Beijing's new H-20 stealth bomber may have the ability to hit US military bases with nuclear missiles well beyond China's coasts, according to a report by a British thinker.
The long-range subsonic aircraft is one of China's most mysterious military projects in recent years and is currently under development.
The Pentagon believes the bomber could have a range of over 5,000 miles and could hit US territories like Guam. However, other military analysts have suggested that H-20 may even have Hawaii within range.
The H-20 is a strategic bomber similar to the B-2 or B-21, according to the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The fighter aircraft is currently being developed by China (artistic impression)
The Royal United Services Institute, a London-based organization, claims that H-20 would give China "a truly intercontinental energy projection capability" well beyond the country's coast.
"Armed with nuclear and conventional stand-off missiles, the H-20 would represent a major break with previous PLAAF (People's Liberation Army) doctrines and equipment development practices," the independent think tank said in a recent study.
The report went on: & # 39; The PLAAF (and PLAN) are currently configured as regional forces for conflict within the first chain of islands with additional specific capabilities aimed at neutralizing or suppressing the US base in Guam.
"In contrast, the H-20 would give China a truly intercontinental power projection capability."
In its 2020 China Military Power Report, the U.S. Department of Defense said the H-20 would have a likely range of at least 8,500 kilometers.
This means the bomber could easily target America's bases in Guam, a strategic U.S. territory about 2,000 miles from the Chinese coast.
Other experts have suggested that the Chinese Army may want to add Hawaii to their list of targets above H-20.
In a November report on H-20, The National Interest said, "The PLAAF wants a strategic bomber that can operate within the third chain, also known as the area that begins with the Aleutians and extends beyond Hawaii."
Once H-20 development is complete, China, along with the US and Russia, would have a tripartite force capable of launching nuclear missiles from the air, land and sea. Military planes fly in formation over Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019
Earlier reports claimed that H-20 could be ready later this year.
Once H-20 development is complete, China, along with the US and Russia, would have a tripartite force capable of launching nuclear missiles from the air, land and sea.
Beijing has considered when the bomber should be rolled out amid the escalating tensions due to the corona virus.
Military sources told the South China Morning Post that the bomber could make its first public appearance at this year's Zhuhai Airshow from November 10-15.
The sources said, "The Zhuhai Airshow is expected to be a platform to promote China's image and success in fighting pandemics – and to let the outside world know that the contagion did not have a major impact on Chinese defense companies."
However, the big air show, which takes place every two years, was postponed this year. According to a statement by the organizer of the fair, the decision was made due to the Covid 19 pandemic. No new dates have been announced.
Tensions between the US and China have increased over the coronavirus, which is believed to have started in Wuhan. The two nations have accused each other of mistreating the crisis
The H-20 is a strategic bomber similar to the B-2 or B-21, according to the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
The bomber will be equipped with nuclear and conventional missiles with a maximum take-off weight of more than 200 tons.
Another source said, "Like ICBMs can all strategic bombers be used to deliver nuclear weapons. If China claims it has a national defense policy that is purely defensive, why should it need such an offensive weapon?"
They also revealed that if the US deployed more F-35 supersonic fighter jets, it would push China to press ahead with exposing the bomber.
The USA has already sold around 200 fighter jets to Japan and South Korea.
The H-20 is believed to have been in development since the early 2000s. However, the project was first publicly announced in 2016.
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