China's 'New' JH-XX Bomber Is a Stealth Mystery

JH-XX China Fighter-Bomber
June 7, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: B-21B-21 RaiderJH-XXMilitaryDefenseH-20Bombers

China's 'New' JH-XX Bomber Is a Stealth Mystery

China's military modernization continues with the rumored JH-XX stealth bomber, potentially rivaling U.S. capabilities in terms of stealth and offensive capabilities in the sky. 


Summary and Key Points: China's military modernization continues with the rumored JH-XX stealth bomber, potentially rivaling U.S. capabilities.

-First noted in 2019, the JH-XX remains shrouded in secrecy. Concept renders suggest a versatile, twin-engine jet with stealth features and long-range missile capabilities.


-Designed for regional dominance, the JH-XX could strike targets within 2,000 kilometers and contest airspace in the East and South China Seas.

-While its existence is unconfirmed, China's rapid military advancements suggest the JH-XX could soon emerge as a significant threat.

China's Mysterious JH-XX Bomber: A New Threat to U.S. Air Superiority?

The Chinese military has been on a rampant modernization spree for more than a decade. Each advance gets China one step closer to parity with the U.S. military. And the closer that China’s military gets to America’s in terms of technological capabilities, the more America’s leaders – civilian and military alike – almost universally downplay the China threat. 

At some point, however, the Americans won’t be able to ignore the problem China poses. More frighteningly, soon the Chinese may develop a system that totally upends the U.S. military’s advantage in a potential fight for the Indo-Pacific.


Enter the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF’s) JH-XX bomber. The elusive aircraft, rumored to be China’s stealth bomber, is getting more attention, especially as the Americans unveil their new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider. 

B-21 Raider

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency first mentioned the possible existence of the JH-XX back in 2019. Alongside the new stealth bomber was the H-20 tactical “fighter-bomber.” While the H-20 garnered much more attention as a long-distance, heavy subsonic stealth bomber, the JH-XX remains an enigma, its true capabilities unknown even to intelligence professionals.

Information about the JH-XX comes from a smattering of disparate sources. Most notably a Chinese publication known as Aerospace Knowledge featured a concept render of the JH-XX on its cover. It depicted a sleek, stealthy jet with twin engines, a large bomb bay, and side weapon bays for carrying long-range air-to-air missiles. 

The design suggests a blend of speed, stealth, and versatility, hinting at a potential role as a regional bomber and interceptor. 

The JH-XX could fill a niche in China’s military strategy. It could provide a supersonic regional bomber capable of striking targets within a 2,000-kilometer radius. As such, the JH-XX would allow China to contest airspace nominally controlled by the West, such as in the East and South China Seas, as well as in the Yellow and Japan Seas to China’s northeast. The JH-XX’s high speed could equip it to dogfight Western forces.

JH-XX: Shrouded in Secrecy

Nevertheless, there is little evidence proving the existence of the JH-XX. What’s more, there is no serious attempt to prove this bird’s existence. The PLAAF has remained tight-lipped about the project. Industry leaders, meanwhile, have been reticent to share many details about the JH-XX. Thus, many have questioned whether the JH-XX is a real program or merely a figment of the military’s imagination. 

As with any military project shrouded in secrecy, the truth about the JH-XX remains unknown. Only time will tell whether this mysterious bomber will take to the skies, or if it will remain a tantalizing enigma in the annals of military aviation. 

H-6 Bomber China

Still, one must never underestimate China’s military development. 

They have innovated and operated at far higher clips than anyone in the West cares to admit. If Beijing thinks it needs a stealth bomber, then China has the resources and political will to develop this weapons platform in relative secrecy, then spring it on the world without warning. 

About the Author

Brandon J. Weichert, a National Interest national security analyst, is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, the Asia Times, and The-Pipeline. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower, Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life, and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy. His next book, A Disaster of Our Own Making: How the West Lost Ukraine, is due October 22 from Encounter Books. Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

All images are Creative Commons.