J-15 Carrier Multirole Fighter thread

Discussion in 'Navy' started by Jeff Head, May 30, 2011.

  1. Ashbringer_NEU
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    Ashbringer_NEU New Member
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    Dude I have to say you sounds like a Shenhei or Chengfen which means people who hates SAC and likes CAC in Chinese military forum LOL. I prefer CAC among them,too, personally I hope CAC can win the competition of Chinese fifth-generation carrier plane XD.

    But I have to say that it is not that easy like you think, first of all, like I mentioned, carrier-based J-10 requires lots of redesigning work, it also takes a long time. Besides, CAC is trying their best to provide PLAAF and PLAN J-10 now, CAC did produce many J-10s recent years, but its capability is still not even enough for the demands from PLAAF and PLAN.

    BTW, I think one of the reason that SAC produced such few J-15 is that J-15 was still under test and refine process, after all carrier-based plane is a totally new area for entire AVIC, SAC needs to upgrade J-15 after pilots flying and testing J-15. Since now normal production of J-15 has started, the speed of production may be faster.
     
  2. plawolf
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    plawolf Brigadier

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    For those who are complaining about China building J15s too slowly, has it every occurred to you that that is by choice?

    China is making serious headway with EMALs development, and the first catapult J15 has just been revealed by leaked pictures.

    Catapult launched fighters are the future. The current J15s are just an interim stop gap measure, and will likely be limited to just the Liaoning, and maybe her sister.

    All subsequent PLAN carriers should come with EMALs as standard, and if the Chinese designers did their jobs well, even the new build at Dalian could potentially have EMALs added during a MLU.

    Because of this, it makes zero sense for the Chinese to rush to make a huge number of J15s that will be unable to take full advantage of the new EMALs planned.

    SAC is likely building J15s are the slowest rate they could at this point. They are already enough built to allow training to progress unimpeded. They are just keeping the line open until the cat J15 is ready, at which point they will likely crack up the output volume again.
     
  3. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    I think we can safely assume at this point that there are 18 or a few more production J-15s available.

    For right now, given the training and development the Chinese are still doing for their carrier program, this is probably adequate.

    However, the second carrier, 001A, is coming right along. I doubt VERY seriously that she will ever have any kind of catapults. The Chinese have said as much.

    So, there will be two STOBAR carriers, each capable of carrying 20 or so J-15s available to the Chinese for the next several decades.

    I believe therefore that for training needs, for maintenance, for test, and for equipping those first two ships that the PLAN will probably build no fewer than fifty J-15s for those two carriers.

    But, IMHO, there is nothing at that says the CATOBAR capable fighters cannot fly off of the STOBAR decks. In fact, that is probably what will happen.

    We may see 24 or more of the initial J-15s followed by the J-15A (which has the CATOBAR capability, AESA, etc.) which could be used on both types.

    It is clear to me that the Type 002 carrier will most probably, at this point, be a CATOBAR carrier...probably conventionally powered.
     
  4. rhino123
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    rhino123 Pencil Pusher
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    http://mil.qianzhan.com/detail/130518-11c1caef_2.html

    Seen in the above mentioned website, J-10 and J-11 each lost two aircrafts in an exercise. Does this mean J-10 is on par with J-15?

    J-10 is a light to medium weight fighter, very agile and more suitable for aerial combat, while J-15 is a bigger aircraft with two engines (thus more power) and longer range as compared to J-10. In any case, they are aircraft designed for different purposes in mind and so they are not much better than each other. By saying J-10 is a much better aircraft than J-15, it is like claiming that F-16 is a much better aircraft as F-15 and we all know that was not the case, or US will not have such large number of F-15 still flying.
     
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  5. rhino123
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    rhino123 Pencil Pusher
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    Like wise, many western and Japanese analysts have mentioned that F-15 is a better plane that could defeat the J-10 easily. So does that amount to the J-10 is no good?
     
  6. rhino123
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    rhino123 Pencil Pusher
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    Let me see if I understand your sentence... you mean J-15 is a complement to J-10, with J-10 they could put less stress to J-15 production line? It don't really make sense here. First of all... you do realise that J-10 is CAC built and J-15 is SAC built, right? So they have separate production lines and separate group of engineers, operators, technicians, etc.
     
  7. rhino123
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    rhino123 Pencil Pusher
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    Yes... there are quite a few J-15 at the moment. But there are also not that many carrier borne pilots yet. It take time to train these pilots before giving them a plane to fly. Carrier pilots and normal fighter pilots are different, ask any US carrier base pilots and you will know. Also, have it also occurs to you that the J-15 is still not quite ready yet and there are still some experiments to do before going into full production rate? Remember, the Chinese only started operating aircraft carrier in recent years so it is a safe bet to go slow and steady.

    Does the Chinese has a navalized J-10 project in the pipeline? and if they have, how far ahead was this project. Remember, you cannot just dump any land base fighters into an aircraft carrier and hope they can take off and land like they do on normal ground and so they needed to be specially designed, strengthened, etc and that might take time. If the Chinese are starting only now, then by the time the J-10 (Naval version) is ready, wouldn't the J-15 already been further ahead in production and speciality? Don't forget, to a certain aspect, SAC based the J-15 on the Su-33 (which was already a navalized fighter) and so their R&D timeline might be much shorter than CAC which had absolutely no experience in designing and manufacturing Navalized fighters.
     
