Trial flight soon for new type of stealth bomber

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS -

The trial flight of China’s new-gen­er­a­tion stealth bomber Hong-20 may take place soon, mil­i­tary ex­perts said on Tues­day af­ter China’s of­fi­cial tele­vi­sion sta­tion con­firmed the name of the bomber.

Dis­clos­ing the new bomber is a po­ten­tial de­ter­rence, Song Zhong­ping, a mil­i­tary ex­pert and TV com­men­ta­tor, told the Global Times on Tues­day.

“Usu­ally the de­vel­op­ment of equip­ment and weaponry of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army is highly con­fi­den­tial,”he said.

Re­veal­ing the bomber name be­fore tri­als shows the Chi­nese avi­a­tion in­dus­try is gain­ing more con­fi­dence, said Shang­hai-based news site thep­a­per.cn.

China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion con­firmed in a doc­u­men­tary in Au­gust that “the de­vel­op­ment of new long-dis­tance strate­gic bomber, Hong-20, has made great progress.”

It was the first time “Hong-20” ap­peared of­fi­cially. “Hong” is the first char­ac­ter of hongzhaji, “bomber air­craft” in Chi­nese.

Song said the pub­lic un­veil­ing of the bomber sug­gested that it might have fin­ished test­ing the hy­draulic pres­sure, elec­tric­ity sup­ply and avion­ics sys­tems.

“The trial flight will come soon,” he told the Global Times in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view.

China’s Hong-20 bomber has been un­der de­vel­op­ment at the Shang­hai Air­craft De­sign and Re­search In­sti­tute since 2008, Rus­sian news­pa­per Ros­siyskaya Gazeta pre­vi­ously re­ported.

“The new gen­er­a­tion of bombers can carry more bombs than pre­vi­ous H-6K bombers, have the ad­van­tage of stealth fea­tures and are able to strike tar­gets from stand­off ranges,” Song said in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view in April.

The Hong-20 could im­prove both de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive air force ca­pa­bil­i­ties, said Song.

And that en­able the army to pos­sess stronger nu­clear and con­ven­tional de­ter­rence,” Song told the Global Times.

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