H-8 Chinese stealth bomber - Second Instance
A new H-8 is claimed to have been under development since 1994 to match the American B-2A. With a weapons load targeted at 18 tons, the bomber may travel at 1.2 Mach to penetrate defended territory or in order to escape. The bomber will carry a new stealth cruise missile, and is reported to have the range to reach targets on the continental United States, qwith a range estimated to be up to ten thousand kilometers. The aircraft uses domestically produced advanced navigation equipment. The bomber has been designed by the 603 institute, and Xian will be responsible for producing the bomber. The bomber will be the first domestically designed and manufactured strategic bomber.
The H-8 was reported to use a high-tech blended wing-body design, has fly-by-wire controls, and an angled fuselage. The wing has massive internal fuel tanks. The aircraft used carbon fiber and other composite materials. The weapons bay has a rotating weapons profile. The bomber retains a terrain hugging capacity and has a terrain following and mapping radar, satellite data links and advanced digital mapping systems. The bomber also uses advanced stealth technologies. The H-8 will have 4 turbo-fan engines, the core of which is based on the WS-10A. It can use a host of weapons including laser guided "thunder stone" 6, satellite guidance bomb and anti-ship missile.
According to a semi-official Chinese media report in late 2007, China's domestically-developed "Xian H-8" stealth strategic bomber has successfully undergone flight trials. It is said that this bomber will carry a new type of cruise missile and will be capable of attacking North America, which is a cause of great concern in many countries. The "photographs" of the H-8 carried in the Chinese media are not photographs, but rather art work based on various American stealth aircraft.
In late 2007 it was reported that the H-8 was slated to start trial flights in January 2008. Central Military Committee officers, air force logistics department officer, national defense science and industry committee, Xi'an deputy mayor, the provincial party committee assistant deputy secretary, among others were said to be present for inaugurating the project.
China generally lags American military technology by about 20 to 25 years, so by the year 2015 China might be expected to match American military achievements of around 1990 or 1995. The B-2's first flight was July 17, 1989. China thus might be expected to be developing the the necessary technology to effectively use stealth materials and develop high-power engines. Thus China could be expected to have successfully fabricated and assembled a working aircraft.
The Chinese Military Aviation website reports "A new long-range strategic stealth bomber similar to American B-2 is believed to have been under development at 603 Institute/XAC but it remains a closely guarded secret."
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