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Is the Chinese JH-7 an Answer to the Pakistan Air Force’s Deep Strike Needs?

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Akh1112

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Noted Sir. I shall look into this in detail.

Out of curiosity, i want to ask you why you think the JH-7(A) would be of use to the Navy? The JF-17 carries a reasonable AShM loadout, while yes, its limited in capacity, it would make more sense to dispatch multiple JF-17's over inducting a whole new platform to conduct the role which, even the Mirage-V can conduct, The JH-7A's Air to Surface missiles are pretty similar to the JF-17's, while the JF-17 has a lower payload, its more versatile for the Navy, it also would be cheaper, easier to obtain and also just flat out make more sense.
 

Aasimkhan

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Don't worry about it.

Anyways, about your piece. It's clear you're leaning towards using the JH-7A as a naval bomb truck, but realize that such a course has drawbacks.

First, it means setting up an entire logistics chain for an aircraft with a limited role. In theory, things work out clearly (e.g., 'well for air-to-air there's PL-15'), but what if that missile doesn't hit and a Flanker or Rafale gets too close? So, was it worth it? And what was the opportunity cost (i.e., where could've those funds gone instead)?

Second, it's worth looking into whether the PN already has bomb truck-like programs in the pipeline. It does: the LRMPA. This is functionally a bomb truck, albeit for hunting submarines and knocking out ships, but it'll do so far away from contested air space and aerial threats. You should see if it'd be possible to deploy ALCMs from LRMPAs.

Third, if it's a case of a naval fighter arm, you should study whether it's feasible to loop the PN into Project AZM (i.e., the PAF's NGFA/FGFA) and if it can also order 2-3 squadrons.
Can missile boats be used as bomb trucks in the sea?
 

RJV

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I think the requirement is genuine. Navy really needs a platform that can provide patrol and strike capabilities to protect out maritime interests.

However JH-7, for all its capabilities is an old platform and might not be able to fulfill this desired role. While reading this thread, I was thinking on possible solution.

May I humbly suggest that a new dedicated platform is required for this. I think Pakistan Navy should take the initiative in this case and other branches (Air Force, Army) might join based on what capabilities new platform offers.

This new platform can be a joint venture with China. Nothing mentioned below is novel or extraordinary. I mean all these technologies already exists and as of now 2020, Chinese Aviation industry is well experience in design and development of home grown designs.
I suggest to built a big tailless delta with blended wing body around two Shenyang WS-10 engines. These engines are already being used in J10, J11, J15, J16. So it is already available.

Why tailless delta: lets check other platforms with two WS-10s like J11, J15, J16, these are by appearance more or less similar to SU27 family. Which is a very agile platform but was designed in an era where aircraft maneuverability was most important aspect. So the air-frame is good in producing lift and provide efficient control surface for better flight control. What is the down side? Radar Signature!

The suggested tailless delta with blended wing body would theoretically offer more internal fuel and better supersonic performance. Important thing to note here is that this platform is supposed to be more of a bomber than a fighter type. So desired characteristics are low radar signature and better supersonic performance.

For low radar signature, features from fifth generation aircrafts can be incorporated, major features should be

A: Better air intake design like J-20 or J-31 intakes for low radar signatures

B: Small vertical tail fins. Most probably in Y or X configuration.

C: Internal weapons bays: Most important requirement. Internal weapons bay would help in reduce the aerodynamic drag and radar reflections compared to weapons carried externally. Ideally this platform should have one main weapons bay under main fuselage and two supplementary bays in wings. Main bay should be able to carry two anti-ship missiles (like CM-400AKG, C-802AK). Or two Ra'ad (for air to ground role). Supplementary bays should be reserved for A2A missiles like PL-15 (two in each bay, 4 in total) and/or some Infrared homing as a last-ditch defense (PL-9, PL-10???)

D: Ability to fly low at high speed, sensors like FLIRs, IRSTs. I think WS-10 optimal performance altitude is medium to high. Some engineering wizardry might be required around air-intakes to offer optimal flow of air at low altitude??? Again, this is just loud thinking I don’t know how feasible this idea is.

E: To reduce cost, main fuselage and wings can be all metal like JF-17 but areas around air intakes, vertical fins, controls surfaces and weapon bay doors can be made of carbon composites (I think these offer less radar reflections, not sure about that).

F: Compared to other J fighters (J-11, J-15, J-16), based on two WS-10 engines, worst case scenario is this should have similar combat load range (1500 km). which is reasonable. Although I hope that a blended wing body with tailless delta would offer more internal fuel. To increase range, conformal fuel tanks or A2A refueling should be used. Would be wonderful if this platform can be designed to refuel like F-22 (it doesn’t have a refueling probe like other fighters. Instead the inlet is merged with body. (Do a google for “F-22 refueling” for better visuals).

