China Flanker Thread II


Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
You keep pushing that angle of thought in various threads here, which is just misinformation in my opinion. If J-20 as a base platform is not suited for strike missions (on top of fighter missions) then so is F-35, equally unsuited. So was F-117, equally unsuited. Though the latter was very narrowly specialized for that single role.

J-20 is a large plane, with a large internal weapons bay and seemingly a lot of internal fuel. It's stealthier than anything else in Chinese air force. It's actually THE tactical strike platform for a lot of missions, in theory. In practice, there's probably far too few of them around that they could also be trained and used for strike missions, at the moment. Which also may very well mean that no one actually bothered to wire the fire control system for air to ground weapons yet nor perhaps test in detail various weapons separations. That will all come in time, when more J-20 are produced.

Even if the argument of very long missiles is used, J-20 platform could still, once its wired for it, carry up to four of those externally. Probably almost matching the capacity of J-16 with similar weapons. (Su-35 is advertised being able to carry 5 Kh-59 weapons. And perhaps two smaller ones below intakes, if clearance allows it. J-20 should be able to carry four large ones and two smaller ones inside weapon bays) And still be somewhat less visible to radar while doing it. It may hurt a bit range wise, but that's too hard to assess really. J-16 isn't that great with range either, if it's anything like Su-30's 3000 km ferry range.

A platform that is more easily killed may not be more cost effective at all in the long run, when 2 or 3 flankers get killed per same mission where a single J-20 would get killed in.

I am aware this may all be too much off topic for current forum moderators so I don't plan to reply any further to this discussion.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
The J-11 is just a much better strike package than the J-20. The J-20 is better at interception and air superiority, but it sacrifices strike ability as we see that the FC-31 has about the same internal payload. Unless the J-20 is eventually developed into a strike variant (redesigned weapons bays), and then you have the JH-XX competing for the same slot, the J-11 is more suitable for carrying large AShMs or even light hypersonic AShMs as with the Su-35.

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Put another way, the PLAAF has a strike problem right now, The J-20 is strike-capable, but unable to carry large missiles stealthily, making it vulnerable to AEW&C and surface counter-stealth radar. The JH-XX could fill the gap with a tactical fighter-bomber that can do heavy interception and heavy-bombing, but the JH-XX is vaporware as far as we're aware. And of course you could do a JH-20, but the JH-20 is even more vaporware than the JH-XX. The J-11 platform, on the other hand, is mature and just needs some retrofits to enhance its strike ability. The J-11 can't carry anything stealthily, of course, but it's cheap relative to the J-20 and is thus a more cost-effective striker.
But we're talking about an air superiority fighter in J-11D/E. The PLAAF uses the J-16 as multirole strike fighter. So why build a J-11 strike and a J-16 strike. You seem to have responded to my post with the attitude that J-11 is being upgraded perhaps to fit a strike role. Well isn't that role already filled with a flanker? If there are some more pressing strike gaps in PLAAF, why use a single seat flanker? And not the numerous and countless drones available to PLAAF? The JH-xx and H-xx sort of are the future gap fillers and certainly for different roles. GJ-11 is a stealthy striker limited by range and payload sure because it's a UAV.

To be honest I don't think PLAAF has a strike problem at all. It has a naval threat problem. Regional bases and priority sites are targeted by various missiles and rockets coming from land and sea based platforms. It needs better anti-sub and anti-surface and air superiority, not better strike. Certainly inside Chinese mainland, the dedicated PLAAF strike necessity diminishes even more and this is ignoring the already decent air based strike capabilities offered by JH-7A, J-16, J-20 and the dozen or so drones types.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
J-11D/E project existing goes towards showing how costly and complex a J-20 is. Can't understand why spend the money developing and buying J-11D/E. Wouldn't going all in with J-20 and newer platforms be moving forward while controlling the costs? Maxing production efficiency for J-20 should be where AVIC spends the money. As sentimental as dwelling on beautiful flankers is, the west is moving towards 6th gen and novel air combat platforms and ideas. Can't help but feel playing with flankers at this age is slow progress even with TVC and neat new electronics.

Unless the whole thing is either a small side project for more junior engineers at SAC to incorporate a TVC and new flight controls into a J-11B, or a one off test like the J-10 TVC experiment that somehow benefits a SAC future platform's TVC system. The J-11BG updates are just quick and easy switches to AESA units to keep these 4th gens relevant today and capable of making use of PL-15 and whatnot.
Firstly, it takes time and money to ramp up J20 production and build up numbers. The PLAAF have operational needs and cannot simply stop all other procurement while it waits for J20 numbers to gradually build up.

