Go Back   DefenceTalk Forum - Military & Defense Forums > Global Defense & Military > Air Force & Aviation

Defense News
Land, Air & Naval Forces






Military Photos
Latest Military Pictures
Defense Reports
Aerospace & Defence


Chinese Air Force (PLA-AF) News and Discussion

This is a discussion on Chinese Air Force (PLA-AF) News and Discussion within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I couldn't find a relevant thread so started this one. It appears that the Chinese are increasing their airlift capabilities ...


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old September 1st, 2016   #1
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,238
Threads:
Chinese Air Force (PLA-AF) News and Discussion

I couldn't find a relevant thread so started this one.

It appears that the Chinese are increasing their airlift capabilities significantly. It is being reported that they have reached agreement with the Ukraine to restart production of the Antonov AN-225 Mriya strategic airlifter. The AN-225 is the largest aircraft in the world at the moment and only one is flying; it being flown by Antonov Airlines in the commercial air freight market, along with seven AN-124 Ruslans. The second, as yet uncompleted Mriya, will be completed by Antonov in the Ukraine and flown to China. The following aircraft will be built by jointly by Antonov and Aerospace Industry Corporation of China (AICC) in China.
________________
"There is one immutable truth we cannot prevent; war is coming, we just donít know when or where." Brigadier Andrew Harrison DSO MBE
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2016   #2
Defense Enthusiast
Captain
No Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 743
Threads:
I can't work out why they would want to complete the second 225, there's not enough work to keep the existing aircraft on the air as it is. I can't see the Chinese needing multiple 225's either.
KiwiRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2016   #3
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,238
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiRob View Post
I can't work out why they would want to complete the second 225, there's not enough work to keep the existing aircraft on the air as it is. I can't see the Chinese needing multiple 225's either.
I don't think the Chinese really want them for commercial aviation. I think that they may see them more as a military airlift capability with Chinese aspects.
________________
"There is one immutable truth we cannot prevent; war is coming, we just donít know when or where." Brigadier Andrew Harrison DSO MBE
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2016   #4
Super Moderator
General
Feanor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
Posts: 15,014
Threads:
It's not a real agreement. They're going to have Antonov complete the second airframe for them, and hand over all documentation. But the company with which the agreement was signed is basically a shell. I don't think any real production will come. Instead China will study the production and performance of the second flying aircraft, and then use that and the documentation to aid work on their own super-heavy transport plane. It should be noted the Antonov had a lot to do with the current Y-20.
Feanor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2016   #5
Super Moderator
General
swerve's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Reading, Berkshire
Posts: 6,683
Threads:
So they're buying some technology, not aircraft.
swerve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2016   #6
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,238
Threads:
The way I read it is that they are going to restart production. Why reinvent the wheel? I think that the Chinese will upgrade the systems though; they'd be silly not too.
________________
"There is one immutable truth we cannot prevent; war is coming, we just donít know when or where." Brigadier Andrew Harrison DSO MBE
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2016   #7
Super Moderator
General
Feanor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
Posts: 15,014
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by swerve View Post
So they're buying some technology, not aircraft.
Most likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngatimozart View Post
The way I read it is that they are going to restart production. Why reinvent the wheel? I think that the Chinese will upgrade the systems though; they'd be silly not too.
Those are the claims. However. The main production for the An-124 off of which the An-225 (it's a bigger version of it) is based, was in Ulyanovsk, Russia. The An-225 as an aircraft is basically useless. It was only ever intended as a carrier for the Soviet Buran space shuttle. Today the only existing aircraft has relatively little work, mostly to do with oversize loads. Unlike the An-124, for which there is considerable demand, the An-225 has not been commercially viable.

On top of it, the AICC is not the AVIC. It appears to be a front company, and the 2019 timeline for restarting production is plain ridiculous, even for a serious company like AVIC or UAC, or Boeing. This smells like a technology buy, that Antonov is desperate enough to sell. It's not at all impossible or even unlikely that Antonov will participate in the Chinese super-heavy cargo plane program, especially given their experience with the Y-20 and An-70, but it's highly unlikely that the An-225 itself will see production.

At the end of the day, anything is possible, but China doesn't have infinite funding, and even their heavy cargo fleet is relatively small. If they were serious about rapidly increasing heavy-lift capabilities they would need to either accelerate Y-20 production or go for another Il-76 buy. This project has "fake agreement to cover up tech buy" written all over it. Especially since the Chinese didn't bother getting the rights to the plane, just a copy of all the technological documentation.
Feanor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2016   #8
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,238
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
Most likely.



Those are the claims. However. The main production for the An-124 off of which the An-225 (it's a bigger version of it) is based, was in Ulyanovsk, Russia. The An-225 as an aircraft is basically useless. It was only ever intended as a carrier for the Soviet Buran space shuttle. Today the only existing aircraft has relatively little work, mostly to do with oversize loads. Unlike the An-124, for which there is considerable demand, the An-225 has not been commercially viable.

On top of it, the AICC is not the AVIC. It appears to be a front company, and the 2019 timeline for restarting production is plain ridiculous, even for a serious company like AVIC or UAC, or Boeing. This smells like a technology buy, that Antonov is desperate enough to sell. It's not at all impossible or even unlikely that Antonov will participate in the Chinese super-heavy cargo plane program, especially given their experience with the Y-20 and An-70, but it's highly unlikely that the An-225 itself will see production.

