A Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber fleet is advanced enough to take on the best of the United States Navy in China’s bid to grow its military might.

The People’s Liberation Army has reportedly purchased $1.5 billion worth of Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber aircraft from Russia. When deployed by the PLA the aircraft will be known as the H-10.

The Tu-22 will be primarily used in a maritime role because it can attack targets from low altitudes, avoiding most types of radar detection.

The Tu-22 is a USSR-era supersonic, long-range strategic strike bomber. Developed during the Cold War, the Tu-22 is the closest thing to a stealth bomber in the Russian fleet.

These weapons purchases are in-line with the PLA’s anti-access/area-denial posture in the South China Sea. If reports of the purchase of the Russian Radugha Kh-22 long range maritime ballistic missile are to be believed, then the balance of power in the region could change dramatically.

 

Related: People’s Liberation Army Projective Capability ‘Like Ripples in Water’

 

[Business Insider]