China is Superior to Russia for Combat Air

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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talkitron

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Unread post05 Nov 2020, 03:25

This article by Justin Bronk of the UK's RUSI is the best writeup of the current level of combat air power in Russia and China that I have read. He concisely explains the tech levels and military capabilities of existing Chinese and Russian fixed wing combat aircraft far better than anyone else I have read. I recommend reading the entire document.

https://rusi.org/publication/whitehall- ... and-future

Here are some quotes from the conclusion.

China has started to build a clear technical lead over Russia in most aspects of combat aircraft development. Moreover, Russian industry is unlikely to be able to regain areas of competitive advantage once lost, due to deep structural industrial and budgetary disadvantages compared to the Chinese sector.


The effects of this trend can be seen in the fact that even in the case of the archetypal Russian fighter line, the Flanker, the most capable variant currently in service is Chinese. Compared to Russian equivalents, the J-16 features a more modern cockpit layout, more advanced use of structural composites, access to more advanced and longer-ranged missiles, an AESA radar and operational targeting pods for more efficient and flexible employment of modern PGMs. The only area where Russia retains a lead in Flanker development terms is in engines, with the AL-41F series powering the Su-35S still providing superior thrust and reliability compared to the WS-10B series.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post05 Nov 2020, 06:31

Plus, that gap is only growing........ :?
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mixelflick

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Unread post05 Nov 2020, 17:43

Honestly, who would be surprised by this?

USAF (air to air) squadrons have been training for years vs. advanced, Chinese Flankers as the main threat. That's what an F-22 pilot told me years ago anyway. I mentioned the Russian equivalents and it didn't even register, like it wasn't even in the calculus.

If anything is a surprise in this report, it's that they're still behind the Russians in jet engine technology. That probably won't last long though. I still think AESA radars, cyber and their AAM's are a much bigger threat. As long as those are flying on Flanker types, we should be OK. The danger though is if/when they start producing stealth iighters in F-35 like numbers, then marry those radars/weapons to them.

Having a stealth platform (in numbers) plus things like the PL-15 and AESA could make for a long day for USAF/USN squadrons. That's why its imperative to get the AIM-260 to F-22's, F-35's and other front line jets ASAP, to restore the overwhelming advantage they currently hold..
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milosh

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Unread post05 Nov 2020, 21:24

Is there any info when we will see AIM-260?

I mean we even saw R-77M not so ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EjiG3dkVgAU ... =4096x4096
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talkitron

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Unread post06 Nov 2020, 02:39

mixelflick wrote:Honestly, who would be surprised by this?


Even if you aren't surprised, the report is a good discussion of what matters in modern air combat and what aircraft have those features.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post06 Nov 2020, 07:58

It's pretty clear that China will pretty easily overtake Russia in most military areas simply due to having far larger population and economy (both absolute and PPP). In both areas China is something like 5-10 times bigger and their economy is growing at much faster pace. Currently Russia still has advantages in many areas. For example Russian bomber and attack aircraft are quite significantly superior in both numbers and technology. I bet that might well change during the next decade and China likely will get significantly superior 5th generation force during that time also.
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mixelflick

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Unread post06 Nov 2020, 13:15

milosh wrote:Is there any info when we will see AIM-260?

I mean we even saw R-77M not so ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EjiG3dkVgAU ... =4096x4096


No, and its been said that this is one of the most sensitive programs in all USAF (and probably all of DoD). There was at one time talk of it being operational in 2021, but that's unlikely IMO. Unless all the testing, tweaking and fixes have been done in complete secrecy, its hard to see F-22's, F-15C's or F/A-18E's/F's carrying it so soon.

If we assume it can "out stick" the latest Chinese AAM's, it's going to be a quantum leap in capability. AIM-120D has a reported 180km range, and most reports put the PL-15 at nearly 200km. In late 2016, a new AAM spotted under the wing of a J-16 was speculated to have a 400km range. Certain Russian AAM's also quote absurd ranges, although most consider them less credible. I would expect then AIM-260 will be a 300 to 350km range weapon, but more importantly have a much larger (no escape zone). Probably via some combination of different seekers, active AESA guidance, home on jam and a large warhead.

Let's hope I'm wrong though, and the AIM-260 is rolled out to front line units next year. For commanders in the SCS, I'm sure it can't come fast enough...
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marauder2048

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Unread post06 Nov 2020, 21:00

mixelflick wrote:
milosh wrote:Is there any info when we will see AIM-260?

I mean we even saw R-77M not so ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EjiG3dkVgAU ... =4096x4096


No, and its been said that this is one of the most sensitive programs in all USAF (and probably all of DoD). There was at one time talk of it being operational in 2021


Since the program reveal they've been guiding to IOC in 2022.

It is a Special Access Program so you aren't likely to see it anytime soon which is helped by the fact
that it's only going to be internal carriage for the AF and a war reserve asset for the Super Bug out at sea.

I'm guessing the testing is going to be done strictly out at sea.

