Chinese State Media confirmed the existence of a new aircraft program. In this program, Beijing is conducting a long-range stealth strategic bomber development. The name of the program was announced as Hong-20 in the news published in State Television. There was no detailed information about the program. The first flight date of the aircraft is estimated by Western experts, depending on the capability of the Chinese military aviation industry, early 2020s.
A senior Chinese general announced that a bomber project was being carried out for the first time in 2016. However, there was no comment from the state. It is stated that the aircraft can operate up to the Second Island Chain, including Guam, without aerial refueling while carrying 10 tons of payload.
In the Chinese inventory, the Xian production H-6K bombers are backbone of bomber force. H-6K aircraft developed from Tu-16 (NATO Code: Badger) and have the capability of carrying nuclear weapons. H-6K aircraft has a modern cockpit and driven by the more powerful Saturn D-30KP-2 engines than their predecessors, have a payload of 9,000 kilograms and can operate at a radius of 1100 kilometers.