China’s New Stealth Bomber Xian H-20 Will Enter Service In 2025

China’s Xian H-20, its first heavy, long-range strategic bomber, can reach Hawaii only and not the continental U.S.

The stealth bomber, which is in development, is expected to enter service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in 2025. Its bomb load

is estimated at more than 10 metric tons.

The Pentagon believes the bomber will be able to target military facilities on Guam, according to a study by the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies. The subsonic bomber might be capable of reaching Hawaii – which is more than 8,000 kilometers from Shanghai.

In August, the U.S. Department of Defense said the bomber’s range was probably 8,500 kilometers with a full load. Some China say it has an estimated range of more than 10,000 kilometers – enough to reach the continental U.S.

The institute said the bomber will, however, give China’s air force “a truly intercontinental power-projection capability.”

“Armed with nuclear and conventional missiles, the H-20 would represent a major break from previous air force doctrine and equipment development practice,” the institute said.

The London-based research organization, the oldest of its kind, said the China air force was currently capable of reaching the Kuril Islands, the Japan archipelago, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, northern Philippines and Borneo.

The new bomber will extend that capability to the Bonin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands owned by the U.S. and Guam, a U.S. territory.

In 2017, the Pentagon said China was engaged in “developing a strategic bomber that officials expect to have a nuclear mission.” This bomber is expected to fulfill China’s aspiration to develop a next generation, long-range strike bomber.


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