China's stealth bomber will be ready by the end of the year, Chinese military sources have been cited as saying. The new generation strategic bomber Xian H-20 could be launched during the Zhuhai Airshow in November if the pandemic situation comes under control. The bomber could impact the country's relations in the region even as several countries continue to battle the coronavirus.
According to the military sources, the Xian H-20 is expected to increase the country's military capability and increase the strike range. The unveiling of the new bomber could heighten tensions between China and several countries within the same strike range like Australia, Japan and the Korean peninsula.
The new vehicle would put China in the same club as the US and Russia in possessing a three-pronged military force that can launch nuclear missiles from air, water and land.
The military sources told the South China Morning Post: "The Zhuhai Airshow is expected to become a platform to promote China's image and its success in pandemic control – telling the outside world that the contagion did not have any big impacts on Chinese defence industry enterprises."
Similar to B-2 or B21
According to the US Defence Intelligence, China's stealth bomber is similar to that of the B-2 or B-21. The estimated cruising distance of the H-20 is said to be at 5,300 miles.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increase in tensions between the US and China. The new bomber could add to the tensions while exposing US bases and fleets in the Pacific. With a maximum take-off weight of 200 tonnes, the H-20 is said to have the capability to carry conventional and nuclear missiles.
The H-20 has been under development since the 2000s and the first public announcement of the project came in 2016. The US had recently sold 200 supersonic fighter jets to Japan and South Korea.
In the recent past, there has been an increase in activity in the South and the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. The US and China had increased naval patrolling in the region.