PLAAF JH-XX / H-X bomber project


crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
The US has over 13,000 manned military aircraft while China has only 3,200. Clearly the US aviation industry (not just civilian but military too) is far more mature and their industrial base and ability to mass produce aircraft is still far superior.

Idk when China will catch up, maybe 20 years? Such arbitrary numbers, ultimately I don't even know if China is catching up in raw numbers.
Important to bring up that the US has defense interests that span across the globe, China on the other hand is only interested in defending our homeland, the South China Sea, and the island chains for the time being
 

silentlurker

Junior Member
Registered Member
I think in the long term China will have to build some sort of fast long distance strike aircraft. i.e. the mythical JH-XX.
It is a bit of a shame the Tu-22M3 sale didn't happen.
What task would a Tu22 be able to perform that a H6 wouldn't be able to handle?
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
The US has over 13,000 manned military aircraft while China has only 3,200. Clearly the US aviation industry (not just civilian but military too) is far more mature and their industrial base and ability to mass produce aircraft is still far superior.

Idk when China will catch up, maybe 20 years? Such arbitrary numbers, ultimately I don't even know if China is catching up in raw numbers.
With 4 time larger defence budget I am not surprise So it is question of priority China defence budget constitute only 1 to 2 % of GDP compare 3 to 4% of US with much larger GDP. ADd to that late entry into industrial world The other thing China does not have world wide commitment like US. So It does make sense China is slower than US in weapon production

China still middle income country that is more concerned with lifting her people out of poverty and improve the quality of life of their citizen. Take rail line even with fanfare of HSR China railway total is only 130000 km compare to 200000 of US with more of less the same geographical size
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
The US has over 13,000 manned military aircraft while China has only 3,200. Clearly the US aviation industry (not just civilian but military too) is far more mature and their industrial base and ability to mass produce aircraft is still far superior.

Idk when China will catch up, maybe 20 years? Such arbitrary numbers, ultimately I don't even know if China is catching up in raw numbers.
... I mean who cares? This isn't a pissing contest about industry capacity.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
The US with over 13000 manned fighters was in a place far ahead for most of the history of those 13000 fighters. China couldn't and didn't produce anywhere near that number of J-6/7/8 and imported fighters because it couldn't afford to. Even producing 10,000 J-10 and J-16 just to "catch up" to USAF and USN numbers is not something that can realistically be done even now. Not that it would be even a remotely sensible thing to consider.

The US need to station quite a lot of those fighters around the world although obviously the nominal force stationed in and around the US mainland is many times greater than China's fighter numbers. They have been industrialised and wealthy for a lot longer. They've also been the dominant military power for over half a century now. Why would anyone need to bring this number comparison into a debate about China's current production rates?

China shouldn't be aiming to match US fighter numbers. China would go broke trying. In any potential war scenario, the US can only bring about 11 carriers worth of fighters and whatever is stationed in bases near China. That number is far smaller than Chinese fighter numbers and those bases and carriers will be receiving a lot of firepower before those fighters can take off, and definitely before those fighters can land and rearm.

So if the case is just about increasing production rates, well there are economic costs to that and the people managing and deciding the rates have a better understanding of what's achievable for what cost and what could be considered enough.

@banjex why does it matter?

Why would China waste finite resources in spamming fighters? There are much more important things and the US could not bring that many fighters and what PLAAF and PLANAF have is already many times higher numbers than that. You people realise all fighters have actually pretty abysmal range right? Humans have not reached a technology level that allows planes to run for that long. Especially if a fighter is carrying ordinance and plans on turning a few times. This is why carriers are the ultimate offensive weapon and denying carriers closer range is all important for countries like China.

F-22s and F-35s by many accounts have horrifically bad serviceability rates and associated costs and downtime. People just imagine fighters being bomb trucks slogging it away non-stop when in reality out of 100 fighters maybe 20 are operational in status.