G: Radar: Don’t know what AESA radar is used in other J-series fighters(J-11, J-15, J-16). But same can be used in this one. Although I would love to have something like SU-57 radar(N036 Byelka,1 nose mounted XBand AESA with 1552 T/R modules, two side mounted XBand with 358 T/R and two LBand Arrays in wings leading edges! Impressive)

In short this platform would be able to fly at low and medium altitude at high Mach speeds. Speed and low radar signature are of prime importance. With enough nose space to house a big AESA radar, such platform should be able to pick up enemy naval assets from a distance, fire Anti-ship missile and get out of there fast. The PL-15 mentioned above in supplementary weapons bay would be used to counter any enemy aircraft detected. Again it should be avoiding WVR fights as mentioned above, this platform is not designed for high G turns WVR fights.

Usage:
Navy: Main operator should be Navy. Such platform can stay on patrols for long periods of time (compared to Mirage/JF-17s). can carry more anti-ship missiles and can have a bigger radar to detect enemy assets at longer distance. Other usage is in strike role. Should be able to fly at low altitude, carrying some Ra`ads and able to reach coastal cities/naval installations for surprise attacks.
Airforce: Realistically, it cannot be used for deep penetration missions as sooner or later, it will be detected. But can be used as a platform for standoff weapons like Ra`ad or other standoff weapons in air force inventory. Ra`ad MK2 has range of 600 KM. In future me might see versions with improved range. Having such a high speed launch platform at your disposal with long range stand off A2S missiles will force enemy to invest more in A2A defense.

Other usage can be long range A2A carrier (acting like an interceptor). Since it should have large radar and speed, would be an ideal platform for long range PL-15s volleys at enemy air assets. Leaving WVR fight to other dedicated platforms like JF-17, F-16 or Project AZM (when that is ready).

Army: Again, I cannot be used for CAS as it would be too big/costly for that. However, can be used for bombing enemy armored columns (Bombs with GPS enabled REKs, Other air to surface missiles that can be fired from a distance).
 

nascar 42

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Out of curiosity, i want to ask you why you think the JH-7(A) would be of use to the Navy? The JF-17 carries a reasonable AShM loadout, while yes, its limited in capacity, it would make more sense to dispatch multiple JF-17's over inducting a whole new platform to conduct the role which, even the Mirage-V can conduct, The JH-7A's Air to Surface missiles are pretty similar to the JF-17's, while the JF-17 has a lower payload, its more versatile for the Navy, it also would be cheaper, easier to obtain and also just flat out make more sense.
What you say is correct. The JF-17 is a better platform when compared to the JH-7. However, in my opinion, the issue is what happens in the event of a massive conventional attack by India ?

The Indian economy is tanking and they will surely attempt something in the near future. 2023 is the year to watch out for. This is when, according to Indian sources, simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held.

All out war will be play out differently compared to the Balakot standoff as New Delhi will unleash its massive fleet of Flankers and Mirage 2000 over Pakistan's skies. Add to that a few Rafales and suddenly our F-16's and JF-17's have got their hands full.

This is where the JH-7 comes in. It decreases the burden on the JF-17 for the maritime strike role ONLY until sufficient numbers of Block 3's are inducted. The JF-17 is a more versatile aircraft and I agree with you there. The issue is that we dont have it in numbers yet. Until we induct the Block 3's in numbers, the JH-7 can perform the maritime strike role.

The JH-7's are only a temporary solution since I feel war would break out before 2023. We should also take into account the worst case scenario of some of our forward air bases taking hits and the loss of F-16's and JF-17's. In such a scenario, we wont be able to afford diverting air assets for maritime strike.

Finally, I believe the JH-7 can be cheaply bought in numbers as the Chinese appear to be eager to offload the aircraft. I cant think of any other client who would be interested in them so if they Chinese plan to sell, we are the only option right now. Its either Pakistan or these things rot in storage.
 

Akh1112

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What you say is correct. The JF-17 is a better platform when compared to the JH-7. However, in my opinion, the issue is what happens in the event of a massive conventional attack by India ?

The Indian economy is tanking and they will surely attempt something in the near future. 2023 is the year to watch out for. This is when, according to Indian sources, simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held.

All out war will be play out differently compared to the Balakot standoff as New Delhi will unleash its massive fleet of Flankers and Mirage 2000 over Pakistan's skies. Add to that a few Rafales and suddenly our F-16's and JF-17's have got their hands full.

This is where the JH-7 comes in. It decreases the burden on the JF-17 for the maritime strike role ONLY until sufficient numbers of Block 3's are inducted. The JF-17 is a more versatile aircraft and I agree with you there. The issue is that we dont have it in numbers yet. Until we induct the Block 3's in numbers, the JH-7 can perform the maritime strike role.

