Depending upon its technological configuration, the new Chinese H-20 bomber could bring a new level of threat to the USA.
China’s secretive new supersonic H-20 Stealth Bomber may be revealed at a fall airshow, sources say. The aircraft could tilt the US-China military balance in the region.
Military planners will be keeping a close watch on the scheduled Zhuhai Airshow in November — depending on how things go with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its mysterious new Xian H-20 stealth bomber, could be an emerging platform expected to massively extend China’s attack range and present a rival to the US B-2 and emerging B-21.
If the H-20 can extend beyond the first island chain, then it can not only hold the Philippines, Japan and areas of the South China Sea at risk, but also threaten Hawaii, Australia and even parts of the continental USA.
A reported range of 8,500 kilometers appears slightly less than a B-2 bomber’s range of more than 6,700 miles, Pentagon reports have raised concerns that the Chinese may also be developing a refuel-able bomber.
The Beijing leadership is still carefully considering whether its commission will affect regional balance, especially as regional tensions have been escalating over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like intercontinental ballistic missiles, all strategic bombers can be used for delivering nuclear weapons if China claimed it had pursued a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature, why would it need such an offensive weapon?
At least four J-20 stealth fighters from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force buzzed the southern coastal city of Zhuhai in a flyover to promote China’s largest biennial air show
Tensions in the region have worsened in the past month with a war of words between Beijing and Washington over the pandemic, and both sides increasing naval patrols of the Taiwan Strait and South and East China seas.
The H-20 will be equipped with nuclear and conventional missiles with a maximum take-off weight of at least 200 tons and a payload of up to 45 tons.
It could also potentially unleash four powerful hyper-sonic stealth cruise missiles, each capable of destroying major targets.
Some Chinese publications also argue that the H-20 will do double-duty as a networked reconnaissance and command & control platform.
Theoretically, an H-20 could rove ahead, spying the position of opposing sea-based assets using a low-probability-of-intercept AESA radar, and fuse that information to a firing platform hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
The H-20 could also be used for electronic warfare or to deploy specialized directed energy.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2020.