Saw this today. What do you think? Another red-herring story? Or the real thing?Aviation News EU said:
December 28, 2012
China buys production line for Tu-22MB bombers from Russia for US$1.5 billion including transfer of all the technology.
China has already imported 6 such bombers which are better than China’s own H-6 bombers being able to carry a bigger load and with a longer range.
The Tu-22MB Tupolev Backfire is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber.
According to Chinese military expert Ma Dingsheng, the swing-wing of Tu-22MBenables it to conduct maritime attack. It can first adjust its wings in a position that enables it to fly at super-low attitude without being detected by enemy radar. When it comes near its target, it changes its wing position to enable it to clime up quickly to conduct sudden attack.
However, Ma said that for production of the bombers, China still needs quite a few parts that it cannot produce especially the engines. It is thought that there is a contract to supply the parts for the production of 36 such bombers.
China has to develop its own ability to produce the parts, especially the engines. Otherwise, if Russia refuses to provide more parts, China will be unable to produce more and even have difficulty in maintenance of the bombers.
First I had heard about the PRC already having six of them. Anyone else hear of this?
The TU-22M is a very dangerous weapons system to this day. The US used the F-14 and Phoenix Missile to counter for carriers. The F/A-18F and the latest AMRAAM missiles have the same capability.
The Russians were prepared to deploy one or two regiments of these aircraft against each carrier. Will China build that many?
Interesting development if true.