China's new H-20 strategic bomber soon revealed

It has now been several years since the entry into service of the H-20 strategic bomber, developed by the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Xi'an for the air forces of the People's Liberation Army, has been expected.

In December 2021, a recruitment video from these same Chinese air forces suggested that the device would soon be unveiled, for rapid entry into service. This was not the case, and more than two years later, the schedule, as well as the appearance and performance of the H-20, still remain very mysterious.

However, according to Wang Wei, the deputy commander of the Chinese air forces, the presentation of the stealth bomber should take place soon, specifying that the new aircraft which is arriving fully justifies this expectation.

The H-20 strategic bomber, the expected successor to the H-6K bomber

Like the United States and Russia, Chinese deterrence is based on a strategic triad composed of 6 Type 09IV nuclear ballistic missile submarines armed with J-2 SLBM missiles, land-based ballistic missiles in silos or mobile DF-5, DF-31 and DF-41, and an airborne component.

H-6K strategic bomber
The Chinese strategic air forces use 230 Xi'an H-6K strategic bombers, whose performance is however much lower than that of the Russian and American models.

This is based on 230 H-6K strategic bombers, an aircraft designed in the 60s by the aircraft manufacturer Xi'an, based on the Soviet Tu-16 bomber, a few examples of which were acquired by Beijing from Moscow in 1959.

If the H-6K is approximately the same age as the Tu-95MS still in service with the Russian strategic air forces, and the B-52H carrying part of the United States' deterrent, the Chinese bomber is far from have the performance.

Thus, the Tu-95MS is 70% heavier than the Chinese aircraft, with a maximum takeoff weight of 170 tons, compared to 95 tons for the H-6K. The B-52H reaches 220 tons at takeoff. In addition, Russian and American bombers have a range of 15 km, compared to 000 km for the Chinese, and they carry 4 tonnes and 000 tonnes of weapons respectively, compared to 15 tonnes for the H-32K.

Above all, these air forces simultaneously use much more modern and efficient strategic bombers, the Tu-160 of the Russian Air Force , and the B-1 and B-2 for the US Air Force, while the B-21 will enter service by 2027.

Tu-160M
The Russian Strategic Air Force plans to have more than 50 Tu-160Ms by the end of the decade.

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