J-20 goes operational

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5304
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post29 Nov 2018, 10:51

wrightwing wrote:They're still far less ambitious in terms of scope and reach. Their interests are primarily regional. They aren't building 10+ CVNs, 20+ LHA/LHD, hundreds of tankers, 100 AWAC/AEW, and their sub fleet is a lot more modest, too.


Well, not yet anyway.
"There I was. . ."
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1581
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post29 Nov 2018, 11:16

This bears more analysis. Pre-2002, military budget was under US$20b. China claimed a significant chunk was manpower costs.

Now its $150b. Even taking into account inflation, I don't think manpower costs will grow as fast. So the remaining either goes towards infrastructure, operations or capital equipment (plus some leakage for grease).

FP just did a piece on the "untested" military
https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/11/27/ch ... or-a-flop/

Its not just the focus on capital equipment. Its that China is probably spending a significant chunk of the budget to make sure the PLA knows how to use their weapons because of the lack of actual wartime experience. That value cannot be easily measured. On a simple example, hypothetically the Liaoning CV may already have conducted more sorties than the Kutz in the entire Kutz career. That could mean as much in war than more equipment where the soldiers do not know how to use.
Offline

tphuang

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018, 02:42

Unread post29 Nov 2018, 15:09

On this topic of what China can and will produce. I think there is a difference between navy and air force. And that comes down to their shipbuilding industry being far more advanced and competitive than their aerospace industry. They seem to be aiming for 6 carriers and a lot of escorts. Their recent shipbuilding program is comparable to what USN has and the quality of ships are also getting pretty good. And due to lower shipbuilding cost, China can build similar number of higher end ships with a much smaller budget and they don't have to support all of USN's deployment missions. PLAN is flush with too much hardware to know what to do with.

Their air force is quite starved in comparison. They couldn't build a large transport and engine for it until Y-20 came out recently. Now they got a huge requirement for that (maybe 200) and who knows how long it will take them to build that. They don't have an aerospace powerhouse like Boeing that can just ramp up and build 40 or 50 a year. So they've been stuck building An-12 derivatives. They are attempting a huge jump to build a stealth bomber, but until then, they are relying on Tu-16 derivatives. Who knows when that will happen. After being in service for 15 years, they can probably max out at producing 6 J-10s a month and that's assuming they can building engines for it (which they can't). It took them probably 30 years to finally develop something to replace S-70, because the local helicopter industry is so far behind and turboshaft industry is even further behind. They are still building variants of SA-321 super frelon, because that's all they have that's larger than Z-10 and can land on a ship. Working with Eurocopter to develop EC-175, they got a really advanced helicopter in Z-15 but they are having trouble getting a domestic turboshaft developed for it. And without a domestic option, they can't create versions of it for the army.

Having said that, they do have requirement for probably up to 1000 J-20/31s, but that might take 20 years to build. They have requirement for 200 Y-20s of different variety (transport, tanker, special missions platform and such), but that might take them 10 years to build.
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3266
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown
  • Warnings: 3

Unread post29 Nov 2018, 15:13

So.. very little to no combat experience for PLA. But... does anyone know if they have a Red Flag equivalent in China? This could mean only 1 of two things..

1.) In any real shooting war, the Chinese will be at a major disadvantage or..
2.) It might be like DS1, where the US had little to no combat experience, yet trounced a combat hardened Iraqi military.

You can argue scenario #2 was made possible by all the high tech the US invested in, but I'm not so sure that's the case. That technology had to work AND it had to be operated by skilled men/women. Indeed, they made it look easy in some cases. So it'll be interesting to see how the PLA deals with this dilemma. I don't see them engaging in regional conflicts to try and see if any of their new toys work...
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5304
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post29 Nov 2018, 16:26

mixelflick wrote:So.. very little to no combat experience for PLA. But... does anyone know if they have a Red Flag equivalent in China? This could mean only 1 of two things..

1.) In any real shooting war, the Chinese will be at a major disadvantage or..
2.) It might be like DS1, where the US had little to no combat experience, yet trounced a combat hardened Iraqi military.

You can argue scenario #2 was made possible by all the high tech the US invested in, but I'm not so sure that's the case. That technology had to work AND it had to be operated by skilled men/women. Indeed, they made it look easy in some cases. So it'll be interesting to see how the PLA deals with this dilemma. I don't see them engaging in regional conflicts to try and see if any of their new toys work...


#2 was because the US had half a century of air-warfare expertise under it's belt and had been practicing for decades to face the USSR using the most intense training they could dream up. The comparison to China couldn't be further from the truth.
"There I was. . ."
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1581
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 01:15

The focus on navy can also be interpreted to support local shipyards. If one looks at the past decade, global new build commercial orders have dropped significantly. Shipyards provide significant number of jobs in China. State owned shipyards in particular have a national duty to support jobs. China has too many shipyards and has seen significant consolidation/reductions in this sector. I won't be surprised even the CV build was more to support industry rather than military need. By contrast, aircraft production may be a growth area but is significantly smaller in employee scale and revenue generation, in addition to the technology issues.

The above may explain why the PLAN got more than the PLAAF. This trend will likely continue at least in the near future.

As to potential PLAAF fighter numbers, it is probably more realistic if one covers air brigade numbers, read with operational scopes, historical conops, historical production, current aircraft lifespans and industry capacities before suggesting future aircraft numbers.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1581
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 01:45

mixelflick wrote:But... does anyone know if they have a Red Flag equivalent in China?


Something similar. Golden helmet. Red arrow exercise.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... RR1416.pdf
http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/201 ... 040188.htm
Offline

nefory

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2018, 04:59

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 02:09

mixelflick wrote:So.. very little to no combat experience for PLA. But... does anyone know if they have a Red Flag equivalent in China?


