JH-XX: The Secret Chinese Stealth Bomber Coming Soon?

By Ethen Kim Lieser

To be honest, the U.S. defence community knows very little about China’s new JH-XX stealth bomber. Here is a little of what information is out there: For a couple of years now, the U.S intelligence community has identified the existence of China’s secretive JH-XX, a supersonic, stealth, tactical bomber that is still under development.

According to defence writers at The War Zone, such information was contained in the Defence Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) 2019 China Military Power report.

“The PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) is developing new medium- and long-range stealth bombers to strike regional and global targets,” an annex of the report stated.

“Stealth technology continues to play a key role in the development of these new bombers, which probably will reach initial operational capability no sooner than 2025,” it continued.

However, the report wasn’t able to divulge much in terms of specific details regarding the aircrafts’ designs. It did note that “these new bombers will have additional capabilities, with full-spectrum upgrades compared with current operational bomber fleets and will employ many fifth-generation fighter technologies in their design.”

JH-XX: Answer to B-21 Raider?

As for the JH-XX and the Xian H-20, the EurAsian Times claimed that the aircraft could be the answer to the United States’ B-21 Raider.

“The B-21 is intended to stand in and hit heavily defended targets with special-purpose weapons that we can use to strike from a distance or by other means. We know the B-21 will bring unique characteristics with low observability and weapons,” said General Mark E. Weatherington, Commander of the Eighth Air Force and Commander of Joint-Global Strike Operations Centre, while speaking with The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, per EurAsian Times.

Like the B-21, the JH-XX will also be taken seriously in any military conflict. The War Zone noted that “previous reports had described the JH-XX model as having a main ventral weapons bay, as well as separate side-mounted bays for what appeared to be air-to-air missiles. DIA’s report makes specific reference to the aircraft’s ability to employ ‘long-range’ air-to-air missiles, which China is actively testing, as well as ‘precision-guided munitions.’”

Impressive Capabilities

The same reports have indicated that the plane could possess a maximum take-off weight of between sixty and one hundred tons and boast a range of approximately one thousand to two thousand miles.

“With this range, the JH-XX would still have the ability to challenge strategic type targets, such as U.S. military facilities in Japan and possibly even on Guam, as well as bases in India, the South China Sea and beyond,” The War Zone writes.

“The design could prioritize speed, as well as stealth, too. This could give the smaller fighter-bomber added advantages when it comes to sortie rates and for successfully penetrating through an enemy’s integrated air defence network. Above all else, it allows for multi-role operations, including supporting long-range air-to-air missions, without a heavy reliance on vulnerable tankers or even the use of coastal airfields, which would be the most vulnerable to attack during an all-out conflict,” it concludes.

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One comment

  • James Bowes February 3, 2022  

    The Americans would know all there is to know about this aircraft as it looks like it all been stolen from them.

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