Military Review

From news to fears. What will the Xian H-20 bomber be like?

31

Unknown plane shown in CCTV7 TV report. It may be related to the H-20 project.


Currently, the Chinese Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation is developing a promising strategic bomber-missile carrier H-20. With its help, in the future, a radical modernization of long-distance aviation PLA Air Force. Chinese aircraft manufacturers are in no hurry to reveal their secrets, but foreign experts are still trying to determine the appearance and capabilities of the future aircraft, using the limited available data.

News and rumors


The need to create a new long-range bomber for the PLA Air Force has long been no secret. The first data on real work in this direction appeared in 2015-16. Then, at the level of rumors, mentions of the launch of a promising project appeared in the foreign press, the details of which were not yet available.

Later it became known that the XAIC corporation was developing the bomber, and the project was indexed H-20. The appearance of the car and technical characteristics have not yet been disclosed. However, a few years ago, Chinese aircraft manufacturers published advertising materials in which some unknown planes of a futuristic appearance appeared. It is possible that these images were related to the real H-20 - although this version has not been confirmed or denied officially.

Official structures of foreign countries are showing great interest in the Chinese project. Xian H-20 is regularly mentioned in documents of intelligence and analytical organizations. For example, in October this year, the Chinese project was considered in a regular report by the British Royal Joint Defense Research Institute (RUSI). This publication attracted the attention of the press and became the reason for the appearance of a lot of interesting articles.

There is still very little official information about the H-20 project and it does not answer the main questions. At the same time, a fairly detailed picture has already developed in foreign publications. Moreover, based on limited information, assumptions and forecasts, far-reaching conclusions are drawn. It is obvious that such analytics in the future may crash against real data - or be confirmed.

Technical assumptions


According to the most popular and plausible version, the XAIC corporation is developing an inconspicuous subsonic long-range bomber of the "flying wing" scheme. It will have to take on board a large number of missiles and / or bombs with a record total weight and deliver them over a long range. In all key characteristics, the future H-20 should surpass the existing H-6 bomber of all modifications.


One of the first guesses regarding the appearance of the H-20. Graphics Vpk.name

In terms of its dimensions, the new H-20 will not be inferior to the existing H-6. At the same time, the "flying wing" scheme gives a gain in flight performance, increases the available volumes for fuel and weapons, and also simplifies measures to reduce visibility. In this respect, the newest Chinese bomber is similar to the American B-2A and B-21 aircraft.

The H-20 is expected to be able to fly at high subsonic speeds. The flight range without refueling, according to Chinese and foreign sources, will reach 12 thousand km. This parameter can be increased by using tanker aircraft. Thus, the PLA Air Force will for the first time have an intercontinental range bomber. In this case, the range of its missiles should be added to the combat radius of the aircraft itself.

According to various estimates, the combat load of the H-20 will reach 45 tons. The maximum flight range will be achieved with a load of up to 20 tons. The range of weapons will include ammunition of various types already in service with long-range aviation. In addition, the development of completely new samples with improved characteristics cannot be ruled out. In particular, hypersonic technologies can be used in this area. Obviously, the plane will be able to use conventional and nuclear weapons.

However, more modest assessments are also expressed. So, in September this year, the Pentagon published a report on China's military capabilities. Its authors believe that the flight range of the H-20 will be limited to 8-9 thousand km, and the combat load will be only 10 tons. It is not known how these estimates correspond to the real project.

The benefits of rearmament


The strategic aviation of the PLA Air Force currently has eight regiments of H-6 long-range bombers of several later modifications. They have at their disposal approx. 160 aircraft capable of carrying one or another nuclear and conventional weapon... Despite all measures to modernize and upgrade, the H-6 bombers are obsolete and seriously limit the development of the potential of the strategic nuclear forces in general.


Later option. Graphics Scmp.com

To restore the potential of long-range aviation, massive construction and the introduction of modern technology in the form of H-20 bombers are required. Even estimated and unconfirmed data show that in terms of its tactical and technical characteristics, such a machine will surpass the existing aircraft. In this case, we are talking not only about the advantages in speed and range, but also about other important factors, such as the range of ammunition, stealth, etc.

