A centrefold graphic recently flourished intimate details of a Chinese bomber carrying a stark new weapon. State-controlled media has since gone into cover-up mode. But military analysts think Beijing may have been caught with its pants down.
The government produced Modern Ships magazine has splashed high-resolution computer-generated images of China’s most recent addition to its strategic bomber line-up – the H-6N – over the front and feature pages. But that’s not what drew the eye of the world’s defence thinkers.
The graphics showed the new bomber carrying a huge ballistic missile slung under its fuselage. And that missile looks a lot like one of a family of ballistic weapons deployed by China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) as aircraft carrier killers.