The JH-7's are only a temporary solution since I feel war would break out before 2023. We should also take into account the worst case scenario of some of our forward air bases taking hits and the loss of F-16's and JF-17's. In such a scenario, we wont be able to afford diverting air assets for maritime strike.

Finally, I believe the JH-7 can be cheaply bought in numbers as the Chinese appear to be eager to offload the aircraft. I cant think of any other client who would be interested in them so if they Chinese plan to sell, we are the only option right now. Its either Pakistan or these things rot in storage.

The thing is, i agree, somewhat, but heres what i see differently.

The navy has dedicated Mirage V's with exocet's for maritime strike, alongiside this, our P-3's can employ Harpoons for such a role, i feel you would be better off just purchasing more JF-17's as opposed to introducing a WHOLE new platform which would be a very, very costly venture for the PN. For A2/AD we are building a very capable surface and subsurface force to take care of IN CSG's and other ships, both qualitatively and quantitatively, its just that inducting the JH-7 would make no sense from a cost and logistics POV, i would even be for diverting mirages to the navy as opposed to procuring a whole new platform
 

Aasimkhan

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I think the requirement is genuine. Navy really needs a platform that can provide patrol and strike capabilities to protect out maritime interests.

However JH-7, for all its capabilities is an old platform and might not be able to fulfill this desired role. While reading this thread, I was thinking on possible solution.

May I humbly suggest that a new dedicated platform is required for this. I think Pakistan Navy should take the initiative in this case and other branches (Air Force, Army) might join based on what capabilities new platform offers.

This new platform can be a joint venture with China. Nothing mentioned below is novel or extraordinary. I mean all these technologies already exists and as of now 2020, Chinese Aviation industry is well experience in design and development of home grown designs.
I suggest to built a big tailless delta with blended wing body around two Shenyang WS-10 engines. These engines are already being used in J10, J11, J15, J16. So it is already available.

Why tailless delta: lets check other platforms with two WS-10s like J11, J15, J16, these are by appearance more or less similar to SU27 family. Which is a very agile platform but was designed in an era where aircraft maneuverability was most important aspect. So the air-frame is good in producing lift and provide efficient control surface for better flight control. What is the down side? Radar Signature!

The suggested tailless delta with blended wing body would theoretically offer more internal fuel and better supersonic performance. Important thing to note here is that this platform is supposed to be more of a bomber than a fighter type. So desired characteristics are low radar signature and better supersonic performance.

For low radar signature, features from fifth generation aircrafts can be incorporated, major features should be

A: Better air intake design like J-20 or J-31 intakes for low radar signatures

B: Small vertical tail fins. Most probably in Y or X configuration.

C: Internal weapons bays: Most important requirement. Internal weapons bay would help in reduce the aerodynamic drag and radar reflections compared to weapons carried externally. Ideally this platform should have one main weapons bay under main fuselage and two supplementary bays in wings. Main bay should be able to carry two anti-ship missiles (like CM-400AKG, C-802AK). Or two Ra'ad (for air to ground role). Supplementary bays should be reserved for A2A missiles like PL-15 (two in each bay, 4 in total) and/or some Infrared homing as a last-ditch defense (PL-9, PL-10???)

D: Ability to fly low at high speed, sensors like FLIRs, IRSTs. I think WS-10 optimal performance altitude is medium to high. Some engineering wizardry might be required around air-intakes to offer optimal flow of air at low altitude??? Again, this is just loud thinking I don’t know how feasible this idea is.

E: To reduce cost, main fuselage and wings can be all metal like JF-17 but areas around air intakes, vertical fins, controls surfaces and weapon bay doors can be made of carbon composites (I think these offer less radar reflections, not sure about that).

F: Compared to other J fighters (J-11, J-15, J-16), based on two WS-10 engines, worst case scenario is this should have similar combat load range (1500 km). which is reasonable. Although I hope that a blended wing body with tailless delta would offer more internal fuel. To increase range, conformal fuel tanks or A2A refueling should be used. Would be wonderful if this platform can be designed to refuel like F-22 (it doesn’t have a refueling probe like other fighters. Instead the inlet is merged with body. (Do a google for “F-22 refueling” for better visuals).

G: Radar: Don’t know what AESA radar is used in other J-series fighters(J-11, J-15, J-16). But same can be used in this one. Although I would love to have something like SU-57 radar(N036 Byelka,1 nose mounted XBand AESA with 1552 T/R modules, two side mounted XBand with 358 T/R and two LBand Arrays in wings leading edges! Impressive)

In short this platform would be able to fly at low and medium altitude at high Mach speeds. Speed and low radar signature are of prime importance. With enough nose space to house a big AESA radar, such platform should be able to pick up enemy naval assets from a distance, fire Anti-ship missile and get out of there fast. The PL-15 mentioned above in supplementary weapons bay would be used to counter any enemy aircraft detected. Again it should be avoiding WVR fights as mentioned above, this platform is not designed for high G turns WVR fights.