H-6 bombers, even with in-flight refueling, are able to work effectively only within the so-called. The first chain of islands. The combat radius of promising H-20s is much larger and allows you to control more distant regions, incl. Hawaiian Islands and about. Guam, where the key military facilities of a potential enemy are located. Moreover, an aircraft with a range of up to 12 thousand km will be able to attack targets on the West Coast of the continental United States. Also, foreign experts are expressing concern about the H-20's ability to operate through the Arctic and "keep at gunpoint" all of North America.

Timing issue


The question of the timing of the appearance of a promising aircraft and the beginning of its service remains open. In 2016-17, when the first reports about the H-20 project appeared, the possibility of performing the first flight within the next 3-5 years was mentioned. How realistic these forecasts were is unknown. If flight tests of the prototype began, then China did not report them, and reliable information did not appear in foreign sources.

Earlier in the foreign media, a version was expressed about a possible public display of the bomber in 2019.The next 2020 is already coming to an end, but the H-20 has not been shown. Next, the forecast for the transfer of the first aircraft to the Air Force in the early twenties will be checked. As before, the accuracy of such estimates remains questionable, and China is in no hurry to confirm or deny them.

However, given the timing of the start of work and the time required, it can be assumed that the rearmament of the long-range aviation of the PLA Air Force really starts no later than the mid-twenties. It is quite possible that by 2025 the first squadrons will be in service, ready to serve and perform combat missions. Later, other divisions will switch to new equipment.


The H-6K is still the PLA's newest long-range bomber. Photo Wikimedia Commons

At the same time, the question about the future of old technology remains unanswered. It is clear that the new H-20s will gradually replace the outdated H-6s. However, it is not known whether they will be completely replaced. It is possible that some old model bombers will continue to serve. They will be left with an auxiliary function and, possibly, some tasks not available for the new H-20.

Hopes and fears


In general, a curious situation is developing around the Xian H-20 project. Work on this bomber continues, and their expected result is of great interest to the PLA Air Force. In the current situation, any modern bomber is capable of dramatically increasing the potential of Chinese long-range aviation. And the emergence of the unobtrusive H-20 with a high range and carrying capacity will be a real breakthrough.

Being extremely useful for China, the future H-20 causes obvious fears of third countries, the territory and areas of interests of which fall into its zone of responsibility. Although the exact characteristics and capabilities of this aircraft remain unknown, all these countries are trying to assess, draw conclusions and take action. How correct these assessments were, and whether third countries will be able to prepare for the appearance of the H-20 will become clear only after its "premiere".
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  1. Vladimir61
    Vladimir61 14 December 2020 05: 57
    +2
    I will pinch the Chinese for their pride! But the H-6K is not at all a "Chinese"! This is a licensed version of Tu-16, developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau.
    1. Mikhail m
      Mikhail m 14 December 2020 06: 10
      -4
      Alas, the Chinese have since gone so far that it is difficult for them to see us, even after looking back.
      1. Sidor Amenpodestovich
        Sidor Amenpodestovich 14 December 2020 06: 38
        0
        Quote: Mikhail M
        the Chinese have since gone this far

        In what
        Just don't get rid of "everything". And demagoguery is also not needed, like the economy, GDP, roads / bridges, and so on. Article about weapons, though.
        Everything is clear with the fleet, at least quantitatively. With UAVs too - they have it, they sell it, they test some, they talk about some. What else?
        1. Mikhail m
          Mikhail m 14 December 2020 07: 42
          +3
          New Type 19 assault rifle,
          heavy multiple launch rocket system with 370 mm guided projectiles,
          mobile soil complex with intercontinental missile DF-41,
          IRBM DF-17 with a maneuvering hypersonic warhead,
          supersonic strategic cruise missile DF-100,
          fifth generation fighter J-20.
          1. Sidor Amenpodestovich
            Sidor Amenpodestovich 14 December 2020 07: 50
            +4
            Quote: Michael m
            New Type 19 assault rifle,
            heavy multiple launch rocket system with 370 mm guided projectiles,
            mobile soil complex with intercontinental missile DF-41,
            IRBM DF-17 with a maneuvering hypersonic warhead,
            supersonic strategic cruise missile DF-100,
            fifth generation fighter J-20.

