According to the head of the Chinese air force, Ma Xiaotian, China is developing a long-range bomber as part of its military modernization program.
China is investing in military and weapons operations in order to increase its power projection. Although China already has combat aircraft that can engage targets far from its territory, it is looking at additional improvements to develop its defense strategy further.
“We are now developing a new generation of a long-range bomber, and you’ll see it in the future,” Ma was quoted as saying in the state-run Global Times.
Last year, China introduced the new H-6K strategic bomber that is armed with DH-20 land-attack cruise missiles. That combination can hit targets as far away as Australia. They have flown training missions over the Western Pacific and run patrols over the South China Sea.
China is also working on its own stealth fighter jets and reportedly have a new large transport airplane called the Y-20.
China has spent the last few years revamping its military, developing new submarines, aircraft carriers, and anti-satellite missiles.
Reports surfaced last week that China is working on high-level artificial intelligence and automation for the next generation of its cruise missiles.
“We plan to adopt a ‘plug and play’ approach to the development of new cruise missiles, which will enable our military commanders to tailor-make missiles in accordance with combat conditions,” said Wang Changqing of the China Aerospace and Industry Corp. to the state-run China Daily newspaper.
The US Defense Department released its annual report on military and security developments in China. In it, they note that the leaders of China seem intent on continuing the growth in defense spending for the foreseeable future, in spite of their sluggish economic growth.
Abraham M. Denmark, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, said that China’s officially disclosed military budget from 2006 to 2015, grew at an average of 9.8 percent per year in inflation-adjusted terms. “The true expenditure, DoD estimates, in terms of total military-related spending for 2015, exceeded $180 billion in 2015,” he added.