China’s military recently deployed an upgraded strategic bomber that will carry the military’s new long-range land attack cruise missile, capable of attacking Hawaii and Guam, according to a draft congressional report.
The Oct. 8 draft of the forthcoming report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission also reveals that China has developed a new armed drone nearly identical to U.S. military’s Reaper. The Chinese missile-firing drone likely was developed through Chinese cyber espionage against U.S. defense contractors.
The report highlights a rapidly modernizing Chinese military that includes large numbers of new weapons and new warfighting techniques, including attack capabilities in space and cyberspace.
“PLA modernization is on track to alter the security balance in Asia over the next five to 10 years, challenging decades of U.S. military preeminence,” the report concludes.
On the bomber, the People’s Liberation Army in June accepted the first of 15 new Hongzha-6K, or H-6K, bombers. The bomber is based on a late 1950s Soviet design but has an extended range. However, its long-range cruise missile is new.
The report said the H-6K, also known as “Zhan Shen” or God of War, “can carry China’s new long-range land-attack cruise missile (LACM).”
“The bomber/LACM weapon system provides the PLA Air Force with the ability to conduct conventional strikes against regional targets throughout the western Pacific, including U.S. facilities in Guam,” the report said.
Guam is being built up by the U.S. military as a key strategic military hub as part of the new “pivot” strategy of realigning forces toward Asia.
The report said China’s new land-attack missile can be equipped with a nuclear warhead. However, so far there is no confirmation that the new missile is armed with nuclear warheads.
The final commission report will be released Nov. 20 and a commission spokesman said some of the late draft’s elements could be changed. A copy of the draft was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
China last month disclosed for the first time video of the Changjian-10, or CJ-10, land-attack cruise missile carried by the new bomber. The H-6K carries up to six of the missiles.
The Chinese are also developing a nuclear-capable variant known as the CJ-20 that would be deployed on the H-6K.
Bill Gertz is senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon he was a national security reporter, editor, and columnist for 27 years at the Washington Times. Bill is the author of six books, four of which were national bestsellers. His most recent book was The Failure Factory, a look at an out-of-control government bureaucracy that could have been a primer for the Tea Party.