China is conducting the final trials of Xian H-20 strategic stealth bombers at its Hotan airbase, opposite eastern Ladakh, as the US pulls out its troops from Afghanistan and the border standoff with India continues. Sources said H-20 bombers are aimed at ending the edge India acquired through the acquisition of Rafale jets.
The final trials of the long-range strategic stealth bomber began on June 8 and will continue till June 22, the day that marks 100 years of the formation of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Xian H-20 strategic stealth bomber has stealth feature and long endurance, coupled with capability to carry heavy payloads, which could potentially dodge the “detect and disable radar” capability of India’s newly-inducted Rafale aircraft.
China, which has touted induction of H-20 bombers as a “game changer”, is the third country after the US and Russia to possess stealth technology for fighters.
The move could have repercussions for geopolitics in the region as also power play by the US and its allies in the disputed South China Sea and Taiwan.