Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Beijing, China (4E) – Alleged “military experts” in China are again making noises about how great its Xian H-20 nuclear strategic stealth bomber is despite this bomber still existing only on paper.
The latest piece of disinformation from China is the H-20 will fly “soon.” This outright falsehood was made by Zhongping Song, a military commentator at state-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) and a lecturer at the Second Artillery Engineering College responsible for training China’s missile troops.
“The trial flight will come soon,” said Song, as quoted by the Global Times (a newspaper run by the Communist Party of China).
Song also claims that disclosing the name of the bomber (Hong-20) means that progress had been made on the bomber. He also claims the bomber’s avionics, hydraulic pressure and electrical supply have probably been completed.
Song also surmises that releasing the name might also act as a possible deterrent. “Usually the development of equipment and weaponry of the People’s Liberation Army is highly confidential.”
In August, CCTV (the station Song works for) broadcast a documentary revealing more about the H-20. Among the interesting tidbits revealed by the show: the H-20 is an acronym for Hong-20. Hong means “bomber aircraft” in Chinese.
The documentary also said the H-20 will have range of about 5,000 miles. This kind of range means the H-20 will pose a threat to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean and will be a game changer in the South China Sea.
In May, China released a video teaser of the outline of a huge aircraft covered by a sheet. To some, the plane looked a lot like the U.S.’ Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider stealth strategic bomber currently under development.
Song’s claims were outlandish enough to be repudiated by the the Global Times which wrote in a disclaimer that “Song does not officially speak for the Chinese government and his views are his own.”
Song’s fantastic claims fly in the face of statements made in June 2017 by Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, Director of the People Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) Expert Consultation. Adm. Yin confirmed the H-20 will be a stealth strategic bomber and that it might take 10 years to develop.
He also praised the H-20, saying this stealth bomber will certainly be on par with the United States’ Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
Adm. Yin pointed out that China has never developed such a heavy and long-range strategic bomber before. He said China’s current heavy bomber, the Xian H-6, isn’t a true strategic bomber because it lacks the necessary long-range.
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