China: ready for flight tests of an aircraft of “strategic and historical” importance. Perhaps the still secret H-20 stealth strategic bomber?

  • July 12, 2022
  • 4 Min Read

According to the Global Times, China is planning to conduct a flight test for an important type of aircraft that has crucial strategic and historical significance, a senior official at the major manufacturer’s flight test center said in a recent meeting. of Chinese warplanes. The observation was made by Ge Heping, of the Chinese Flight Test Establishment which is part of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), in a meeting called with the personnel involved in the test.

Ge urged all personnel involved in the development of the aircraft to fully realize the utmost importance of completing this mission, according to the report. Of course, neither the meeting report nor the subsequent press release revealed the designation or nature of the aircraft in question.

Many network users have speculated in commenting on this report that the aircraft in question could be the still secret H-20 strategic stealth bomber. Only a strategic weapon deserves the description of having a strategic and historical significance, some have pointed out. The Chinese Air Force had provided a suggestion on the design of its next generation long-range strategic stealth bomber by including it in a scene from the recruitment video made in January 2021.

Another promotional video made for AVIC and released in May 2018 also showed the front profile of an airplane covered by a tarp that suggested the flying wing design was similar to the US B-2A Spirit bomber. Given all these official suggestions, public speculation that the new aircraft might just be the H-20 would make sense, but it could just be an over-interpretation, a Chinese expert who follows the development of the industry told the Global Times. Beijing Air Force, which requested anonymity.

There are other possibilities for this unknown aircraft, including the purported aircraft carrier variant for the J-15 jet or the purportedly carrier-based stealth fighter jet J-35, the expert said who added that the latter aircraft should to board the third Chinese aircraft carrier, the 80,000-ton class Fujian, equipped with an electromagnetic catapult, which certainly also has strategic and historical significance.

Founded in 1959, the Chinese Flight Test Establishment, also known as the AVIC Flight Test Center, is the only Chinese nationwide organization qualified to conduct flight validation and testing for aircraft products, including military and civil aircraft, aircraft engines and avionics systems. .

H-20 stealth strategic bomber

According to what we know, although its appearance has not yet been made public, the H-20 is in its development phase and will be an aircraft capable of carrying out long-range attacks. Several Western military experts have noted that it could be a “game changer” for the Chinese military.

In fact, there isn’t much information on the H-20 bomber because China has kept its specifications secret. China’s development of a strategic bomber was first mentioned in reports that emerged in 2016 and subsequent reports suggest that China intends to begin mass production of the aircraft in the mid-1920s.

As previously mentioned, the Xian H-20 resembles the US Air Force’s B-2 Spirit in terms of its flying wing design and could pose a serious problem for the Pentagon in the near future.

It is rumored that the H-20 could have a range of at least 12,000 kilometers, which would bring the Hawaiian Islands within range, such as the Pacific Islands east of the US territory of Guam, easily deterring any foreign armed forces from intervening in case of Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Furthermore, if the H-20 flew over the Arctic, all 50 states of the United States would be within its range. All this with a high combat capacity and survival guaranteed by its low observability characteristics.

The H-20 will certainly be armed with nuclear weapons and will form an arm of a nuclear triad that also includes nuclear missile submarines and land-based missiles. The bomber is believed to be capable of carrying four stealth or hypersonic missiles and will be propelled by WS-10 engines.

In summary, China will undoubtedly gain intercontinental power projection capability if the H-20 bomber makes its first flight soon, with the achievement of an important technological development regarding the bomber line, thus becoming together with the United States, and perhaps Russia if it had the ability to complete the development of the elusive PAK DA, one of the only nations in the world in possession of a strategic stealth bomber. The H-20 has been the subject of speculation for a long time and now the Chinese Air Force could show it to the world for the first time.

Image: Chinese Internet / Global Times