The trial flight of China's new-generation stealth bomber Hong-20 may take place soon, military experts said on Tuesday after China's official television station confirmed the name of the bomber.
Disclosing the new bomber is a potential deterrence, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"Usually the development of equipment and weaponry of the People's Liberation Army is highly confidential," he said.
Revealing the bomber name before trials shows the Chinese aviation industry is gaining more confidence, said Shanghai-based news site thepaper.cn.
China Central Television confirmed in a documentary in August that "the development of new long-distance strategic bomber, Hong-20, has made great progress."
It was the first time "Hong-20" appeared officially. "Hong" is the first character of hongzhaji, "bomber aircraft" in Chinese.
Song said the public unveiling of the bomber suggested that it might have finished testing the hydraulic pressure, electricity supply and avionics systems.
"The trial flight will come soon," he said.
China's Hong-20 bomber has been under development at the Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute since 2008, Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta previously reported.
"The new generation of bombers can carry more bombs than previous H-6K bombers, have the advantage of stealth features and are able to strike targets from standoff ranges," Song said in a previous interview in April.
The Hong-20 could improve both defensive and offensive air force capabilities and "enable the army to possess stronger nuclear and conventional deterrence," Song said.