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H-6 Bomber Aircraft Discussions

This is a discussion on H-6 Bomber Aircraft Discussions within the Air Force forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; The PLAAF will eventually have more advanced bombers. By then, do you think the H-6s will be retired or will ...

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    F40Racer is offline New Member
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    H-6 Bomber Aircraft Discussions

    The PLAAF will eventually have more advanced bombers. By then, do you think the H-6s will be retired or will the PLAAF keep upgrade them to keep them in service along with the more advanced aircrafts? Upgrades such as more advanced navigation systems and the ability to launch cruise missiles made the H-6 much more capable than they were before. The USAF kept the B-52 in service after the introduction of B-1 and B-2. I have heard that the B-52s won't be retired until the mid 21st century. I think one advantage older bombers have over the new ones is that they are cheaper to maintain and operate. I'm sure the maintenance cost of B-52 is lower than those of B-1 and B-2.

    What are your opinions on this? Do you think the H-6 should be kept in service in the next several decades with more advanced upgrades?
    Last edited by F40Racer; 09-11-2006 at 12:32 PM.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    It will probably be kept in the next 10 years or so, Currently there appears to be no plans for a direct H-6 replacement.

    Its far more likely we will see multirole fighters take up that spot, aka J-10s or multirole J-11B/Cs, and far more likely that the future J-XX will also undertake strike roles. China might be interested to purchase the Su-32FN or Su-34 in the interim.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    Well see there is a problem, the H-6 is definitely not as advanced as the B-52. Neither does it have a larger payload (correct me if I'm wrong). Currently the H-6 is serving the PLAAF well, therefore i dont think an immidiate replacement is required but that does not mean that PLAAF shouldn't concentrate on newer designs. It should and it needs to. Becasue in the future America and Russia are gonna be making new designs and make their planes more quiet with larger more devastating blows. I China does go ahead with making a good,cost effective bomber then I'm sure that other countries around the world would like to purchase them. Infact one potential customer could even be Pakistan because we dont have a dedicated bomber,instead we have C-130's *sigh* to do this job. The H-6 definitely needs to be retired in big numbers once other advanced bombers enter service. However some H-6 bombers should be kept (training,museum storage )

    In America's case, well...The B-2 spirit bomber is the most expensive aircraft in the world (2 Billion dollars US) and has been put in service in extremely low numbers. THe B-1 has been having problems and the Americans are doubting its abilities and the only bomber that is reliable in their service is the B-52 which also seems to be very fatigued. The instruments and maneuverability of it are not the best but they get the job done, as it is still uesd in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    And i dont think you shoulda started a new thread on this since its a mere question. You should have stuck with the threads that are currently here. In some it makes sense to put this type of question on there. But its ur choice
    Last edited by Elite-Pilot; 09-11-2006 at 09:18 PM.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    Quote Originally Posted by Elite-Pilot View Post
    Well see there is a problem, the H-6 is definitely not as advanced as the B-52. Neither does it have a larger payload (correct me if I'm wrong). Currently the H-6 is serving the PLAAF well, therefore i dont think an immidiate replacement is required but that does not mean that PLAAF shouldn't concentrate on newer designs. It should and it needs to. Becasue in the future America and Russia are gonna be making new designs and make their planes more quiet with larger more devastating blows. I China does go ahead with making a good,cost effective bomber then I'm sure that other countries around the world would like to purchase them. Infact one potential customer could even be Pakistan because we dont have a dedicated bomber,instead we have C-130's *sigh* to do this job. The H-6 definitely needs to be retired in big numbers once other advanced bombers enter service. However some H-6 bombers should be kept (training,museum storage )

    In America's case, well...The B-2 spirit bomber is the most expensive aircraft in the world (2 Billion dollars US) and has been put in service in extremely low numbers. THe B-1 has been having problems and the Americans are doubting its abilities and the only bomber that is reliable in their service is the B-52 which also seems to be very fatigued. The instruments and maneuverability of it are not the best but they get the job done, as it is still uesd in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    And i dont think you shoulda started a new thread on this since its a mere question. You should have stuck with the threads that are currently here. In some it makes sense to put this type of question on there. But its ur choice
    Even if China assigns the strike role to the J-xx and other fighter like aircraft, it is obvious to me that having a big aircraft like the H-6 is very useful, because the PLAAF and PLAN need a platform like that. It can be used for bombing against countries with little air defence, Anti-ship roles, ASW, in flight refueling, and a myriad of other things. So yes, I think we can expect to see the H-6 around for a while. Besides, there are no plans for a replacement.
    Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.
    -Winston Churchill

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    You really have to figure out the mission of your bomber first.

