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China's H-20 stealth bomber close to first flight

The estimation of the XAC H-20 design was based on images shown in official videos from AVIC and the PLA in 2018 and 2021. The design of the aircraft could have been altered since then. Analysis of the H-20's specifications is based on the PLA's definition of what constitutes a long-range, strategic bomber. (Janes)

Chinese state media has suggested that the country's H-20 long-range stealth bomber will soon conduct its first test flight.

The test flight has been linked to comments by a senior official about the maiden flight of an aircraft of “historic and strategic significance”.

According to Global Times, state-owned newspaper, the comments were made by Ge Heping, party chief of the Chinese Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), during a rally on 5 July to mobilise personnel in the test.

Global Times said that the original source of the information was a press release from the CFTE.

Ge is said to have urged personnel involved in the development of the aircraft to realise the “extreme importance” of completing this mission. The Chinese news website, Guancha, also detailed Ge's visit to the CFTE and added that he had “mobilised the development of the certain model” of aircraft.

While neither report revealed the designation or the nature of the aircraft, the newspaper noted that the H-20 aircraft has been described as a weapon of historic and strategic importance.

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