Xian H-20
Role Stealth strategic bomber
National origin China
Manufacturer Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation[1]
Status Under development
Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force

The Xian H-20 (Chinese: 轰-20; pinyin: Hōng-20; alternatively Xian H-X) is a projected subsonic stealth bomber design of the People's Liberation Army Air Force. It is referred to as a strategic project by the People's Liberation Army.[2][3] The H-20 will be the first dedicated strategic bomber developed by China. The aircraft may enter service in the 2020s.[4]

The development of a strategic bomber was revealed in September 2016.[3]

Design and development

In 2016, People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) general Ma Xiaotian announced that China was developing a new type of long-range bomber on the air force's open day.[5] In 2018, a Chinese military spokesperson confirmed the development was making "great progress".[6]

According to the United States Department of Defense, the H-20 is expected to be a flying wing[7] with a range of at least 8,500 km and a payload capacity of at least 10 tonnes;[7] according to the Rand Corporation, an American funded thinktank, it will allow China "to reliably threaten U.S. targets within and beyond the Second Island Chain, to include key U.S. military bases in Guam and Hawaii."[8] The payload is projected to be at least 10 tonnes of conventional or nuclear weapons.[7]

Throughout the years, multiple models and computer-generated pictures have surfaced on the internet, some published by magazines run by state-owned defense companies.[9][10] Defense analysts have noted several recurring features on these models, including serrated air intakes, cranked-kite wings, and foldable twin tail surfaces that can be switched between being horizontal tailplanes and V-tails.[11][12]

In July 2022, Chinese state media suggested the H-20 was close to taking its maiden flight.[13][14]

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Grossman et al.: page 51
  2. ^ Franz-Stefan Gady (July 13, 2015). "China Wants to Develop a New Long-Range Strategic Bomber". The Diplomat.
  3. ^ a b Grossman et al.: page 50
  4. ^ United States Department of Defense (1 August 2020). Annual Report To Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2020 (PDF) (Report).
  5. ^ Reuters Staff (2 September 2016). "China says developing new type of long-range bomber". Reuters. ((cite web)): |author= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ Trevithick, Joseph (15 October 2018). "China Reportedly Plans To Unveil H-20 Stealth Bomber At Air Force Anniversary Parade In 2019". The Drive.
  7. ^ a b c "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" (PDF). Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  8. ^ Grossman et al.: page 54
  9. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (9 April 2018). "Is This China's Stealth Bomber?". Popluar Mechanics.
  10. ^ Huang, Kristin (25 May 2021). "China's mysterious H-20 strategic bomber 'may be able to strike second island chain'". South China Morning Post.
  11. ^ Newdick, Thomas (22 August 2022). "Do These Models Provide A Glimpse Of China's Future H-20 Bomber? (Updated)". The Drive.
  12. ^ Larson, Caleb (24 February 2022). "Why China's New H-20 Stealth Bomber Could Change Everything". 1945.
  13. ^ Kadidal, Akhil (13 July 2022). "China's H-20 stealth bomber close to first flight". Janes.
  14. ^ Honrada, Gabriel (14 July 2022). "China's H-20 stealth bomber ready for take-off". Asia Times.