Usage:
Navy: Main operator should be Navy. Such platform can stay on patrols for long periods of time (compared to Mirage/JF-17s). can carry more anti-ship missiles and can have a bigger radar to detect enemy assets at longer distance. Other usage is in strike role. Should be able to fly at low altitude, carrying some Ra`ads and able to reach coastal cities/naval installations for surprise attacks.
Airforce: Realistically, it cannot be used for deep penetration missions as sooner or later, it will be detected. But can be used as a platform for standoff weapons like Ra`ad or other standoff weapons in air force inventory. Ra`ad MK2 has range of 600 KM. In future me might see versions with improved range. Having such a high speed launch platform at your disposal with long range stand off A2S missiles will force enemy to invest more in A2A defense.

Other usage can be long range A2A carrier (acting like an interceptor). Since it should have large radar and speed, would be an ideal platform for long range PL-15s volleys at enemy air assets. Leaving WVR fight to other dedicated platforms like JF-17, F-16 or Project AZM (when that is ready).

Army: Again, I cannot be used for CAS as it would be too big/costly for that. However, can be used for bombing enemy armored columns (Bombs with GPS enabled REKs, Other air to surface missiles that can be fired from a distance).
you mean something like
The Xian H-20 (Chinese: 轰-20; pinyin: Hōng-20; alternatively Xian H-X) is a subsonic stealth bomber design of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, due to enter service in the future. It is referred to as a strategic project by the People's Liberation Army.The H-20 will be the first dedicated strategic bomber developed solely by China.

The United States expects the H-20 to be able to carry nuclear weapons. The aircraft may enter service around 2025.
wikipedia
 

Deino

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Hi,

Really---so you are agreeing to the material that has been stolen from my posts on the JH7's from this forum---for which I have written for about 10 years---.

Wallah---.

No I don't ... Please see my reply :smitten:


But I'm sure you again will only refrain to your some old mantra "Pakistan can get everything it wants from China, it only depends on Pakistan's will!" so I won't continue any arguments on this.
 

MastanKhan

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No I don't ... Please see my reply :smitten:


But I'm sure you again will only refrain to your some old mantra "Pakistan can get everything it wants from China, it only depends on Pakistan's will!" so I won't continue any arguments on this.
Saab 2000's are also out of production as well but still available---.

You still believe that chinese stuff is not available to pakistan---. I don't blame you---.

I told you along time ago---there is nothing in the chinese arsenal that is not available to pakistan---. If only you knew----hehehehehehe---.

You will make good money on the book you will write after that---.
 

Deino

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You will make good money on the book you will write after that---.
Not me, at least I know my limitations quite well ... but what about You? I know, Harpia is currently preparing something on Pakistan and the PAF!
 

MastanKhan

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Not me, at least I know my limitations quite well ... but what about You? I know, Harpia is currently preparing something on Pakistan and the PAF!
Hi,

It is not about your limitations---it is about the times we live in---.

If Christ rose up from the dead and claimed his position---people will throw rocks at him---and make him an outcast---.
 

RJV

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you mean something like
The Xian H-20 (Chinese: 轰-20; pinyin: Hōng-20; alternatively Xian H-X) is a subsonic stealth bomber design of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, due to enter service in the future. It is referred to as a strategic project by the People's Liberation Army.The H-20 will be the first dedicated strategic bomber developed solely by China.

The United States expects the H-20 to be able to carry nuclear weapons. The aircraft may enter service around 2025.
wikipedia
No, H-20 is subsonic based on flying wing design (again my only source for this is google). I have noticed that all the flying wings so far are subsonic.
What I had in mind was something similar to Avro Vulcan but with a clean delta and minimal vertical fins. Something with low RCS but also able to fly supersonic.

The thing is, i agree, somewhat, but heres what i see differently.

The navy has dedicated Mirage V's with exocet's for maritime strike, alongiside this, our P-3's can employ Harpoons for such a role, i feel you would be better off just purchasing more JF-17's as opposed to introducing a WHOLE new platform which would be a very, very costly venture for the PN. For A2/AD we are building a very capable surface and subsurface force to take care of IN CSG's and other ships, both qualitatively and quantitatively, its just that inducting the JH-7 would make no sense from a cost and logistics POV, i would even be for diverting mirages to the navy as opposed to procuring a whole new platform
Regardless of how capable surface and subsurface force we are building, one cannot deny the need for capable air assets. But I think we need a specialized strike platform. Such platform is equally important as a submarine or a frigate.
 
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