The Pentagon fears that H-20 will become a threat to American naval bases in the Asian region and the mainland of the United States. The experts warn against jumping to conclusions about the effectiveness of the machine.
Soon come the latest China strategic bomber H-20 (Hong-20). It is reported by English-language newspaper Global Times. The publication does not specify the date of the flight, but says that during the development of the machine industry of the country has made "some progress".
In August, China Central television (CCTV) showed footage of an H-20 on the runway of airport XI'an aircraft factory. As suggested by the Chinese media, the company's specialists have conducted a series of ground tests, during which were tested structural elements, landing gear and avionics.
The development of H-20 began in 2008 at the Shanghai aircraft design and research Institute. Chinese authorities are holding the tactical and technical characteristics (TTX) products and results of works in the strictest confidence. For this reason, all information about the project bomber is tentative.
"In my opinion, flight of the H-20 can really place in the near future. Oddly enough, the Chinese often exaggerate the scale of achievements that makes the team a lot of doubt. This time, however, they are silent. And I think this is a sign that China has achieved real success in the development of modern aircraft", — explained in an interview with RT, Professor of the Academy of military Sciences Vadim Kozyulin.
According to the scheme "flying wing"
Currently in the Armed forces of China there are about 180 H-6 in various versions. Chinese aviation industry repeatedly modernized long-range bomber, improving the engines, avionics equipment, layout and fuel system. However, specialists of China failed to neutralize key weaknesses of the aircraft.
The maximum range of the H-6 without the installation of additional fuel tanks and refueling is only 3.5—5 thousand km (vs 10-11 thousand km of the Russian Tu-160 and the American B-52). Also, the command of the PLA are not satisfied with low combat load of a bomber (less than 10 t against 45 t — u Tu-160 and 30, MT — B-52).
The annual Pentagon report to Congress noted that long-range aviation of China no opportunity to strike at facilities of the naval infrastructure of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region (APR).
"The Chinese analogs of Tu-16 included in the compounds of the air force and PLA Navy. Aircraft perform the functions of intelligence, electronic warfare, and are also carriers of nuclear bombs and cruise missiles. However, they are vulnerable to any modern air defense systems and the danger to Americans do not imagine," said Kozyulin.
According to experts, H-20 should become the new generation of aircraft that will be completely without flaws of its predecessor. According to foreign media information, the range of this bomber will be 12 thousand km, combat load — 10-20 T.
Glider N-20 made under the scheme "flying wing" and resembles the American stealth aircraft Northrop B-2 Spirit. The machine will fly at subsonic speed (less than 1 thousand km/h), but to have a low radar visibility due to the wide use of stealth technology.
All the weapons N-20 is located in the inner compartments, and not on an external sling. It is assumed that the Arsenal of the aircraft will consist of aircraft guided bombs and missiles of various ranges, including strategic.
China is one of the three (besides USA and Russia) countries — owners of strategic aviation, which is part of the nuclear triad. However, armed with the people's liberation army (PLA) is obsolete aircraft Xian H-6, designed on the basis of the first long-range bomber Soviet Tu-16 "Badger", developed in the late 1950-ies.
In the latest fighting vehicle is equipped with a turbofan engine WS-20 Corporation Chengdu Engine Group Company (CEGC) with a thrust of about 18 tons Structure of the wing, the developers have borrowed from China's first heavy military transport aircraft Y-20 (developed jointly with the Ukrainian state enterprise "Antonov"), took to the air on 26 January 2013. It is expected that the N-20 will present to the General public in the next year, and in 2025 will be adopted.
"The Chinese are gradually moving away from the principle of copy and blind borrowing of foreign technology. In recent years, they create quite original samples. And yet the experience in the field of strategic aviation of our neighbors is not very large. Most likely, they have serious problems in creating engines, weapons and materials that absorb radio waves", — said Kozyulin.
Protection of the interests
The development of the H-20 is a concern in the US Department of defense. In the report to the Senate, the Pentagon notes that China seeks to expand "coverage of military operations surface", to be able to hit a naval base of the United States in the Asia Pacific region. To this end, the Agency is confident that Beijing is creating a "stealth bomber".
At the same time the Chinese improve the operational-tactical aircraft, which is used to cover the bombers H-6. China is also making efforts to build long range cruise missiles, which will allow you to perform combat missions outside of range air and missile defense of the enemy.
The American edition Military Watch believes that a hypothetical H-20 will be able to strike not only American foreign military installations, but also for the continental United States. As writes the edition, the appearance of such a powerful air platforms as part of the PLA will allow Beijing in the future to achieve parity in strategic air Washington and Moscow.
"It is unlikely that China satisfied with the proximity of U.S. bases to their own borders. China as one of the world leaders necessary to protect the interests in the South China sea and, like Russia, to have hypothetical possibility to apply asymmetric retaliatory strikes on the United States. Without a full nuclear triad to make it virtually impossible, and China's her yet," — said Vadim Kozyulin.
The source RT believes that the development of H-20 meets the principles of strategic balance, which the government of China hold in foreign policy. According kozyulina, the emergence of China's modern strategic aviation will become one of the key factors of "containment" of the United States, however, on the way neighbor Russia will have to solve many complex problems.
"It is likely that China will be able to quickly put on the wing of their new plane. But I would not jump to any conclusions about its effectiveness. First, I doubt to radar, States he will be invisible. Second, the aircraft of the new generation always has a lot of "childhood diseases". This is illustrated by the F-22, F-35 and su-57. His finishing is still a lot of time, but on the side of China's political will, considerable intellectual and financial resources", — summed up Kozyulin.
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