            And in what way exactly are the samples of Chinese weapons listed by you superior to ours so much that we can say about them:
            the Chinese have gone so far that it is difficult for them to see us, even looking back
            ?
        2. The comment was deleted.
        3. dauria
          dauria 14 December 2020 20: 19
          +1
          Everything is clear with the fleet, at least quantitatively. With UAVs too - they have it, they sell it, they test some, they talk about some. What else?


          And also the station with soil from the Moon began its journey to Earth. This is enough to assess the country's capabilities. And there are many more Chinese. Well, a lot laughing
          Close your eyes so as not to see the superpower? Will not help.
          1. Phoenix
            Phoenix 27 December 2020 16: 05
            0
            Luna-24 1976, delivery of lunar soil to the USSR. Who is looking at whom, for normal people, the question does not even arise ...
        4. mr.ZinGer
          mr.ZinGer 12 February 2021 08: 28
          0
          You are right, in the current specifics of course not, but the positive dynamics of the development of their economy and science does not leave us a chance.
      2. Sevastiec
        Sevastiec 14 December 2020 08: 55
        +7
        Quote: Michael m
        Alas, the Chinese have since gone so far that it is difficult for them to see us, even after looking back.


        Building strategic bombers is not the same as riveting electronics. They even have an auto industry, which has grown noticeably lately, uses mostly Japanese / European units from the main ones: boxes, engines ... And they also need a school.
        It is not for nothing that only two countries, Russia and the United States, still have strategic aviation.
        1. LastPS
          LastPS 31 December 2020 17: 12
          0
          They even have an auto industry, which has grown noticeably lately, uses mostly Japanese / European units from the main ones: boxes, engines ...

          AND? Everything was invented for a long time before them, and if you look at what is used in the world in general, it turns out that no one has been building cars for a long time on exclusively their own units and assemblies, but uses different components. In addition, the Chinese also do their own. Geely, for example, has its own one and a half-liter three-cylinder engine for 110 horses, and most likely other automakers from China have their own developments. There are more questions about the quality of what is produced, but here it is more likely from the opera that about "any whim for your money", and not about the fundamental curvature of Chinese manufacturers.
          Building strategic bombers is not the same as riveting electronics. And we also need a school.

          How long have the Chinese been using these Tu-16s, more than half a century? They live in a vacuum and don't know what a modern strategic bomber looks like? What do you mean you need a school? What will she give them and why do they not have it? With the help of reverse engineering, modern materials and design tools, you can achieve high results. They rolled out the J-20 in 2017 to the troops and it seems to me that it is not much inferior to the 57th, which we have a whole one against 28 Chinese. Yes, it is also not very massive and flies on Russian engines, but I think this may well change for itself, given what they do with other things, where they have already reached a competitive level.
          It is not for nothing that only two countries, Russia and the United States, still have strategic aviation.

          The question is, why do other countries need strategic aviation? Soviet and American strategic aviation is a relic of the Cold War - a struggle between two systems. Why would anyone other than nuclear superpowers need it at all? Britain had and, as it turned out, this button accordion did not suit the goat, the French generally did not care, they certainly did not have an F.1 for such purposes, but this is something closer to the Su-24 / F-111, and not to strategists. China in those days was somewhere on the outskirts of civilization, and the technological level was not comparable. After dramatic progress in air defense systems and the appearance of normal ICBMs, strategists found themselves in the margins of history. Their role in the nuclear triad is scanty, compared to other means. It is now a delivery vehicle for convection weapons and powerful torpedo bombers, rather than something that terrified the inhabitants of the 60s. The H-6 aka Tu-16 does not look outdated for this application, but the conventional H-20 will certainly increase the capabilities of strategic aviation - faster, more invisibly.
    2. svp67
      svp67 14 December 2020 06: 13
      +6
      Quote: Vladimir61
      This is a licensed version of Tu-16, developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau.