    If it is just a cruise missile delivery truck, there is no point of replacing the H-6. The B-52s are nothing more than either carpet bombers or cruise missile trucks.

    If it's a strike bomber, then a multirole heavy fighter can do. These fighters can carry as much loads as the big bombers in World War II does. As a matter of fact no one has made any future plans for a strategic bomber any more. All the Russian designs are still hemmed up in the seventies (e.g. Backfire). Their latest bomber would be the Su-34s that is intended to supplant the Su-24s, the latter of which is JH-7 class.

    If its strategic delivery of nuclear weapons, ICBMs have long made strategic bombers obsolete. The quest of the USAF in the sixties to push nuclear strategic bombers, aka B-52, B-1B and B-2, is a political counter reaction that the strategic role of the USAF may become irrelevant to nuclear missiles. And again there was a similar response for relevancy by the US Navy. Similar reactions occured with the Soviet branches of their Air Force and Navy, as they too sought relevancy in the age of missiles. But this did not occur in China because the PLAAF and the PLAN has very little political power compared to 2nd Artillery.

    The tremendous amount of money to create a fifth generation bomber in my opinion is a great waste of money when such resources can be put on the following options.

    1. Make ballistic missiles more accurate, and even develop terminal guidance.

    2. New generations of cruise missiles, like those with greater stealth traits.

    3. Strike UCAVs, e.g. something like the likes of Global Predator.

    4. Development of a fifth generation heavy fighter with multirole capabilities.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    The Badgers are good enough for a bomber. Most bombers the size of Badgers and aove these days are used only for carpet bombing and LACM deliveries, neither of which requires much on performance or protection.

    What's the point? There is a production line anyway. The only thing I think they should do is replace the engine and add pylons. All else is fine. Not like it will go far either, I don't think there is a fighter that has the range to protect it.

    I want Asia on my front porch and America as my backyard.
    Disclaimer: By America, I meant the Continent. And yes, I know Asian homes have neither a backyard nor a porch in the American sense.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    I read recently on Asia Defence Review that China and India is getting Backfires' from russia.

    So there would be the replacement for the H-6 if the 'leasing' deal went through.

    I've seen H-6's converted to Refuel tankers. I am sure the PLAA will find uses for them.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    I personally believe that the PLAAFs new bomber in 5 or 8 years time, perhaps sooner, will be the Tu-22M. Its the most easiest bomber for China to get hold of right now, and they could probably build it themselves under liscence. But that is just my opinion.
    But I think there will still be a place for the H-6. It might not be the best aircraft against modern air defences, but I think China will like to have a variety of bombers - the small strike aircraft and Tu-22s would be the ones penetrating the enemy defences, but the H-6s could serve as launch platforms for KD-63s and any other missiles the Chinese might have developed by then. They could also serve as heavy air suppourt for ground forces by carpet bombing enemy ground forces which won't have advanced air defences. And it also makes a useful Anti-ship/Anti Submarine craft. The USAF is developing more advanced bombers right now, but it still manages to use old designs well - maybe China will build a radically modernised version of the H-6.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    H6 maybe less advance, but certainly its air frame is newer than most US B52s, and has a production line for new air frames.

    I think H6 is a proven and well worth design for the role it is performing...as a cruise missile or anti-ship platform, as well as recon, patrol and ECM platform.

    Certainly not as powerful as B52...however it doesnt have to be.

    An H6 carrying 2 cruise missiles are deadly (though B52 can carry 18-24). B52 was built to operate round the globe , H6 was not...but H6 is adequate for China's defense needs in the regional context. H6 maybe vulnerable to all forms of AD and combat aircraft...but so is B52...remember B52 has not been tested against a truly determined enemy with advanced AD, nor has it been used as a first-strike bomber without wild weasal cover, and I think PLAAF would also likely provide escorts for their H6s.

