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Discussion in 'Air Force' started by Jeff Head, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    The Russians can't afford to fully develop the Su-57. So they know they can't develop and buy an entirely new stealth bomber.

    And remember that in the old days, radars weren't as good or as cheap as they are now.

    Hypersonic bombers or airliners are different from supersonic aircraft
     
    #191 AndrewS, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  2. gelgoog
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    gelgoog Senior Member
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    Can't they? I think they can. The Su-57 is following a typical Russian development cycle. In fact it has had a less protracted development than other late Soviet aircraft. I think the main issues are that i) current production is kinda artisanal. It needs more modern production methods to become affordable ii) the Izdeliye 30 engine is not in production yet. This means mass production will be delayed until those issues are solved. Unlike the USA which made, what, 200 F-35s which are only useful for trainer purposes and cannot be easily upgraded to combat status? Russia does not have money to waste like that. In the meantime they will just continue to churn out Su-30M, Su-35, and Su-34 aircraft which are tried and tested.

    Some issues can only be solved with time and throwing more money at the problem won't make them vanish much quicker.

    Also imagine one thing. Compute the amount of engines Russia has exported to China so far. How many J-10s alone? Almost 400. That would be enough to manufacture 200 Su-27 derived aircraft. Imagine the Chinese import supply dries up completely and that engine engine production just became available for domestic consumption. Do you use it or continue idling the production units until the next engine generation comes online?

    With regards to the stealth bomber I think they put it into the backburner but it was not totally canned. The Russians are suffering from a similar syndrome which happened in Soviet times where they had multiple overlapping defense projects. One example is the supposed to happen Tu-95 engine upgrade. The stealth bomber program was delayed IMHO because of similar issues with engines and maybe yet unsolved issues with the flight control system avionics due to the new aircraft's novel geometry. Say imagine they did the math and figured out that with an NK-32 derived engine the stealth bomber would have less range than the Tu-95. Well the Russians have close to no air refueling capacity and forward airbases. Then imagine it turns out that the design has similar range to the Tu-160M. Perhaps with one Tu-160M refuel operation. Would you continue to pursue the stealth bomber project at a quick pace? When you know that the bomber is mainly of use against 2nd tier nations and that bombing a 1st tier nation will result in a nuclear conflict? Would you insist on production, knowing that you will likely still not have the avionics issues fixed on time, or wait until more advanced turbofan engine cores like the PD-35 become available before you make the bomber thus mitigating the range issues?

    I expect Russian exports to rise over the next three years, boosting their GDP, and to also see an increase in their defense spending corresponding to that GDP increase after that period say in 2020-2021. The Russian government is currently focused on strengthening their economic tissue at the cost of defense spending because they consider themselves to be adequately protected with their new early defense network, ballistic missiles, SAM systems and are focused inward. Lately Russia has been doing infrastructure investments which had been delayed for decades. They are also modernizing their industry and I mean it for real. They have enough modernized aircraft to fight a regional conflict. When you look at the amount of military resources they have and what they have devoted in Syria I have to congratulate the Russians for managing to make such significant changes in the course of the war with such minimal resources. Much of the aircraft military industrial complex has been switched to civilian aircraft production to do import substitution. The Russians are hunkering down in case the sanctions war intensifies.

    Also I expect to see China more involved in international conflicts over the next decade so perhaps Russia will not be alone in trying to curb USA empire building abroad.
    They need to test their military otherwise they cannot make the most of their improved equipment. Already they participate in UN missions and went into that large scale exercise with the Russians. This is just a hint of things to come I think. For example once the USA leaves Afghanistan it is quite possible the Chinese will move in.
     
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  3. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    Russia is already at $28K on a per capita GDP basis and is still a petrostate even after decades of trying to get away from this.

    When you combine that with the low level of R&D spending (1.1% of GDP), an atrocious business environment, and a declining population - Russia is looking at growth of possibly 1.5% per year.

    And when you consider how Russia is already spending a really high 4% of GDP on the military, I think it's likely that we will see a sustained decrease in military Russian spending in the next 5 years.

    ---

    You also say that a stealth bomber is useless to Russia because it will only be used against 2nd tier nations, because a war against 1st tier nations will end up in a nuclear conflict.

    Remember the B-2 was built during the cold war precisely to attack the USSR. And that the B-21 (USA) and H-20 (China) are currently being built precisely for use against other 1st tier (nuclear armed) nations.

    ---

    Personally, I still think China will avoid international military conflicts in the next decade. The benefits of getting directly involved rarely justify the costs, particularly when China's strategy is to use its economic heft to curb US empire building and US influence.

