The mysterious Chinese JH-XX stealth bomber model displayed at the Zhuhai Airshow has attracted great attention from the Western press.
JH-XX (H-18) stealth bomber was introduced as China’s 6th generation fighter, what do we know about this vehicle up to now? Military aviation news website Deagle recently provided some details:
“The JH-XX is a new generation bomber that is being developed by China to replace the outdated H-6K, even ready to inherit the H-20 long-range bomber. The existence of the JH-XX was revealed by the US intelligence community not long ago.”
“The JH-XX bomber can use stealth technology that combines features from bombers and fighters. The combat radius can vary between 1,800 and 3,600 km.”
By comparison, the H-20 bomber is expected to be able to fly at least 8,000 kilometers without refueling, putting the US base of Guam as well as the Australian cities of Perth, Darwin, and Sydney within range. threat of an H-20 deployed on Hainan Island.
The Deagle page also pointed out that the main contractor of JH-XX is Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and the plane made its first flight in 2020. However, this information has not been confirmed or has any evidence to confirm or prove it.
This new generation bomber will have a crew of 2, a body length of 30 m, and a weight of about 100 tons. For further comparison, the J-20 has a length of 22 m and a maximum take-off weight of 37 tons.
Based on the display, the prototype JH-XX looks like a cross between the F-117 Nighthawk – the original stealth fighter – and the F-22 Raptor – the best fifth-generation fighter available today.
This is not surprising given that Beijing tends to copy other countries’ defense products and then reverse engineer them. More specifically, the JH-XX seems to blend stealth features including the upper fuselage air intakes and concealed engine nozzles but has a stabilizer separate from the wings.
Deagle added: “The JH-XX will feature significant additional capabilities, with comprehensive upgrades over the existing bomber fleet, and will utilize fifth-generation fighter technologies in their design”.
“The aircraft seeks to balance stealth with speed and limited air combat capabilities by carrying the PL-15E ammunition – a Chinese long-range air-to-air missile to give it an edge over the enemy,” he said. Or at least to have a chance to retreat.”
The JH-XX will therefore play a clear role in China’s Pacific strategy as Beijing increases its power over the first island chain off its east coast.
It would also provide a credible deterrent to outside forces seeking to interfere in China. Along with the H-20, the JH-XX could also advance China’s long-term goal of the second island chain dispute, by threatening the US military base on Guam.
All of this creates an additional sense of urgency for the US Air Force to fix all the bugs on the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and put the B-21 Raider strategic bomber into service as soon as possible. maybe.