PLAN Anti-ship/surface missiles


latenlazy

Brigadier
There's an opportunity cost as well, more H-6s means less H-20s at some point. Basically I think PLA continues with H-6 because that's the best option it has - for now. It is useful as a missile carrier and can do a job but it is very far from state of the art, and very vulnerable other than at long stand-off ranges. As soon as H-20 and JH-XX come on stream I expect H-6 production to cease immediately.
H-6 right now is a cheap anti-ship missile truck. Capable for basic A2AD but not a penetrating attacker. Lots more defensive utility (protect from invaders) than offensive utility (invade and attack).
 

caohailiang

Junior Member
Registered Member
I can see the current modest level of H-6 production continuing, but not large numbers of new aircraft.

All the land targets in the 1st Island Chain are within 200km-1100km of the Chinese coastline.
If you need to deliver stand-off missiles, J-16s or drones or land-based missiles can do a better job.

If you're looking at targets beyond the 1st Island Chain, H-6s are vulnerable because they won't have much fighter cover.

Plus there aren't actually that many land targets left in the 2nd Island Chain and beyond.
And in terms of sea targets, there will only be a handful

you are missing the point.

wrt to range, what would be J16 combat radius with 4 heavy cruise missiles under its wing? also remember it is not gona take off from the coastline, typically it would be from a 200 km inland airbase
consider a scenario where you want to strike targets in Hokkaido or north Japan, are you going to redploy all J16 units to northeast of China and then take off from there? wouldnt it be much much more flexible to have H6 units basically taking off anywhere in the country and still able to strike?
 

drowingfish

Junior Member
Registered Member
I can see the current modest level of H-6 production continuing, but not large numbers of new aircraft.

All the land targets in the 1st Island Chain are within 200km-1100km of the Chinese coastline.
If you need to deliver stand-off missiles, J-16s or drones or land-based missiles can do a better job.

If you're looking at targets beyond the 1st Island Chain, H-6s are vulnerable because they won't have much fighter cover.

Plus there aren't actually that many land targets left in the 2nd Island Chain and beyond.
And in terms of sea targets, there will only be a handful
with H-6 you have a lot more flexibility. it has a greater range, can take off from further inland and take routes that are less predictable to the enemy.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
you are missing the point.

wrt to range, what would be J16 combat radius with 4 heavy cruise missiles under its wing? also remember it is not gona take off from the coastline, typically it would be from a 200 km inland airbase
consider a scenario where you want to strike targets in Hokkaido or north Japan, are you going to redploy all J16 units to northeast of China and then take off from there? wouldnt it be much much more flexible to have H6 units basically taking off anywhere in the country and still able to strike?

How many targets in Hokkaido or Northern Japan are you expecting?

There are only a handful of bases in this area

If both J-16s and H-6s have to launch standoff missiles like the CJ-10, they can do this over NE China.

---

In terms of costs, I've previously worked out that it is cheaper to launch LACMs from trucks from NE China than use a aircraft which has to launch similar standoff missiles at similar cost. You can do the calculations yourself

Alternatively, a stealthy bomber like an H-20 or GJ-11 would work out cheaper in the long run because it can get close enough to launch unpowered missiles. Again, you can work out the numbers yourself.

So large numbers of H-6 is not the answer
 

caohailiang

Junior Member
Registered Member
How many targets in Hokkaido or Northern Japan are you expecting?

There are only a handful of bases in this area

If both J-16s and H-6s have to launch standoff missiles like the CJ-10, they can do this over NE China.

---

In terms of costs, I've previously worked out that it is cheaper to launch LACMs from trucks from NE China than use a aircraft which has to launch similar standoff missiles at similar cost. You can do the calculations yourself

Alternatively, a stealthy bomber like an H-20 or GJ-11 would work out cheaper in the long run because it can get close enough to launch unpowered missiles. Again, you can work out the numbers yourself.

