The Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China has confirmed that the next-gen long-range bomber is under development.
China has already improved its ability to strike at targets far from home and there will be further improvements in the future, the Global Times quoted air force chief Ma Xiaotian as saying at an air force open day.
“We are now developing a new generation of long-range bomber, and you’ll see it in the future,” Ma said, according to the paper, without elaborating.
China has been ramping up research into advanced new military equipment, including submarines, aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles. This has rattled nerves regionally and in Washington as China takes a more muscular approach to territorial disputes in places such as the South China Sea.
China last year revealed its new generation H-6K strategic bomber equipped with the DH-20 land-attack cruise missile, giving it the ability to hit targets as far away as Australia. Only Russia and the U.S. are currently able to launch cruise missiles from the air.
The plane has since flown training missions over the western Pacific and patrols over the disputed South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.
China this year also introduced the Y-20 large military transport plane
Both planes use Russian engines, reflecting China’s weakness in producing reliable high-performance aircraft power plants.