. “It’s about to appear; just wait a little longer,” he said but did not specify a specific time.

Since announcing the H-20 bomber development project in 2016, China has revealed very little additional information about this aircraft model, except for a promotional video by the China Aviation Industry Corporation in 2016. 2018 and the country’s Air Force recruitment video three years later.

Both videos feature graphic images of a large tarpaulin-covered plane that appears to have a flying wing design. Specific technical details about this aircraft model have not been announced.

Experts say the H-20 can carry about 45 tons of weapons, including nuclear weapons, has a flight range of about 8,500 km and longer if refueled in the air, and is capable of reaching the south coast.

The appearance of the H-20 is said to be the reason the US accelerated the development of the B-21 Raider, a bomber model known as the “stealth killer.” While China released very little new information about the H-20, the US conducted a test flight of the B-21 in Palmdale, California, in October 2023. Washington announced in late January that it would begin producing the B-21 in limited quantities and plans to put it into service with the US Air Force in the next two years.

The Pentagon has not revealed much about the features of the B-21 but said this bomber model can carry many types of weapons, has a superior operating range compared to current aircraft, and, at the same time, is Integrated with state-of-the-art stealth technology.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the B-21 is the “crystallization” of developments in stealth technology over the past 50 years. He emphasized that “even the most modern air defense systems” cannot detect it.

B-21 bomber during a test flight in California, USA in November 2023. Photo: Drive

B-21 bomber during a test flight in California, USA, in November 2023. Photo: Drive

Mr. Wang refused to compare the B-21 with the bomber model China is developing, affirming that the country will not compete with the US but only aims to protect national security.

However, he emphasized that the H-20 bomber will help significantly improve the combat capabilities of the Chinese air force as part of Beijing’s “new generation of aircraft.” “It’s something to be proud of and look forward to,” said China’s deputy air force commander.

The H-6, the current main bomber model of the Chinese Air Force, is a mid-range aircraft with subsonic speeds and does not incorporate stealth technology. Therefore, although it has been upgraded and modernized many times, the H-6 is considered not capable of penetrating modern air defense systems but must use long-range bullets to raid targets, deep inside enemy lines.