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China buying TU-22M3 production line

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posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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Reports out of China have stated that the Chinese gov't has paid $1.5B USD for 36 TU-22M3 aircraft. The TU-22 is a supersonic variable geometry wing bomber, designed to attack from low level to avoid radar detection. This is the third time that China has reportedly bought them. If the story is accurate, they would receive 12 aircraft in the initial buy, with an additional 24 at a later date, and will be known as the H-10 in Chinese service.

That designation is kind of interesting because reportedly the H-10 was going to be a stealth bomber, and has already flown. It is reportedly a B-2 design, only bigger, and uses stolen technology from the F-117 and B-2.

The TU-22 has a range of over 4000 miles, and a payload of almost 53000 pounds, so it's a potent threat in the area denial role. It's capable of carrying the AS-4 Kitchen long range anti-ship missile, although there is no word whether the deal would include those. It's also capable of supersonic flight, which means the time to intercept from detection is decreased rapidly.


For the third time in 7 years (first one being in 2005, second earlier in 2012) several websites in China (link in Chinese) are reporting that China and Russia have agreed for Beijing to buy the production line for the Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber at a cost of 1.5 billion USD.

Once in service with the Chinese Naval Air Forces the Tu-22M3 will be known as the “H-10″.

The deal struck with Russia comes with 36 aircraft (and engines): an initial batch of 12 followed by a second batch of 24 aircraft are thought to be on order.

The Tu-22 will be employed in the maritime attack role and will be used to attack targets from low level (to avoid radar detection).

theaviationist.com...




posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 08:59 PM
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So, it is an F-111, B-1, B-2 and F-117?



edit on 12/30/2012 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


The TU-22M3 was designed in 1969 it's a 40 year old design. Even with an updated avionics and electronics its not match of the latest Aegis Radar that is installed on American and Japanese Naval Vessels.

It does in theory give them the Ability to reach Hawaii, which does increase there area of operation quite a bit. But if I were one of China's neighbors I would be a bit concerned.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by abecedarian
 


It's an F-111 and a B-1. The supposed F-117/B-2 H-10 reportedly flew in 2010, and was a different design.

Tu-22M3:




posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by JBRiddle
 


That's the big thing, is that even if it's an old design, it's still quite capable, and it hugely increases their area deniability capability. It would allow for a major attack on Japan, which they're currently in a cold war over several island chains. I'm sure this is making the Japanese government nervous.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:41 PM
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This has come up a few times -- at least once fairly recently. And it has never gotten anywhere. Probably because the Russians (probably rightly) expect that after paying some small part of fees for a very limited licensed production run, will then just go ahead and build however many they want to, and Russian protests be damned (J-11?).

I'm not sure the Backfire is really a Chinese requirement. The additional range is probably only an advantage in the maritime role. To be sure, it would add grey hair to naval commanders in the South China sea, but at what cost? The PLAA and PLANAF have plenty of options for delivering ordinance already. And within a few years will have at least two carriers operating in some limited capacity. Is the high cost associated with a fleet of strategic bombers worth the extra ability to influence the South China Sea? Are the options that fleet gives you important enough to endure the cost when much the same capability might be afforded by the J-17/Su-34 already under development? Probably not, in my opinion, but China has a keen desire to be part of the big boys club (which it is already). This seems motivated by a "I can do that too" attitude, which we have seen before and will continue to see.
If nothing else, it affirms what we already knew: the Chinese have shown an increasing desire and willingness to field strategic forces in their quest for hegemony in Asia.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by _Del_

If nothing else, it affirms what we already knew: the Chinese have shown an increasing desire and willingness to field strategic forces in their quest for hegemony in Asia.


I agree.

Its not like they are hiding it either.




posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


China is desperately trying to become a world player, not just a regional one. I believe that's why they want the Backfire. As their in flight refueling capability matures, then that would give them an almost world wide strike capability.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


It's certainly another thing to keep you up at night if you're one of the many countries currently claiming parts or all of the Spratly's or the Senkaku in the case of Japan. But the truth is China already has the ability to take Spratly's.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


Sure they do, but this would give them the ability to take the war to Japan much easier. They are currently able to hit Japan, but only in a limited role unless they want to use ballistic missiles, which would set off a lot of other countries.

