Designed by the Xi'an Aircraft Factory during the 1960s, the Xi'an Hong-8 (abbreviated as H-8) is a long-range strategic bomber designated as a replacement for the older H-6. The plane's design is more of an enlarged version of the H-6 with four turbo-fan engines, which provide the model with a better cruise performance and larger bomb capacity. Its most defining characteristics are its contra-rotating propellers and its archaic outside-cable antenna. However, due to plan adjustments and conflict within the factory itself, the project was scrapped in the 1970s before the bomber went into production.
After the development of the Electromagnetic Bomb and its field testing, the People's Liberation Army Air Force realized that the EMP Bomb was far too heavy and delicate for the decades-old H-6 to carry. In urgent need of a heavy-duty strategic bomber to carry newer ordinances, the PLAAF reinitiated the H-8 project in 2017, just some two years before the attack on Tian'anmen Square. By the time of the Global War On Terror, several squadrons of H-8s outfitted with the latest electronics and anti-disruption equipment were already in service, delivering deadly payloads on top of GLA outposts throughout Central Asia.