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New Stealth Bombers

PLAAF Xian H-6M Over Changzhou.jpg
PLAAF Xian H-6M By kevinmcgill from Den Bosch, Netherlands CC BY-SA 2.0.

It looks as if China is developing not one, but two different stealth bomber projects

A new report from the Defense Intelligence Agency indicates that China is working on two distinct stealth bomber programs. The first, well known to observers, is the Xian H-20, a strategic bomber along the lines of the B-2, B-21 or the Russian PAK DA. The second, described as the JH-XX, is a stealth fighter-bomber, which as Stephen Trimble notes has no obvious U.S. analogue. Such an aircraft would likely perform missions similar in scope to those that the United States has assigned the F-35 and other short-range fighter-bombers.

Tyler Rogoway hypothesizes that the PLAAF is looking for a medium bomber capable of striking regional targets without requiring inflight refueling. As Rogoway points out, the United States explored several different options for developing a stealthy medium bomber, but eventually discarded the idea to focus on the B-21 and the F-35.

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