Secondly, a lot of the J20’s advantages are first day of war advantages in that once you have cleared the skies of hostiles, a J11 will perform just as well as a J20 if not better for the rest of the war.

Thirdly, numbers and operating costs matter. Even the USAF are buying new built F15s in 2020 and beyond.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Firstly, it takes time and money to ramp up J20 production and build up numbers. The PLAAF have operational needs and cannot simply stop all other procurement while it waits for J20 numbers to gradually build up.

Secondly, a lot of the J20’s advantages are first day of war advantages in that once you have cleared the skies of hostiles, a J11 will perform just as well as a J20 if not better for the rest of the war.

Thirdly, numbers and operating costs matter. Even the USAF are buying new built F15s in 2020 and beyond.
Then you are ignoring the time it would cost to get J-11D/E design done and production settled. Taking time for J-20 production and whatnot doesn't explain introducing a J-11D/E, which is why I am doubting this. I believe it is a TVC and vectored thrust flight control test rig for SAC. Perhaps even simply the formal J-11BG just with new electronics and useful but utilitarian and opportunistic changes.

Due to the considerable time and effort a new J-11D/E represents, I am doubting this possibility. PLAAF could just buy more J-16 and J-11BG while having one off test rigs for TVC experimentation for their future TVC projects if learning on a flanker platform is worthwhile.

Now if it is indeed a Sino-Su-35 basically a J-11BG or J-11D with TVC, then PLAAF is indeed making a blunder by choosing to procure a fighter that isn't pushing anything and not exactly going to offer any capability improvements over J-11BG and J-16. If operational needs is the reason, why not spend that time and money on more J-16 and quicker upgrades for J-11B like we're already witnessing?

Buying more Su-35 is not sensible unless they can fire Chinese ordinance. Sinking billions into more Su-35 and more Su-35 weapons isn't sensible budget management. That's just a side note on why it's unlikely PLAAF will ever buy more Su-35s. Su-57s on the other hand... that new video of it :eek:o_O ... probably the coolest looking fighter that's ever left a real factory.
 

Inst

Senior Member
You keep pushing that angle of thought in various threads here, which is just misinformation in my opinion. If J-20 as a base platform is not suited for strike missions (on top of fighter missions) then so is F-35, equally unsuited. So was F-117, equally unsuited. Though the latter was very narrowly specialized for that single role.

J-20 is a large plane, with a large internal weapons bay and seemingly a lot of internal fuel. It's stealthier than anything else in Chinese air force. It's actually THE tactical strike platform for a lot of missions, in theory. In practice, there's probably far too few of them around that they could also be trained and used for strike missions, at the moment. Which also may very well mean that no one actually bothered to wire the fire control system for air to ground weapons yet nor perhaps test in detail various weapons separations. That will all come in time, when more J-20 are produced.

Even if the argument of very long missiles is used, J-20 platform could still, once its wired for it, carry up to four of those externally. Probably almost matching the capacity of J-16 with similar weapons. (Su-35 is advertised being able to carry 5 Kh-59 weapons. And perhaps two smaller ones below intakes, if clearance allows it. J-20 should be able to carry four large ones and two smaller ones inside weapon bays) And still be somewhat less visible to radar while doing it. It may hurt a bit range wise, but that's too hard to assess really. J-16 isn't that great with range either, if it's anything like Su-30's 3000 km ferry range.

A platform that is more easily killed may not be more cost effective at all in the long run, when 2 or 3 flankers get killed per same mission where a single J-20 would get killed in.

I am aware this may all be too much off topic for current forum moderators so I don't plan to reply any further to this discussion.
For cost it's suboptimal. It's strike capable, and definitely better at strike than the F-22, but how does it compare, for cost, to the Su-57? How about the FC-31?

And when it comes to survivability, long missiles have long range, short missiles have short range. The kinematics on JSM-class missiles are garbage. They might see you earlier, but if you're screened by stealth fighters, the most they can do is try to launch SM-3s at you and you may have ECM measures to counter.

I absolutely agree with you, however, that it is the best analogue in the PLAAF in 5th gen for the JH-7 class roles, as it's stealthy, fast, and can put a stealth strike payload out. It is probably comparable to the F-35 in terms of stealth payload, but then we go back into the J-20 cost argument and like you, I don't want to put that here.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
@Inst ... please not again!

I already moved all that "Russian-AAMs are great"-stuff into the Su-35 thread, no need to continue yet another thread with endless off topic discussions.
 

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