China's transport, tanker & heavy lift aircraft


Lieutenant General
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Nice, but IMO overall the manufacturing rate in china is much too low !:(

How many of them are operational? We know 11051 & 11052 confirmed + two more un-serialled ones from Zhuhai (however reportedly on of them the final prototype) ... so this would be the 5th delivered to the 4. Transport Division.

Similar the rate at CAC producing J-10s and J-20s is much too low and even worse is the rate at SAC.


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Why is that production rate too low...? Unless China is intending to go to war soon, ramping up production of expensive equipment beyond sustainable long term rates is probably not the best use of resources. Look at the US as an example. Their industrial supply chains went all out during the cold war and now they have stopped producing a whole host of platforms because they have enough numbers/ no money/ no need, including the C-17 and C-5 as strategic transports. But it means that if in the not too distant future they need to ramp up or develop new platforms, they are in some regards starting from a stand still (workers move on, expertise gets old, design evolves, suppliers go out of business). Isn't there something to be said for maintaining a sustainable production rate so that the production of transports (and other platforms) never has to stop in a sense? That way development and production teams and facilities are always current. If you want 100 transports, and make 4 a year, that is a 25 year production run, with retirements ensuring it continues without interruption, and you always have 100 transports that are in peak condition. That keeps planning easy, people in jobs, knowledge current, allows for upgrades and development etc...If there is war, then, like the US in WW2, you can ramp up to flood the battlefield by spending money on the latest available platforms.

F35 and LCS concurrency strategy have also been big examples of what not to do with new high tech platform development. Y20 doesn't even have WS-20 ready, so going all out on production is probably not a great idea right now (even if they pre-designed for the switch down the road).