Yes H6 has been updated as the Chinese build new ones, yes the engines are old on B52 (talk of being replaced) the Cockpit has been updated a few times and is said to be again. However it really doesn’t matter.
H6 isn’t anymore survivable vs moder air defense than B52. You can’t Dale Brown Mega fortress either one. As such they are comparable as peers just as Tu95 is. Since military forces comparison for bombers of going to be based on survival, doctrine, payload. Without stealth Both jets end up in the same role hauling cruise missiles. It’s the missles that really are the deciding factor.
I dont think anyone proposes that H-6 should go and penetrate the enemy's airspace. I more-or-less see them as missile-trucksThe whole idea that bombers are survivable on their own against a credible adversary is disputable to begin with.
I even have some reservations on the general role of Penetration bombers as we know them. I am expecting that with the whole 6th gen coming we might see tremendous changes on how this mission is performedLCS is a hold over from the late 90s early 2000s when most people in the defense community were fighting to remain relevant. As a platform it was tailored for anti piracy anti smuggling missions. As such it’s better suited to the Gulf of Aden, Med or Gulf of Mexico.
Back when B52 was new back when Tu95 was new and so on, they were potentially survivable. Even into the early 1980s they could still potentially survive as very low level penetration is still relevant to this day. But increasingly it’s loosing credibility. The old bombers moved to cruise missiles. Penetration bombers became first super sonic and now Stealth.
Readiness rates in 1999 and 2000 were, iirc, 51% each. Those were before the ongoing wars in the Middle East.
I'll hunt down a cite. It was on FAS, iirc, since the US gov didn't put out the regular reports on readiness until relatively recently.
Even so, 1994 51% nine years after introduction. 1999/2000, 51% which is around 13/14 years later and in 2017 31 years later...51%.
The bird is a lemon and always has been.