The Limits of China’s Fighter

Discussion in 'China' started by Neil, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    [​IMG]


    The People's Liberation Army Navy has finally broken the silence about its new carrier-based jet fighter, the J-15. While outside observers have strongly suspected for several years that China intended to deploy the J-15 – an adaptation of the Russian Su-33 – aboard the PLAN's first aircraft carrier Shi Lang, Chinese officials didn’t confirm it until last week.

    Confirmation of the J-15 came with some revealing details about the plane's missions and limitations. It’s clearer than ever that the J-15 will inherit most of the Su-33’s limitations, particularly with regard to payload and range. As a result, Shi Lang could be highly vulnerable to foreign naval forces in combat.

    Unnamed ‘Chinese aviation officials’ said that three J-15 prototypes would begin testing this year, and that the last of them would have all the features of the planned operational version, including folding wings to allow more compact storage aboard Shi Lang, a refurbished Soviet vessel that displaces just two-thirds as much as a US flattop.

    Shi Langdoesn’t have the steam catapults that US and French carriers use to launch aircraft. Instead, the Chinese ship, like its Russian sister ship Kuznetsov, uses an elevated ramp to help boost planes into the air. Ramp-launch, while less complex than a catapult, doesn’t impart the same amount of energy. That means ramp-launched fighters must be relatively light. The British Harrier, which used a ramp, weighed just 7 tonnes empty. The Su-33 weighs 20 tons empty.

    In Russian service, the Su-33 has been restricted to short-range patrols carrying just a few air-to-air missiles. That's the big reason why the Kuznetsov has never had a major impact on the European naval balance.

    Shi Langwill be similarly handicapped, more so because the Chinese intend the J-15 to carry the C-602 anti-ship cruise missile. Carrying a single one-tonne C-602, the J-15 will have an operational range of just 250 miles, according to the anonymous industry officials. It’s not clear if the J-15 will be able to carry air-to-air missiles for self-protection, in addition to the C-602.

    If the Chinese military operated a large number of effective aerial tankers, the J-15's payload limitation would be more manageable. Even catapult-launched fighters, such as the US F/A-18E/F, can range just 400 miles from their carrier with useful combat load. But aerial refueling can extend that range to more than 1,000 miles. F/A-18s routinely fly missions over Afghanistan from carriers operating in the Indian Ocean.

    If Shi Lang is meant to operate in a sea control role, clearing the ocean of enemy vessels, then it could find itself at a disadvantage compared to rival naval forces. The C-602 has a range of around 250 miles. So a Chinese carrier battle group could strike surface targets at a distance of 500 miles.

    A US carrier group launching F-18s armed with Harpoon anti-ship missiles could strike from a distance of at least 600 miles. Factor in aerial refueling – and the fact that the Harpoon is light enough for a single F-18 to carry two – and the US advantage increases dramatically. The Su-33 is simply not an ideal fighter for ramp-equipped carriers.

    It’s telling that within a few years, the Chinese will be the only country operating Su-33s or its derivatives from carriers. The Russians decided to replace the Su-33 with a version of the much smaller MiG-29 after realizing that the MiG had similar performance, but Kuznetsov could carry many more of them. The Indians, too, are buying a MiG-29 variant to replace their Harriers.

    Future Chinese carriers could include a catapult. Indeed, the likelihood that carriers after Shi Lang will be catapult-equipped is sure to increase, once the PLAN sees firsthand how limited its J-15s really are.



    The Limits of China’s Fighter | Flashpoints
     
  2.  
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,519
    Likes Received:
    6,520
    Chinese planes are about 30 years behind compared to US planes. Any dreams of confronting USA will end very fast in a conflict.
     
    maomao likes this.
  4. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    LF sir...i think the chinese r playin their cards real gud...they are sitting tight till their tech matches US and then they will show their true colours to the world...
     
    Tshering22 likes this.
  5. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    340
    dear its not about usa its mainly for india

    where we are what we gain from our past ??

    well fact is that now our condition is very poor against them and still we are living in dream
     
  6. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    When their tech matches US, europe/US would have already moved ahead. They are not sitting ducks anyways. Its India & rest of asia who needs to be up-to-date.
     
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    10,397
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    If anything, China is falling behind US tech, not catching up. They are still trying to get a late 70s fighter into mass production while the US is doing it in 5th generation.
     
    StarShip Enterprise likes this.
  8. tony4562

    tony4562 Tihar Jail Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    49
    It's all about economics. When one day US's economy is only a fraction of China's, it will be hard to image that US will still maintain a huge technological edge over China (or the rest of teh world). Watching series like America's toughest prisons tells you that trouble is ahead for the US in the future. The gap between China and US, in all aspects, is certainly closing fast. Think about 30 years ago, when US already had fighters like F14, F15, and F16 in squadron services, china was still sitting stuck with a bunch of J5, and J6. The best fighter for China at that time was J7B, numbering no more than 100. Have you seen pictures of China's cities and the street scenes from 30 years ago, now compare them with their modern day equivalents, you will understand the tremendous changes that have taken place inside China. 10 years ago, less than 10 chinese companies made the future global 500 list, now there are over 60, with 3 in the top 10.
     