Yes they do.
It's called, and you might chuckle, the "Red Sword". They do annually since 2003 at division/brigade level.
There's even a Green Flag equivalent, it's called the "Blue Shield".
And then there is the "Golden Helmet", a "free air-combat drill" (not sure what that means), supposedly DACT equivalent I guess.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1581
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 03:24

For avoidance of doubt, red arrow and red sword refers to the same exercise. Sword and Arrow is actually pronounced the same in mandarin so red arrow is probably a translation error. The difference with red flag is that its domestic not multi-national. International exercises are separately held e.g. Shaheen with Pakistan or vostok with Russia.

There is also a 4th major air combat training exercise which is "golden dart".

https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/CASI/D ... ng-brands/
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5304
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 04:20

weasel1962 wrote:This bears more analysis. Pre-2002, military budget was under US$20b. China claimed a significant chunk was manpower costs.

Now its $150b. Even taking into account inflation, I don't think manpower costs will grow as fast. So the remaining either goes towards infrastructure, operations or capital equipment (plus some leakage for grease).

FP just did a piece on the "untested" military
https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/11/27/ch ... or-a-flop/

Its not just the focus on capital equipment. Its that China is probably spending a significant chunk of the budget to make sure the PLA knows how to use their weapons because of the lack of actual wartime experience. That value cannot be easily measured. On a simple example, hypothetically the Liaoning CV may already have conducted more sorties than the Kutz in the entire Kutz career. That could mean as much in war than more equipment where the soldiers do not know how to use.


Compare how much an engineer/tech/machinist/etc. gets paid in China compared to the US and roll that into the calculations.
"There I was. . ."
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1581
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 06:20

Many Americans earn more than Chinese major generals. US$3.3k a month.

http://english.chinamil.com.cn/news-cha ... 314553.htm
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diploma ... n-military

Doesn't change the analysis. The PLA expenditure is not as much on pay but on the 3 items mentioned.
Offline

zhangmdev

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: 01 May 2017, 09:07

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 07:40

weasel1962 wrote:Many Americans earn more than Chinese major generals. US$3.3k a month...


No wonder some of them went crazy. Some horded so much cash, gold and precious gems in his basement, it took a week to count it all and 12 trucks to haul it away. And some general even commit suicide to escape porverty.
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3266
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown
  • Warnings: 3

Unread post30 Nov 2018, 16:15

tphuang wrote:On this topic of what China can and will produce. I think there is a difference between navy and air force. And that comes down to their shipbuilding industry being far more advanced and competitive than their aerospace industry. They seem to be aiming for 6 carriers and a lot of escorts. Their recent shipbuilding program is comparable to what USN has and the quality of ships are also getting pretty good. And due to lower shipbuilding cost, China can build similar number of higher end ships with a much smaller budget and they don't have to support all of USN's deployment missions. PLAN is flush with too much hardware to know what to do with.

Their air force is quite starved in comparison. They couldn't build a large transport and engine for it until Y-20 came out recently. Now they got a huge requirement for that (maybe 200) and who knows how long it will take them to build that. They don't have an aerospace powerhouse like Boeing that can just ramp up and build 40 or 50 a year. So they've been stuck building An-12 derivatives. They are attempting a huge jump to build a stealth bomber, but until then, they are relying on Tu-16 derivatives. Who knows when that will happen. After being in service for 15 years, they can probably max out at producing 6 J-10s a month and that's assuming they can building engines for it (which they can't). It took them probably 30 years to finally develop something to replace S-70, because the local helicopter industry is so far behind and turboshaft industry is even further behind. They are still building variants of SA-321 super frelon, because that's all they have that's larger than Z-10 and can land on a ship. Working with Eurocopter to develop EC-175, they got a really advanced helicopter in Z-15 but they are having trouble getting a domestic turboshaft developed for it. And without a domestic option, they can't create versions of it for the army.

Having said that, they do have requirement for probably up to 1000 J-20/31s, but that might take 20 years to build. They have requirement for 200 Y-20s of different variety (transport, tanker, special missions platform and such), but that might take them 10 years to build.


You've cited some excellent examples here, but I think it'd be a mistake to under-estimate them. The J-20 flew WAY ahead of projections, and it seems as if US intelligence constantly under-estimates Russian/Chinese advancements since at least the 1980's. Prior to that we over-estimated (at least the Russians) i.e. the Mig-25 was a "super fighter" capable of doing it all. Something happened after that to swing the pendulum in the other direction, though I'm not sure what.

I'd say since the Soviet Union's collapse, US intelligence has done a good job projecting their weapons systems, capabilities and introduction dates etc. China I'm not so sure. The J-20 flew much earlier than we had projected, and it's introduction into service (albeit a rudimentary capability) seems to have gone faster than expected to. Unlike the SU-57, which has suffered setback after setback and even now, almost 9 years after its first flight only a dozen will be built. Those 12 aren't going to operational units though, just more test and evaluation. Sure, you'll find talk about more being built later... but no real evidence of that.

I just hate under-estimating your enemy. One of the biggest mistakes in the book...
Offline

Scorpion1alpha

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 1610
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2005, 00:47

Unread post01 Dec 2018, 17:11

Sad that this topic, which is suppose to be about the J-20 and was pretty interesting since it showed up at the Zhuhai Air Show, has gone all over the place with page after page of :offtopic: since then.

If you want to talk about the PLAAF, it's Generals, the Chinese military industry, the J-31 etc., then start an appropriate topic in the appropriate forum.

Somebody can start another J-20 topic if they want because I sure as hell am not wasting a lot of my time cleaning this one up. Let's see if you all can stick with it if you do...
I'm watching...
Previous

Return to Modern Military Aircraft

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 19 guests