So large numbers of H-6 is not the answer
you are mixing a lot of things together

H6 use CJ10 as main weapon and indeed is in many occasions wasting a lot of range on that missile when hitting targets in the first island chain, but that is not the problem of H6 but rather lack of a proper standoff weapon with some 400nm range, which can be conceivably made within 1 ton of weight and have the H6 to carry 10 or 12 of them in one sitting, and still enjoy flexibility (to take off from WTC base and strike JP for example). How many such missile could J16 carry? what would be the J16 range when carrying those? the difference in power projection capability of these platform is simply not comparable

maybe lacking such a weapon is a mindful choice of PLA, there are 100nm range KD88 for tactical strikers (use case: TW, Korea, Vietnam, maybe Kyushu) and 1000nm CJ10 for H6 (use case: other parts of Japan, Philippines, Guam) , they are simply for different set of targets.

to your other points:
land based cruise missile just dont have the same tactical flexibility that ALCM has. one example is you can have H6 standing by at a few hundreds nm away and ready to launch follow up strike, and that strike will arrive within an hour, you simply cannot do that with land based missile. another example is, you cannot have a land based DF10 unit stationed in Guangdong hit targets in Misawa, but ALCM no matter where they are stationed, they can

and come on, there are so many targets north of 35 parallel that are better to strike from NE of China instead of SE of China, and in an all out war nobody is limiting valid targets to military bases
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
you are mixing a lot of things together

H6 use CJ10 as main weapon and indeed is in many occasions wasting a lot of range on that missile when hitting targets in the first island chain, but that is not the problem of H6 but rather lack of a proper standoff weapon with some 400nm range, which can be conceivably made within 1 ton of weight and have the H6 to carry 10 or 12 of them in one sitting, and still enjoy flexibility (to take off from WTC base and strike JP for example). How many such missile could J16 carry? what would be the J16 range when carrying those? the difference in power projection capability of these platform is simply not comparable

Thing look mixed up because different scenarios have different results, depending on the target and what platform or missile is used. For Northern Japan, I'd say the land-based trucks are better options for land-attack than either H-6s or J-16s

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It's not about weight. It's about the cost to deliver a payload to a specific target

A JASSM with a 370km range is $0.8M
A JASSM-ER with a 1000km range is about $1.3M

So it looks like an extra 600km-odd of range costs $0.5M

So let's take your example of a 400nm (740km) LACM launched from an H-6 for Northern Japan

If you add another 600km of range for $0.5M per missile, you can use trucks at negligible cost compared to an aircraft which is expensive to buy and operate. If an H-6 costs $80M, an H-6 would need to launch 160+ missiles before it works out cheaper.
And that assumes no H-6s get shot down or destroyed

You state H-6 production should be increased substantially.
Currently 6? are produced per year. So let's say production doubles to 12 per year.
In order for those extra 6 H-6s to work out cheaper than missile trucks for land-attack in the 1st Island Chain, it means they need to fire an extra 960+ JASSMs at Northern Japan.
I don't see Northern Japan having enough targets to justify 960 JASSMs



maybe lacking such a weapon is a mindful choice of PLA, there are 100nm range KD88 for tactical strikers (use case: TW, Korea, Vietnam, maybe Kyushu) and 1000nm CJ10 for H6 (use case: other parts of Japan, Philippines, Guam) , they are simply for different set of targets.

to your other points:
land based cruise missile just dont have the same tactical flexibility that ALCM has. one example is you can have H6 standing by at a few hundreds nm away and ready to launch follow up strike, and that strike will arrive within an hour, you simply cannot do that with land based missile. another example is, you cannot have a land based DF10 unit stationed in Guangdong hit targets in Misawa, but ALCM no matter where they are stationed, they can

and come on, there are so many targets north of 35 parallel that are better to strike from NE of China instead of SE of China, and in an all out war nobody is limiting valid targets to military bases

If you're looking at land-attack for Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, the KD88 looks overpowered to me for most targets.
J-16s should be able to get close enough to use large numbers of unpowered glide-bombs (110km range) or JDAMs in most cases.

Also you can't have large numbers of H-6s standing by in the air. An H-6 might only generate 1 sortie per day, and only have 4 hours on station. So if you want to organise a large H-6 airstrike, it takes hours to get enough H-6s in the air and in the right place.

In comparison, missile trucks have been proven to be ready in 15-30 mins

Remember that the cost of a DF-10 unit stationed in Guangdong is negligible compared to the cost of the equivalent H-6 bombers

I see H-6s being dedicated for antiship operations in the Western Pacific where their responsiveness actually does matter because ships move. Land targets don't move.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
@caohailiang

From an offensive point of view, the way I look at it is that:
1. There are a large number of potential targets.
2. Some are land-based and some are sea-based.
3. They also have different priorities.

You can then group many of these targets together based on the type and distance from China.
Then figure out what is the lowest cost means to successfully deliver payloads to each category of target. Whether that be H-6s, J-16s, H-20s, GJ-11s, drones, aircraft, trucks, ships etc etc

Based on the resources available, you figure out the optimal platform mix for the highest number of targets, and factor in the timescales to field these platforms.

I imagine the professionals have a far better feel for this than we do.

