China Air Force (PLAAF) first stealth bomber will bear enormous resemblance to US Air Force’s Northrop Grumman B-2. That is what images in a recruitment video for the government indicates. At a certain point in the video, released in the last few days, it is possible to notice the reflection of an aircraft in the shape of a flying wing in the pilot’s visor helmet – the images appear to be computer generated.
Known informally as the H-20, the mysterious bomber is being developed by Xian and is due to be revealed soon. According to Chinese media reports, the plane could have been presented at the end of last year during the Zhuhai Airshow in November. The PLAAF video, about 4 minutes long, uses special effects and a cinematic script in an attempt to attract young people to military service.
In addition to several aircraft, the video shows the Chengdu J-20 fighter in real and also virtual images. Only in the final seconds does the stealth bomber appear covered and which is partially removed, revealing its first forms.
Like the B-2 and its successor in the US, the B-21 Raider, also undisclosed, the Chinese bomber is a flying wing, with air intakes at the top the airframe. The landing gear appears to have a cloned mechanism from the Northrop Grumman aircraft, positioned very close to the plane’s nose. Two bumps on both wing tips, however, may be some type of roll control or stability, perhaps due to some design limitation or improvement.
Although there is no official data, the new bomber is expected to fly at subsonic speed and have systems and materials to reduce its radar signature considerably. The jet must have an aerial refueling system and a wide range, in adittion to cruise missiles.
Despite having a large air force and in some ways more advanced than Russia, China has only one bomber, the H-16, actually an optimized version of the old Tu-16 Badger, manufactured by Tupolev since the 1960s.