China to UNLEASH thermonuclear weapon-ready Hong-20 stealth bomber

BEIJING officials have announced the new Hong-20 stealth bomber is close to making its first trial flight.

The powerful aircraft will take to the skies after having been in development for more than a decade. 

While the trial date has not been pencilled in, the announcement marks a major milestone for the Chinese Air Force. 

Its design is modelled off the US Northrop Gruman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. 

The plane can travel a range of 5,000 miles without refuelling once and has a weapons bay that can carry more than 10 tonnes of thermonuclear bombs. 

The Chinese designed the bomber on US models GETTY

STEALTH: The Chinese designed the bomber on US models
(Pic: GETTY)

In future test flights it is expected the bomber will be able to expand its operational range to 8,000 miles. 

China has poured billions into its air force as a huge rift between Beijing and Washington grows. 

The spat comes after US President Donald Trump sparked a trade war with the Asian superpower, which risks plunging the world economy into a serious downturn. 

In recent months US warships have been sent to the South China Sea where Beijing has laid claim to dozens of islands. 

But China has hit back, telling the US not to enter what it calls its territorial waters. 

US Vice-President Mike Pence attacked China in a speech for trying to undermine Trump, stating: “China wants a different American president.” 

Trump admitted relations between himself and Chinese president Xi Jinping had soured in recent months but insisted: “Xi may not be a friend of mine anymore but he probably respects me.”

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