      It's far from him, the engines are different, the avionics and other equipment are different, not to mention the weapons
    3. Doccor18
      Doccor18 14 December 2020 10: 51
      +6
      Quote: Vladimir61
      I will pinch the Chinese for their pride! But the H-6K is not at all a "Chinese"! This is a licensed version of Tu-16, developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau.

      There is no point in "pinching", the Chinese know ...
      It raises quite serious doubts about the PRC's ability to create such a platform. Even bombers of the level of the late 80s (Tu-22M) are beyond the strength of the Chinese military-industrial complex. It is unrealistic to make a "technological leap" in 1-2 generations. All complex military developments in China were based on the technological base of the provided prototypes (fighters, tanks, aircraft carriers). It will be hard with bombers. Based on the operating experience of the Tu-16 (project of the 60s), it is impossible to produce a 5th generation stealth bomber. I do not believe...
    4. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 14 December 2020 16: 18
      +3
      Pinch yourself - with the same success you can say that "Lada - Grand" is the same FIAT, and "Gazelle" - FORD.
  2. Mikhail m
    Mikhail m 14 December 2020 06: 07
    +3
    however, foreign experts are still trying to determine the appearance and capabilities of the future aircraft, using the limited available data.
    Then, referring to each other, they turn these assumptions into truth, and quickly forget their statements when they see reality.
    In all key characteristics, the future H-20 should surpass the existing H-6 bomber of all modifications.
    Here you guessed it. Even kindergarteners will be surprised if this "prediction" does not come true.
    As a result: something will appear in China that no one knows about, but it's time to be afraid.
    1. Temples
      Temples 14 December 2020 08: 47
      -1
      Quote: Mikhail M
      there will be something in China that no one knows about, but it's time to be afraid.

      Judging by your remarks, you are already afraid. You do it confidently. With tenacity worthy of another application.
  3. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 14 December 2020 06: 07
    +5
    Quote: Vladimir61
    But the H-6K is not at all a "Chinese"! This is a licensed version of Tu-16

    Nope.
    The licensed version is H-6.
    And the N-6K is their development based on the Tupolev machine and our newer engines, but with their own avionics.
  4. svp67
    svp67 14 December 2020 06: 12
    -1
    In this respect, the newest Chinese bomber is similar to the American B-2A and B-21 aircraft.
    And it won't look like a PAK YES for the Russian Aerospace Forces?
  5. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 14 December 2020 06: 18
    +3
    In general, it's funny, no one really knows anything, but everyone is discussing something, puffing out their cheeks, writing articles, drawing cartoons .... They receive royalties.
  6. KVU-NSVD
    KVU-NSVD 14 December 2020 08: 19
    +1
    The whole article is about nothing, except for the photo where
    Unknown plane shown in CCTV7 TV report. It may be related to the H-20 project.
  7. Dmitry V.
    Dmitry V. 14 December 2020 10: 17
    +8
    Also, foreign experts express concern about the H-20's ability to operate through the Arctic and "keep the gun at gunpoint" all of North America.


    Touches.
    The fact that in 15-20 years there will be a fleet of hundreds of H-20 bombers on the Russian borders of the PRC should be more worrisome for domestic military analysts.