At the end of the day, anything is possible, but China doesn't have infinite funding, and even their heavy cargo fleet is relatively small. If they were serious about rapidly increasing heavy-lift capabilities they would need to either accelerate Y-20 production or go for another Il-76 buy. This project has "fake agreement to cover up tech buy" written all over it. Especially since the Chinese didn't bother getting the rights to the plane, just a copy of all the technological documentation.
Ok thanks, that makes sense. I was sort of wondering why they didn't go after the AN124, that would've made more sense.
________________
"There is one immutable truth we cannot prevent; war is coming, we just donít know when or where." Brigadier Andrew Harrison DSO MBE
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2016   #9
Super Moderator
General
Feanor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
Posts: 15,014
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngatimozart View Post
Ok thanks, that makes sense. I was sort of wondering why they didn't go after the AN124, that would've made more sense.
There was a proposal to restart An-124 production, in an upgraded version but the factory said it would take at least 40 starting orders. Volga-Dnepr said they would buy 20, and there was some effort to persuade the Russian MoD to buy 20, but ultimately they opted out. Currently UAC is working on a new Il-106 project, reportedly not related to the cancelled Soviet Il-106, but who knows. It's supposed to be a new super-heavy in the 60-120 tonn area, but details are lacking and the project hasn't moved beyond general exploration. If the Chinese wanted the An-124 they would have to get Ukraine to release the copyright, pay for a restart of production at Ulyanovsk, and buy 20 of them up front (and that's assuming Volga-Dnepr is still willing to buy 20 themselves, otherwise China would have to buy 40), with basically 0 of the work going to Chinese companies. It's not surprising they'd rather get a flying super-heavy, and some tech documents, and then make their own, with Antonov's help.
Feanor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2016   #10
Banned Member
Chief Warrant Officer
No Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 449
Threads:
Isn't that standard chinese practice? To buy and/or reverse engineer technology? For example their ex-soviet Liaoning carrier with a complement of su-33 clones. And they have bought(?) the plans for the ambitious but cancelled soviet carrier, Ulyanovsk on which I read they are planning some of their first batch of carrier ships.

By the way, I think a serious game changer would be a TU-22M3 equivalent. Nothing acts as deterrence to a US carrier task force better than an assortment of monstrous antiship cruise/nuclear missiles with a star on them. I mean, this is the road they have chosen, even though I do not approve of it.
Toblerone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2016   #11
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
Waylander's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein
Posts: 4,940
Threads:
Well, their "new", as in new version of a really old design, H-6K is sort of such a bird.

They heavily upgraded the cell, avionics and engines, eliminated the bomb bay for extra fuel and added additional underwing pylons for a total of 6 missile hardpoints.

If they can find a target and get their missiles underway before fighter cover messes them up they are defenitely a threat for surface targets. Although they are not able to enter and leave the battlespace at speed like the Backfires can.
Waylander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2016   #12
Banned Member
Chief Warrant Officer
No Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 449
Threads:
Wow first time I see that H-6 thing, the chinese really have no style. What an ugly granpa airplane, there is no way this subsonic uncool aircraft can intimidate Aegis cruisers
Toblerone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2016   #13
Super Moderator
General
swerve's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Reading, Berkshire
Posts: 6,683
Threads:
Just like that uncool, unthreatening subsonic B-52, eh?

If it has stand-off weapons with enough range & the right sensors (or links to other platforms with the right sensors), it could be very dangerous.
swerve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2016   #14
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
Waylander's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein
Posts: 4,940
Threads:
And the Chinese are busy putting a whole bunch of new cruise and anti-ship missiles into service.
Waylander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2016   #15
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,238
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toblerone View Post
Isn't that standard chinese practice? To buy and/or reverse engineer technology? For example their ex-soviet Liaoning carrier with a complement of su-33 clones. And they have bought(?) the plans for the ambitious but cancelled soviet carrier, Ulyanovsk on which I read they are planning some of their first batch of carrier ships.

By the way, I think a serious game changer would be a TU-22M3 equivalent. Nothing acts as deterrence to a US carrier task force better than an assortment of monstrous antiship cruise/nuclear missiles with a star on them. I mean, this is the road they have chosen, even though I do not approve of it.
There were rumours floating around a few years ago that the Chinese were going to acquire some Tu22M3 Backfires from Russia by restarting the manufacturing line. They turned out to be just that, rumour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toblerone View Post
Wow first time I see that H-6 thing, the chinese really have no style. What an ugly granpa airplane, there is no way this subsonic uncool aircraft can intimidate Aegis cruisers
The H-6 has the capability of severely damaging a USN CBG so I wouldn't underestimate them. They do have some western avionics and systems such as radars etc., in them. The B52 is real ugly and its nickname is BUFF (Big Ugly Fat F*****) but it can inflict a real power of hurt on the enemy either up close and personal or from a distance.
________________
"There is one immutable truth we cannot prevent; war is coming, we just donít know when or where." Brigadier Andrew Harrison DSO MBE
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:37 PM.