H-6 Bomber Aircraft Discussions


ChineseToTheBone

New Member
Registered Member
I want to ask something here that might sound rather naïve, but are improved variants of the H-6 really anywhere close to being necessary for China at this point? I follow the multitude of discussions for bomber aircraft development on CJDBY and still remain unable to envision a single conflict within the full lifespan of these planes where any of them could ever be used. While there is definitely a more sensible reason in developing stealthy bomber aircraft for infiltrating weakened enemy airspace, surely evolutions of anything like the H-6 with its large radar signature and relatively slower flight will never be able to penetrate enemy airspace even once you gain air superiority given how easy to conceal portable guided missiles have become prevalent. Even once these new variants are developed, costs along the way in maintaining and employing these bomber aircraft could be put to use in operating bombing missions with faster and harder to kill jets plus more stealthy bombers in the near future.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
I want to ask something here that might sound rather naïve, but are improved variants of the H-6 really anywhere close to being necessary for China at this point? I follow the multitude of discussions for bomber aircraft development on CJDBY and still remain unable to envision a single conflict within the full lifespan of these planes where any of them could ever be used. While there is definitely a more sensible reason in developing stealthy bomber aircraft for infiltrating weakened enemy airspace, surely evolutions of anything like the H-6 with its large radar signature and relatively slower flight will never be able to penetrate enemy airspace even once you gain air superiority given how easy to conceal portable guided missiles have become prevalent. Even once these new variants are developed, costs along the way in maintaining and employing these bomber aircraft could be put to use in operating bombing missions with faster and harder to kill jets plus more stealthy bombers in the near future.
True, if the H-6 had to penetrate enemy airspace.

China should be able to achieve air superiority over Taiwan, so an H-6 can fly past into the empty Pacific Ocean.

Then an H-6 becomes a very cheap platform to launch long range drones and missiles - against Guam or carriers
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
These aircraft seem very impressive. I wonder how many of these aircraft China will end up purchasing?
Depends on the cost of a H-6.

It's listed with an MTOW of 79,000kg which is 2-3x heavier than the JH-7, Su-34 or F-15E strike fighters.

So I'm guessing somewhere between $70-$100M

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Plus how many drone and missile carriers does China need?

They can just continue with 6 per year for the next 10 years easily.
 
Depends on the cost of a H-6.

It's listed with an MTOW of 79,000kg which is 2-3x heavier than the JH-7, Su-34 or F-15E strike fighters.

So I'm guessing somewhere between $70-$100M

---
Plus how many drone and missile carriers does China need?

They can just continue with 6 per year for the next 10 years easily.
agreed, 6 a year sounds realistic, also to maintain production line which is very important. I think it will still continue in production even the new bomber H-20 start producing
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
To add my 2 cents, the biggest issue the H-6 series faces is the lack of growth potential. For while the PLAAF had made great efforts in prolonging it's service life don't get me wrong. The plane is still a 1950s design that is adapted to fill roles that it is not originally meant for.
In the face of advanced AA systems and fighter planes it is clear that the days of dumb bombs raids or even precision guided ones are a very risky business, so any modern strategic bombers have to make use of ASMs. The H-6 can do that but the number of missiles it can carry is limited compared to the other competitors out there, also externally mounted wing points drastically effects the flight performances of the plane which again was not an issue during the 1950s and thus far we have yet to see any rotary launcher being developed for the H-6.
 

Gloire_bb

Junior Member
Registered Member
The plane is still a 1950s design that is adapted to fill roles that it is not originally meant for.
it still does things what original design and/or its very early offshots were designed to do.
I.e. carrying big ASCMs. Because original Tu-16 was meant to do it long before even performing its first flight.
And it still excells at doing it, being able to carry huge, oversized external payloads better than any other platform in chinese service.
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
it still does things what original design and/or its very early offshots were designed to do.
I.e. carrying big ASCMs. Because original Tu-16 was meant to do it long before even performing its first flight.
And it still excells at doing it, being able to carry huge, oversized external payloads better than any other platform in chinese service.
Actually the Tu-16 was originally designed to be a free failing bomb bomber from the start, the missile upgrade was more an afterthought (Badger B variant), with the soviets developing the Tu-22M afterwards which was designed from the ground up to be a missile carrier.
While it is still the only plane in the PLAAF that can carry large sized missiles, it faces strict competition from the likes of the Tu-22M/160 and the B-1 of the US. So I won't put it pass the PLAAF if they are desirous for a newer design that borrows off the H-20 in some ways that is better suited for their A2/AD strategy, a larger bomber can free up more pilots and offers new growth expansion.
But this is a difficult thing to predict, seeing as so few nations are developing strategic bombers it is hard to forsee a trend or strategic thinking. But for the PLAAF, "larger" is certainly one of their priority.
 
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