Recently, People’s Daily reported on the fact that the Chinese Air Force has officially started to develop strategic bombers. The article reported that, in an interview on CCTV’s “Today’s Focus” program, military expert Li Li expressed that it is essential for China to develop a new generation of strategic bombers.
The report mentioned that China’s current long-range bomber model is relatively simple. Compared to the U.S. and to Russia’s strategic bombers, there is a gap in the overall performance. The bomber-6K has not reached the level of the U.S. and Russian strategic bombers B-52 or the Tu-95’s range and payload capacity. Experts believe that the Chinese army urgently needs long-range, large payload, strong damage effect bombers in order for China to get to a new level in strategic air offensive capability.
Li Li said that if China’s Air Force positions itself as a strategic Air Force, then bomber development must be considered. There are two signs that a strategic air force must meet: One is that it has large transport aircraft, mainly long-range strategic transport aircraft. The second is that it has high-end strategic bombers.
Li Li said that China’s current H-6 bomber that is in service has some potential for improvement, but it is difficult for it to meet the standard for next-generation bombers. Looking into the future global competition landscape, it is now necessary for China to start a new generation strategic bomber development program.
Source: People’s Daily, May 4, 2016