    China already treated the Russian Federation as a "little brother" in the late 2000s.
    The introduction of "anti-dumping" duties on Chinese products in 2015 (bulldozers, tires, etc.) leaves no illusion to the Chinese leadership in "words of friendship and mutual respect" - for the time being, they pretend to "believe". The two-faced policy of the Russian Federation towards partners, unless a blind man sees it.
    Another reason is that the economy of the Russian Federation is significantly inferior to the economy of the Celestial Empire, in addition it does not differ in stability and efficiency.
    The infrastructure of the PRC has been modernized - one of the best in the world network of roads, high-speed railways, airports, bridges, waste disposal, sewerage, water supply (project to transfer water from south to north), a project to combat poverty is close to completion.
    In the Russian Federation, the infrastructure is stuck at the level of the United States of the 70s, the failure of the utilization program, about the fight against poverty - it's even ridiculous to say, a couple of devaluations and the population of the Russian Federation receives half as much for their work as their Chinese colleagues.

    The Russian Federation is still ahead of the PRC in military development, but this effect is quickly offset by the latter's investments in R&D.
    The reason for the striking difference is simple - in the PRC the economy is allowed to develop - taxes are reduced (VAT from 17% to 13%), roads and electricity are supplied free of charge. energy to objects that create a certain number of jobs.
    In the Russian Federation, the VAT was raised from 18% to 20% to feed exorbitant budget spending (which worsened the situation of the population).

    On the whole, this negative tendency of the Russian Federation will continue, and it is not difficult to predict how the "Chinese partners" will treat their "northern neighbor" in the future.

    So it is the Russian Federation that needs to think about what the potential of the H-20 fleet will threaten on the borders of the Russian Federation and build a policy with the Middle Kingdom right now.
    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 14 December 2020 13: 25
      0
      Everything is correct. They steal on less topics.
  8. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 14 December 2020 13: 21
    -1
    The "unknown plane" in the landing gear nacelles and "muzzle" is very similar to the H-6K, covered with false panels. But it would be forgotten: "stealth" based on the Tu-16 frame. :)
  9. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 14 December 2020 13: 25
    +1
    "In the dimensions of the H-6K" - "combat load of 45 tons"? Hmm, this is the maximum combat load of the Tu-160 (with a take-off weight of under 280 tons) and here the "pepelats" is 3 times less :) The mass of fuel was included in the "combat load", apparently :)
  10. CastroRuiz
    CastroRuiz 14 December 2020 14: 35
    0
    Uveren, shto ikh shpioni v SSHA sperli dostatok info po B-2 i svoy klon (namnogo khuzhe B-2) tak i sdelayut. No eshcho vopros dvizhok ostalsa.
  11. evgen1221
    evgen1221 14 December 2020 18: 02
    -3
    I remember at the same time 15-16 g, our authorities angozhiruet PAKDA. Ohh, did they give out the beginning of the work of China for their own? And mind you, the Chinese have already rolled out the glider, and so far we have only drawings.
  12. Dkuznecov
    Dkuznecov 14 December 2020 23: 22
    0
    As I understand it, the engines appeared.
  13. Dkuznecov
    Dkuznecov 14 December 2020 23: 24
    +1
    Quote: Dmitry Vladimirovich
    The fact that in 15-20 years there will be a fleet of hundreds of H-20 bombers on the Russian borders of the PRC should be more worrisome for domestic military analysts.

    Analysts?
    Not our military?
    Don't give a damn about "analysts".
  14. aries2200
    aries2200 15 December 2020 00: 54
    0
    the Chinese will not have any bomber .... you can be able to copy the technique a little bit, but your own, which China has never created, after the gunpowder that 5000 years ago invented .... there is no design school, by the way, and in the submarine so same .... china is dexterous hands + bone marrow .... not a winged nation, wise but not soaring, without imagination
  15. Herman 4223
    Herman 4223 15 December 2020 13: 35
    0
    I looked at the photo from above as if the Tu-16 was pushed inside the stealth
    ... Something related is guessed.
  16. flateric
    flateric 16 December 2020 03: 58
    +1
    "Unknown aircraft shown in CCTV7 TV report. "
    lol, the author is clearly an expert on Chinese aviation
  17. Mister who
    Mister who 23 January 2021 09: 33
    0
    The Chinese need long-range strategists like air, I don't know how things are now, before the missiles did not reach the United States, it turned out in the event of a mess, the United States could roll China without an answer. In principle, it can now)