    About 'dedicated bombers', not a lot of them left these days in the world. Eg, UK and France as superpowers dont operate bombers, but use variants of current designs to fulfill strike/nuclear/missile roles.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    The Tu-16 remained in Soviet and later Russian service until 1993, with many different roles.
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/wo...ssia/tu-16.htm

    Its H-6 descendant will be undoubtedly retained by the PLAAF/AN as a very capable, flexible, reliable and low cost platform well into the 21st century:
    Many H-6A and H-6C aircraft were updated in the 1990s to the "H-6F" configuration, the main improvement being a modern navigation system, with a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation receiver, Doppler navigation radar, and inertial navigation system. New production began in the 1990s as well, with Xian building the "H-6G", which is a director for ground-launched cruise missiles; the "H-6H", which carries two land-attack cruise missiles; and now the "H-8M" cruise missile carrier, which has four pylons for improved cruise missiles and is fitted with a terrain-following system.
    http://www.vectorsite.net/avtu16.html

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    h-6m has a terrain following system? that's news to me. But... why? It's got zero stealth, it's not terribly manouverable, its engines are made to be most efficient at high speed-high altitude runs not to mention it doesn't have that much thrust to begin with, i would guess its speed at sea level is rather pitiful. Using h6 for any kind of low level strikes against an enemy with working AD network would be suicide. Even at high altitude it's forced to use stand off weapons, and at sea level those ranges would drop to at least half of their original value.

    On another note, just how many of the old h6s have been turned into missile carriers? Anyone?

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    Quote Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
    h-6m has a terrain following system? that's news to me. But... why? It's got zero stealth, it's not terribly manouverable, its engines are made to be most efficient at high speed-high altitude runs not to mention it doesn't have that much thrust to begin with, i would guess its speed at sea level is rather pitiful. Using h6 for any kind of low level strikes against an enemy with working AD network would be suicide. Even at high altitude it's forced to use stand off weapons, and at sea level those ranges would drop to at least half of their original value.
    On another note, just how many of the old h6s have been turned into missile carriers? Anyone?
    My guess is:
    1. To use it over Chinese or other friendly territory (or ocean) so the enemy long range radars won't detect it prior to the launching of its also low-flying cruise missiles.
    2. Probably most really old been converted to tankers, ELINT & other support roles. A missile carrier must be in top shape and sustain high mission capable rate, for obvious reasons!

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    Quote Originally Posted by sumdud View Post
    The Badgers are good enough for a bomber. Most bombers the size of Badgers and aove these days are used only for carpet bombing and LACM deliveries, neither of which requires much on performance or protection.

    What's the point? There is a production line anyway. The only thing I think they should do is replace the engine and add pylons. All else is fine. Not like it will go far either, I don't think there is a fighter that has the range to protect it.
    Carpet bombing is a thing of the past. Not many use that technique anymore. As long as the H-6 can fire cruise missiles, it will still prove reliable. Better and more powerful ALCMs plus the H-6 is still effective (as long as you have a good escort ).
    Last edited by renmin; 09-25-2006 at 08:48 PM.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    Based on the differences of unit numbers, there appears to be three PLAAF H-6H regiments, these ones using the YJ-63 missile, and one PLANAF H-6M regiment, this one using air launched YJ-83s or possibly YJ-62. There is probably another two or three H-6D regiments that launch the C-601/YJ-61, which still has a range of 180-200km.

    The role of low altitude interdictors are not with H-6s but with JH-7s and Q-5s. The Tu-16 by design was intended as a high subsonic speed, high altitude bomber.

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    Re: Question regarding the future of the H-6 bomber

    Quote Originally Posted by crobato View Post
    The Tu-16 by design was intended as a high subsonic speed, high altitude bomber.
    The B-1 was initialy designed as high altitude supersonic strategic bomber, but later was modified for low altitude penetrating conventional bombing missions.
    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-1b.htm
    http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=81
    The H-6 can fly low on reduced engine power just like regular passenger jets do during landings & after takeoffs before reaching their cruise altitudes.
    http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/groundattack/h6.asp

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