@sinophilia, we don't have all the details about the specifics of the threats so we can't make a good assessment on what would be an ideal production rate for fighters like J-10C, J-16, and J-20. We'd all like them to be built in great numbers but there are huge opportunity costs too. The current production rates that we have a clue of are already the highest behind the US. These production rates are themselves already impressive but of course not as impressive as China's ship building rate. That should say something about where priorities are.

If you compare the program speed and production - service rates of J-20 with T-50/Su-57 which was revealed around the same time as J-20, the J-20's rate is far more impressive. It's even many times better than the Su-35 production which Russia is totally committed to. Europe doesn't manufacture any fighters except Rafale now and that rate is maybe half of the J-10C's production rate and all France is building when it comes to fighters. The Indian Tejas and Swedish Gripen rates? When it comes to the US, it's just still many times better funded than China's programs. They have industrial power and the funding to achieve those production rates. Not much you can do because you'll run broke trying to match. You can only focus in other areas but thankfully, they don't have the range.

The US wants an extremely long ranged future carrier fighter that needs to flying into central China from third island chains and back to carrier. You can see they are not satisfied with what the F-35 can offer and hurrying these new replacement projects.
 
Last edited:

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
What task would a Tu22 be able to perform that a H6 wouldn't be able to handle?
The Tu-22M has much better speed and performance. Higher flight ceiling and better range. However it's totally incompatible with Chinese weapons so PLAAF would have to buy Russian equipment and weapons for a small fleet of bombers. So a purchase is simply not going to happen these days.

A JH-x project is almost definitely around since the JH-7A does need a replacement and something in the size of Tu-22 or H-6 in a modern, stealth platform isn't necessary anymore. With stealth drones and any future JH-x the middle ground has no utility. Heavy payloads would go to the H-20. Of course if there weren't such stealth bomber and attack plane projects, then something like the Tu-22 may make more sense if they could accommodate YJ/KD/CJ/DH missiles and special purposes like lifting WZ-8 drone, single stage to orbit craft, and air launched ballistic missiles like the modified H-6 can for all three.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
There's a difference between looking at production capacity in context of overall military procurement and strategic competition and pining for the idea of matching or exceeding production of XYZ domain for the sake of competition alone.
The US had well over 10,000 fighters when China barely started industrialising and building a half acceptable airforce not too much better than an average smaller nation or industrialising populous one. The US was military superpower for a long time and there are residual qualities even if it were to totally lose the edge and it was nowhere near that during the 4th gen fighter era. Quite the opposite.

But the American aviation industrial power is still tremendous to this day and China's is indeed nowhere near it in production capability which isn't a glamourous sounding area but definitely a difficult one. The manufacturing engineering part of the problem is definitely more challenging than the designing part. Manufacturing to tolerance and specs with time, money, and material considerations is something few have ever managed. American and Chinese scale helps but China's still impresses given how far behind it was not even that long ago. Comparing nominal rates now with the US is utterly futile and not even worth mentioning.
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
The US had well over 10,000 fighters when China barely started industrialising and building a half acceptable airforce not too much better than an average smaller nation or industrialising populous one. The US was military superpower for a long time and there are residual qualities even if it were to totally lose the edge and it was nowhere near that during the 4th gen fighter era. Quite the opposite.

But the American aviation industrial power is still tremendous to this day and China's is indeed nowhere near it in production capability which isn't a glamourous sounding area but definitely a difficult one. The manufacturing engineering part of the problem is definitely more challenging than the designing part. Manufacturing to tolerance and specs with time, money, and material considerations is something few have ever managed. American and Chinese scale helps but China's still impresses given how far behind it was not even that long ago. Comparing nominal rates now with the US is utterly futile and not even worth mentioning.
People keep saying that the US has more than 10000 fixed wing combat aircraft. Can somebody give a rough break down of the in-service combat aircraft the US currently field. To my knowledge, the number of fighter jets the US currently operates are not that much more than China.
 

Top