    Remember that in 2018/2019, China was expected to become the world's largest consumer retail market and also the world's largest R&D spender (as per the NSF report to Congress).

    China's GDP in PPP terms in 2018 is also 25% larger. And going forward, these metrics are growing a lot faster than in the USA.

    So in the long run, China has the domestic market to support the development of world-class companies in every industry.

    China is already the centre of the Asian/Global economy and supply chain, and that won't change even with Trump's trade war.
     
  4. gelgoog
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    gelgoog Senior Member
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    Like I said elsewhere Russia has done more in agribusiness exports than military exports last year. Those who call it a petrostate overly simplify their position. Just check how many nuclear reactors they are building worldwide for example. Putin has done quite major investments into Russia's economic sectors ever since the 2007 financial collapse. Russia has also drawn in several foreign capital investors or partners.

    I also used to think China would not get involved into any major conflict over the next decade. But, much like the ban on oil exports to Japan eventually led to WW2, I think the Chinese are acutely aware the same could happen with them. Hence all the projects they have invested on to prevent an oil embargo. Had other leaders been in charge of China like back when Hu Jingtao was the leader there I highly doubt it would reach that point. But ever since Xi got into power and put himself into that position IMHO China has been gearing up for a major conflict with the West. First he started by suppressing internal dissent. He has basically been doing political purges across the entire spectrum of Chinese high society. Also there has been a major clamp down on voices which express internal dissent. If China waits too long it also gives the USA, Japan, and Korea a chance to rearm. So a war might start sooner than what we might expect. If the USA ramps up weapons exports to Taiwan for example it is likely the Chinese will just attempt to wrestle it away I think.
     
  5. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    Agriculture is yet another commodity, which is solely price dependent because it doesn't require much in the way of technology or manpower. Yes, Russian agriculture exports are currently booming because of the utter collapse in the currency. But when Russia's currency returns to a more normal level, that agricultural output will disappear.

    Russia inward and domestic investment is basically non-existent, despite what you think. The statistics over the past few years reflect this.

    You also have to look at Russia's nuclear industry is an exception as it is reliant on government to government contracts.
    Russia simply is not competitive across the vast swathe of its economy.
    Also consider how every other country is deliberately killing their own nuclear companies.
    Even China is downgrading its nuclear plans, yet actually has the most nuclear power plants actually under construction.
    And part of the reason is that renewable energy costs are now competitive with nuclear and coal, yet prices are still dropping rapidly for wind/solar/batteries.

    Oil security has always been in the background as a security issue for every major country. China is no exception to this rule.

    You also seem to think time is not on China's side, which is simply not true. China has ample industrial and financial capacity for a huge military buildup, if it chooses to do so.

    And if China and Xi Jinping actually was actually gearing up for a major war, then why has Chinese military spending still been stable at a very modest 2% of GDP? There's no reason why it can't be much higher, given that Russia and the USA were normally at 4% of GDP for the past decade.
     
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  6. Deino
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    Deino Brigadier
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    Guys ... now it is enought off-topic and politics. Stay at least within PLAAF issues.
     
  7. maddogy4645
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    maddogy4645 New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    The US is unwilling to share techs of F22 with its allies even though F35 is newer and may be considered superior from a technological point of view. Does the F22 incorporate ANY tech (not referring to design differences) that is superior to the F35? My layman's understanding is that F35's radar, engine, avionics are more advanced or at least more up--to-date than the older F22.
     
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  8. Deino
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    Deino Brigadier
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    And why do you post this in the PLAAF section??

    Please take care if such a question fits to the topic ...
     
  9. stan hyd
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    stan hyd New Member
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    At this point in time, only the US has a global reach with its Air Force being able to strike any location on the map theoretically. How long until PLAAF has the same reach?
     
  10. gelgoog
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    gelgoog Senior Member
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    They already can hit most of the globe with the DF-41. With regards to the Air Forces, without carriers, it is hard to make something like that economically feasible. You can in theory make a worldwide reach subsonic bomber aircraft with current technology. But a fighter escort? Something which can ensure air superiority? They will require the carrier program to do that. In short what you will see in the future for the Chinese Air Force in that area will likely be improved long distance bombers, air resuply capabilities, a decent sized carrier program with the appropriate aircraft. The only other thing which China could do is overseas air bases. Which might happen. It is not like the Chinese have not built vacant airports in a couple of places as a part of OBOR for example. China should have in like 5 years similar or better expeditionary forces than the UK or France do for example and those countries are quite active internationally.

    Something like the US's network of military bases though is just IMHO a useless drain of resources.
     
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