But one thing that stands out to me is how airborne delivery of heavy powered munitions is grossly inefficient compared to using land-based trucks if the distances are less than approx 1000km
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
@caohailiang
@drowingfish

Another example might be the H-6 versus the GJ-11.

The GJ-11 should have a payload of 2 tonnes and a range of 4000km (based its X-47B counterpart).
That is enough to cover the 1st Island Chain which includes Northern Japan.

Crucially, the GJ-11 is a flying wing design, so it should be able to evade low-frequency radar and use unpowered bombs like a Chinese version of the SDB-1 or JDAM. Both of these weapons only cost $40K compared to a minimum of $800K for a land attack cruise missile like the Tomahawk, JASSM or CJ-10.

If a GJ-11 carries 250kg JDAMs, it can attack 8 targets at a total cost of $0.32M in munitions.
A single H-6 bomber can carry 6 cruise missiles at a total cost of $4.8M+ in munitions.
You can see the munitions costs for an H-6 are going to be vastly higher.
And that doesn't take into account the higher procurement and operating cost of the H-6 versus the GJ-11.

So if you have large numbers of land targets within the 1st Island Chain, you can see that the GJ-11 is preferable to the H-6.

That is part of the rationale why I don't think we will see large numbers of new H-6s being produced
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
There's an opportunity cost as well, more H-6s means less H-20s at some point. Basically I think PLA continues with H-6 because that's the best option it has - for now. It is useful as a missile carrier and can do a job but it is very far from state of the art, and very vulnerable other than at long stand-off ranges. As soon as H-20 and JH-XX come on stream I expect H-6 production to cease immediately.

I'm doubtful that a new and separate JH-XX will actually appear.

The control surfaces would mean it can still be detected by low-frequency radar, which means it will still have to use expensive powered missiles to attack land and naval targets.

My read is that H-6 production will continue at current levels of (6?) per year, because there is still a requirement for a low-cost truck to carry heavy payloads and launch them offshore.

A H-6N can launch heavy payloads such as the:

CH-AS-X-13 ALBM (3000km? range)
WZ-8 Recon Drone (5000km? range, as per globalsecurity)
Plus future hypersonic vehicles

That matters because we see the US now fielding hypersonic weapons with a range of 3000km+
These could be located on Guam or on ships.
It means some US ships will be steaming some 3000-5000km away from the Chinese coastline.

But realistically, how many ships will there actually be to target?
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Say the H-20 costs $500M like the B-21. So for the cost of a single H-20, you might as well continue to buy 6 H-6s instead.
After 5 years, you'll have another 30 H-6Ns

From what I can see, the US is also on the losing side of the cost equation.

US hypersonic weapons with a range of 3000km+ cost $40M-$50M each
The launch platforms are the Zumwalt Destroyers which cost $4240M and Virginia SSNs which cost $3450M

In comparison, the equivalent [CH-AS-X-13 ALBM] has a range of 3000km and is based on the DF-21D.
The CSBA had an estimate of $10M for the US equivalent of a DF-21D missile.
Furthermore, the launch platform is the H-6N which costs around $80?M

We also have the DF-26B ASBM launched from land. The CSBA had an estimate of $23M per missile for the US equivalent.
 
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antiterror13

Brigadier
@caohailiang
@drowingfish

Another example might be the H-6 versus the GJ-11.

The GJ-11 should have a payload of 2 tonnes and a range of 4000km (based its X-47B counterpart).
That is enough to cover the 1st Island Chain which includes Northern Japan.

Crucially, the GJ-11 is a flying wing design, so it should be able to evade low-frequency radar and use unpowered bombs like a Chinese version of the SDB-1 or JDAM. Both of these weapons only cost $40K compared to a minimum of $800K for a land attack cruise missile like the Tomahawk, JASSM or CJ-10.

If a GJ-11 carries 250kg JDAMs, it can attack 8 targets at a total cost of $0.32M in munitions.
A single H-6 bomber can carry 6 cruise missiles at a total cost of $4.8M+ in munitions.
You can see the munitions costs for an H-6 are going to be vastly higher.
And that doesn't take into account the higher procurement and operating cost of the H-6 versus the GJ-11.

So if you have large numbers of land targets within the 1st Island Chain, you can see that the GJ-11 is preferable to the H-6.

That is part of the rationale why I don't think we will see large numbers of new H-6s being produced

Is there any confirmation that current H-6 series is powered by domestic engine WS-18 and no longer with D-30KP-2 ? How is the performance of WS-18 ?
 

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