  8. Bltizo
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    Yes, that is a scenario I came to a few years ago as well, when I began considering how the development of a likely CATOBAR compatible J-15 would work for the navy's overall fighter fleet.

    I personally think they would do a good job to build 24-36 standard J-15s in total, enough to fully outfit the Liaoning with some aircraft spare on land, and the job of these aircraft would be to act as the platforms to train as many naval aviators as possible on the Liaoning.
    Of course, these aircraft would also be fully combat capable, but their avionics and weapons suite are definitely not cutting edge, so while they will be very viable in combat, there is no need for these initial aircraft to field top of the line subsystems. The result will be that Liaoning (and 001A) initially will likely both field a relatively modest number of standard J-15s as an interim combat capability but also as a way of rigorously training the aviators (and the associated deck crew of course).

    It will probably take up to 4 years until a CATOBAR compatible J-15A is fully ready for initial operation and mass production, and by then, I imagine 002 will also be ready for sea trials. If anything, J-15A might be ready for operation before 002 would be ready to receive it.
    The initial role of J-15A therefore would be to operate in a standard combat capacity aboard Liaoning and 001A (which by then should be commissioned an operational), as like you said there is no reason why a CATOBAR fighter cannot operate from a ski jump. The J-15A would likely field significantly more capable avionics and weapons than the standard J-15 as well, and could probably be considered a "long term mainstay" of the airwing.
    The other initial role for J-15A would also be used to rigorously test 002's catapults and the various other aircraft handling systems on 002, to ready 002 for operational capability.
    In the medium and long term beyond 2020, I expect J-15A to be mass produced primarily to outfit 002's airwing, but also to be produced even once 002's airwing is fully complete, to supplement and eventually fully replace Liaoning and 001A's standard J-15 airwings (which by then may have undergone significant airframe hours and may be relegated to other secondary shore based tasks rather than in a primary combat role). Of course, if additional 002s are built (which I expect at least one more) then more J-15As will be needed on top of it.

    The consequence of an all J-15A fleet, would be that the all of the carriers can crossdeck their tactical fighters with each other, regardless of whether they're CATOBAR 002 or STOBAR Liaoning and 001A carriers, which is obviously immensely important for flexibility of the overall carrier fleet.
     
  9. Iron Man
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    If the first two carriers are going to be STOBAR, why manufacture anything less than 50+ J-15s, the number needed to fully equip both carriers, with a few left over? CATOBAR-capable J-15s would not be needed for either of those carriers and mixing them with the STOBAR J-15s would be less than ideal from a logistics standpoint.
     
  10. Bltizo
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    The idea would be that all carriers (STOBAR, CATOBAR) in the medium term will field an all catapult compatible J-15A fleet, and the small number non catapult compatible and lower capability J-15s would be phased out (or at least relegated to other less front line tasks). The rationale would be to streamline logistics to a single type of J-15 in the naval aviation fleet, but also to increase flexibility -- so say if a J-15A took off from Liaoning or 001A, it could still land on an 002 carrier and be able to take off from it. Or putting it another way, all J-15As in the country will be able to be assigned to either Liaoning, or 001A or 002 (or any other carrier).
    For example, if a naval air base on land with J-15As gets attacked, J-15As from another naval air base can still operate from 002. OTOH, having a mixed fleet of J-15As and J-15s will mean if one base of J-15As gets wiped out, then the Navy is may be left with only J-15s that can take off from Liaoning and 001A and 002 thus is unable to launch J-15s of any kind (or 002 is only able to launch a smaller number of J-15As -- this of course is just one scenario of the risks of a lack of standardization, not meant to be exhaustive)

    There would be some costs -- specifically, the costs of additional structural enhancements between J-15 and J-15A to accommodate the stress of catapult launches -- but I think this can be vastly offset by reducing the number of standard J-15s purchased and increasing the total number of J-15As purchased, not to mention the significant benefits of providing increased flexibility and cross decking of an all J-15A fleet.

    There is also the avionics factor to consider -- current J-15s do not field very competitive subsystems, such as radar, and likely its cockpit can undergo a spruce up along with other avionics like ESM, EW. Part of this is because the current J-15s were designed in a time when the domestic industry couldn't reliably supply systems like AESA radars, and I suspect they cut costs and complexity deliberately by basing many of J-15's subsystems on J-11B.
    The catapult compatible J-15A OTOH should be able to leverage a much more advanced subsystem supply chain, and field AESA, improved avionics, and newer weapons systems etc, alongside the structural reinforcements.

    So, if the Navy does choose to manufacture 50+ non catapult J-15s like you suggest, then they will eventually have to eventually develop an upgrade package for these standard J-15s, while also fielding the J-15A which should come with these subsystems as standard. Or, they can try to develop both the J-15A and develop an "improved" non catapult compatible J-15 simultaneously, where both field the same newer subsystems but the only difference being the J-15A is structurally reinforced for catapult launches.
    But, I think it could be much cheaper to purchase a smaller number of non-catapult, older type J-15s as an interim capability for the two STOBAR carriers, and invest fully in a single standardized (and more capable) naval fighter for all carriers (STOBAR and CATOBAR) with a single avionics and subsystems chain and development pathway, without having to create an upgrade package for older J-15s or develop an improved non catapult J-15 alongside J-15A.

    This obviously is in addition to the long term benefits of cross decking/flexibility I mentioned above.
     
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