    Tshering22 likes this.
  9. tony4562

    tony4562 Tihar Jail Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    49
    Any PLAN carriers including the Varyag (no evidence it will be named Shi Lang) at least in the foreseeable future, is not meant to take on the US navy and its super carriers. A PLAN carrier will be like carriers else where beside the US, mainly a prestige tool. You need to look no further than India herself to understand this. Inida has decalred 2 enemies, Pakistan and China. But Pakistan has a smalll navy and does little trade via the sea route, thus a carrier in the indian navy is unlike to play much a role in any future inida-pakistan conflict. Similarly, china and india share a long land border, but water around them don't really mix. So why does India need a carrier force anyway? The answer is prestige, not much else.

    In the foreseeable future, carriers will remain a tactical weapon only for the US.
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,519
    Likes Received:
    6,520
    Chinese have a cold war soviet mindset of trying to match better quality weaponry with bigger numbers this theory has proven to be a failure . If they are trying to bluff and their bluff is called by USA it will be even a bigger disaster for the Chinese. Since Chinese weapons are mostly unknown or speculation this possibilty is highly likely. The Sri Lankan used Chinese weapons against LTTE and these were small nothing high tech weapons Chinese weapons had a high failure rate.
     
  11. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,858

    why do some folks think that the prc economy will catch up or overtake usa ? the usa has known that for decades and is playing straight into their hands ? i for one dont think so - what if the usa were to halt their mfg in prc ? you know vietnam and mexico plus many others eg india indonesia brazil are alternative mfg site and the usa is well-advised to diversify
     
  12. guoyinag

    guoyinag Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Xian CHINA
    let me tell you something Mr Armand2REP.

    every country in the world fall behind US tech, not only china but you French included. Admittedly, we do are working on j-15 and other aircraft, however, every country are doing this: US is doing their research on f15,f18 also, Russia is doing their research on su30, su35, even your great country France is just working on Rafael which i do not think it will hold a solid edge compared with other air crafts mentioned above. most importantly US, China, Russia and India are now researching their fifth generation fighter, where are you?

    We Chinese are not advanced than US, but we are working hard and doing our best on it. So, pick up your bias, arrogant french.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  13. guoyinag

    guoyinag Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Xian CHINA
    ordinary people in china like me do not think our country will overtake US in a short time, but we do think we will catch up with US someday.

    if u think the US can defeat China economy only by moving their manufacturing site to other countries, you are possibly making a small mistake. Firstly, China now still has some advantages compared with other countries in manufacturer field, thus US and other foreign countries will not move their investment away. Secondly, China economy is not only depend on foreign investment, we also have some high tech industries, even these industries are not equivalent with the most advanced tech, but they are developing and progress steadily .
     
  14. acetophenol

    acetophenol Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    120
    since its china's first aircraft carrier,limitations are to be expected. they will surely sort it out.
    as long as we have our sea harriers,mig-29ks and naval lca's we have nothing to worry.
     
  15. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,782
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    I don't think Shi Lang is meant for IOR at all. With the US mowing over their sea lanes now and then since the last 3-4 decades and with Japanese command of USN so near, the carrier is likely to have its focus on South and East China Sea rather than aim at an unknown region called IOR where another navy is already based as its owner (us).

    We need to worry more about IAF and IA rather than IN which is far far ahead of both of them. IA is moving at a turtle's pace while IAF has gotten worse at a sloth's pace. We're supposed to be getting fighters in mass numbers into the air force but nothing is happening and delays are happening all the time.
     
  16. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    7,308
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    Looks like the Chinese aren't actually waiting till they match the US in capabilities before they show their true colors. Pls look around the Chinese are already busy bullying smaller countries in the South China Sea. How much more is they are already at parity with the US... just the thought of it is enough to send shivers down my spine...
     
  17. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    there is a difference between flexing your muscle with Vietnam and US...huge difference!!but yes it sends strong messages across the globe ...
     
  18. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    sir m not saying their tech will match US tomorrow itself...but may b in decade or 2 they may well have done considerable progress in all fields..but cant realy say about chinese quality..
     
  19. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    I am sure you know this as well as i do that all 4.5 generation air frames dont look vastly different to 70s or 80s aircraft's on the surface. The development is more under the skin if you will like avionics,engines,composites, and radars that develop considerably. China in that respect is not very far behind, they are able to play with composite structures and other modern digital avionics. The WS engine is also coming on line sooner than later.

    I would agree that the quality of the mentioned equipments wont be as great, Chinese quality is way behind and wont match anything the west has for the moment. That issue however plagues all developing countries, even Japan when it was developing it was blamed to have cheap copies. China on the other hand if you look at their History traditionally they had the best quality China pottery,Silk,Cannons and other exquisite items the world bought for centuries. I am just saying their mindset does not or did not revolve around poor quality always, they have been know for very high quality in the past. Which means its a matter of time that culture will express itself for quality as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  20. guoyinag

    guoyinag Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Xian CHINA
    Agreed

    Every developing country, if they are willing to take an edge in high tech product,will suffer from this progress.
     
  21. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,662
    Likes Received:
    513
    Location:
    New England, USA
    You mean to say that just by looking at how spanky new and shiny Chinese cities are we should assume that China is SO MUCH better than USA and in a couple more decades Chinese economy and technology will dwarf that of the USA?
    Hmm - let's see. Some of the best shiny new cities are in the middle east. Their economy is no two shakes either. Ever heard of how great their technology is? Saudi Tech? Iranian Tech? UAE tech? Heard of any?
     
    maomao and LETHALFORCE like this.

Share This Page