I don't expect this missile to have a large warhead. In fact, I would think Lockheed would trade warhead for
less inert mass and greater agility in conjunction with a multi-mode seeker. It's not really
possible to equip a high loadout A2A missile with a warhead big enough to hit the aircraft if its
pulled off by a towed decoy.
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wrightwing

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Unread post06 Nov 2020, 23:28

marauder2048 wrote:

It is a Special Access Program so you aren't likely to see it anytime soon which is helped by the fact
that it's only going to be internal carriage for the AF and a war reserve asset for the Super Bug out at sea.

I'm guessing the testing is going to be done strictly out at sea.

I don't expect this missile to have a large warhead. In fact, I would think Lockheed would trade warhead for
less inert mass and greater agility in conjunction with a multi-mode seeker. It's not really
possible to equip a high loadout A2A missile with a warhead big enough to hit the aircraft if its
pulled off by a towed decoy.

Where did you read that the AIM-260 was only for internal carriage in the USAF, and a war reserve asset for F-18s, or was that just a hunch?
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marauder2048

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Unread post06 Nov 2020, 23:41

wrightwing wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:

It is a Special Access Program so you aren't likely to see it anytime soon which is helped by the fact
that it's only going to be internal carriage for the AF and a war reserve asset for the Super Bug out at sea.

I'm guessing the testing is going to be done strictly out at sea.

I don't expect this missile to have a large warhead. In fact, I would think Lockheed would trade warhead for
less inert mass and greater agility in conjunction with a multi-mode seeker. It's not really
possible to equip a high loadout A2A missile with a warhead big enough to hit the aircraft if its
pulled off by a towed decoy.

Where did you read that the AIM-260 was only for internal carriage in the USAF, and a war reserve asset for F-18s, or was that just a hunch?


Because the Air Force only mentioned F-22 and F-35.
And there is MILCON expenditure to build new JATM storage facilities because it's a Special Access Program.

SAP doesn't change at sea so these weapons would be in the special weapons spaces on the CVNs.
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wrightwing

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Unread post07 Nov 2020, 00:56

marauder2048 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:

It is a Special Access Program so you aren't likely to see it anytime soon which is helped by the fact
that it's only going to be internal carriage for the AF and a war reserve asset for the Super Bug out at sea.

I'm guessing the testing is going to be done strictly out at sea.

I don't expect this missile to have a large warhead. In fact, I would think Lockheed would trade warhead for
less inert mass and greater agility in conjunction with a multi-mode seeker. It's not really
possible to equip a high loadout A2A missile with a warhead big enough to hit the aircraft if its
pulled off by a towed decoy.

Where did you read that the AIM-260 was only for internal carriage in the USAF, and a war reserve asset for F-18s, or was that just a hunch?


Because the Air Force only mentioned F-22 and F-35.
And there is MILCON expenditure to build new JATM storage facilities because it's a Special Access Program.

SAP doesn't change at sea so these weapons would be in the special weapons spaces on the CVNs.

Well given that the AIM-120 production line will be shutting down in ~2025, and F-15/16/18s will be in service till 2040 or later, I suspect that's not the case, especially if they plan on having parity/superiority to Su-30/35, J-10/11/16 armed with K-77/PL-15/PL-21.
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marauder2048

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Unread post07 Nov 2020, 01:39

Well given that the AIM-120 production line will be shutting down in ~2025, and F-15/16/18s will be in service till 2040 or later, I suspect that's not the case, especially if they plan on having parity/superiority to Su-30/35, J-10/11/16 armed with K-77/PL-15/PL-21.


The AIM-120D-3 (F3R) Raytheon will produce through 2028 will just get reallocated to the
non-Super Bug teen series.

Between NGAD, F-35, F-22 and Super Bug I doubt that it will be desirable or necessary or qualify
JATM on the F-16 or F-15; the latter will mainly be pulling CONUS or CMD duties where JATM isn't needed.
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edpop

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Unread post07 Nov 2020, 04:07

milosh wrote:Is there any info when we will see AIM-260?

I mean we even saw R-77M not so ago:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EjiG3dkVgAU ... =4096x4096


2022 according to this article (
https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-bal ... -air-force
AIM 260 comparison.jpg
Vietnam veteran (Combat Engineer) 1967
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jessmo112

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Unread post07 Nov 2020, 14:38

This strat page article got me thinking (watch out).
https://www.strategypage.com/qnd/russia ... 01105.aspx

If the Chinese decided that they wanted to take back what was stolen in the past, are they advanced enough to succed over Russia?
If the wanted to take Vladivostok by force could the Russians stop them? Is Russian airpower a threat to China?
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icemaverick

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Unread post07 Nov 2020, 15:19

Russia can punch above its weight but it’s still a country will a GDP around that of Italy. China is a rising super power. That being said, Russia has a massive nuclear stockpile. Even if China achieved overwhelming conventional superiority, they would be unlikely to militarily confront Russia.
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