Or they could take it farther, and hit heavier in a regional conflict. It has to be giving countries around them nightmares to think about, because a lot of them don't have something like Aegis, or other advanced radar systems that will give them plenty of warning.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:16 PM
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It's a pretty major thread to the likes of Japan, Vietnam and India!!

And as with so many of their purchases, it will provide them with invaluable design and operating experience for an indigenous follow on.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I completely disagree in a few respects.

If China is willing to go to war with Japan, for example, then they have decided they are willing to go to war with the US. It won't make a tinker's damn of difference how they do it. Backfire or IRBM. Why purchase and maintain a TU-22M fleet for operations against Japan when you already have one of, if not the, biggest inventories of theatre ballistic missiles, most of them on TEL's? And you already have (older, less effective, but still capable) bombtrucks/cruise missile carriers in your inventory to strike Japan.

The same argument could be made for operations against Guam or (less so) a CVBG. The real upgrade would be in the maritime role because a ASBM cannot perform a long-endurance armed patrol and reconnaissance flight.

It's not that I think the Backfire wouldn't give you increased capability. It's simply very expensive capabilities that are in large part provided by other systems already in their inventory. When you factor in SU-27 and -32 clones nearing carrier operations in the near-term, it makes even less sense. Unless they're hell-bent on waging war in the next half-decade. Or again, if they simply want them because so few world powers possess a strategic bomber fleet.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


Granted the odds of war with Japan are very very slim, but they're there. One of the reasons that I say a bomber is better than a missile is that they can go to war with Japan with bombers, and not piss off the entire world, where a ballistic missile causes lots of countries that would otherwise not get involved to crap their pants.

More likely is a conflict with Vietnam, as they've shot at each other in recent years. Vietnam wouldn't drag anyone else into it, unless they hit other areas.

I think the biggest reason they want them though is that they feel it puts them into a fairly exclusive club, as the only true strategic bomber fleets of any size are the US and Russia. By having any kind of strategic bomber, China joins that club as well.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Ive often wondered if China and Russia have a secret "pact". I also wonder what Russia truly feels about China's growing influence in the region.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by _Del_
 

One of the reasons that I say a bomber is better than a missile is that they can go to war with Japan with bombers, and not piss off the entire world, where a ballistic missile causes lots of countries that would otherwise not get involved to crap their pants.


If China is resolved to get into a conflict with Japan, they've obviously made the decision for reasons that are going to trump "public opinion". When has China ever given more than a sideways glance at public opinion polls when they conflict with their policies? Is the occupation of Tibet popular? Political slave-labour? Theft of intellectual property? Tiananmen Square? Has China once refrained from doing something they thought necessary because of how the world would react politically? Would any of the "countries that otherwise would not get involved" commit to using force to stop them? That is the only thing that will matter if/when the PSC decides that armed conflict is the most effective way to get what they want. In a perverse way, it's rather commendable.
A shooting conflict between China and Japan will tweak a lot of noses. It would not be undertaken lightly. If it was important enough to use Backfires, it's important enough to use an IRBM. I don't think the reactions (outside of perhaps some political "wind") will matter much, if at all, between a strategic bomber strike or a theatre ballistic missile. The countries willing to use force would be the same countries in either scenario.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 


I know Russia recently accused China of reverse engineering the Su-33. It was kind of funny, because China denied they did it, but were able to say exactly what kind of systems were on the plane, despite never officially having bought any from Russia. And I mean down to who made them, etc.

At one point they were very reluctant allies from my understanding, and there were several border incidents between the two. But recently they seem to be closer.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


That's true. It's hard to remember that China isn't in the more "reasonable" nation list, and will do what they want. I have to adjust my thinking when it comes to discussing them, and don't always succeed in doing so.



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 11:13 AM
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So if the Backfire is the H-10, what of the H-8?



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Hasn't the trend been 'away' from variable geometry aircraft?

I understand that they will have a battle-proven aircraft that is fast, but that isn't what it is all about today, is it?



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


That's why the designations have me twitching. I've heard H-10 for their supposed stealth bomber that flew two years ago, and H-8 for that one, and H-8 for an updated version of the H-6 having anywhere from 4-6 engines slung under the wings.... It's enough to make an avnerd go insane.





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