Katare wrote:I don't think there is any precedent for buying or selling strategic bombers? What chance of survival a lumbering strategic bomber would have against a 4th gen fighter aircraft backed by AWACs? For that size if it ain't super stealth, it's largely useless in modern battle field. MKI and rafale can lift 9tons of bombs which is more than enough for PGM in use these days.
And as I said earlier, the threat level for the IAF does not really change whether the Chinese have Backfires or not. The main role the Backfire can play in the land-war context as as a stand-off missile launcher over Tibet. And really, for that role it does not matter whether it was the H-6 or the Backfire that's launching the missiles. The IAF has to deal with the missiles anyway. And if somehow the IAF does get within range of taking down the stand-off launch aircraft, the only advantage the Backfire will have against the H-6 is that it will be faster in escaping and therefore more difficult to destroy. So expect the Backfires to shoot and scoot rather than play any games with IAF fighters up close. Also, Backfires will NOT be used for penetration strikes by the Chinese Air Force unless they are able to contest the skies above Tibet. One on one, the Backfire is not to be compared with IAF aircraft. But its definitely far more difficult to catch if an AWACS is not
The main issue here is for the Indian Navy. Their air defense capabilities will be seriously tested with this threat. But not in the Indian Ocean region unless the Chinese use tankers to support small strikes all the way from the mainland into the Bay of Bengal. Those small strikes can easily be dispatched, but only with adequate airborne radar coverage. Ka-31 AEW will not suffice. We need a naval airborne radar system that can fly to high altitudes and detect any such threats with suitable response time for the Mig-29Ks.
I think the main reason China is going for the Backfires is to use them in any potential war with the United States. Then the Backfire becomes deadly in the Pacific theater when launched from mainland china. Also a big use for SEAD strikes against Taiwan.
Not to mention the large potential for the reverse-engineering aerospace industry in China to get into action for a definite future high-speed replacement for the H-6.
I really do think we need to look past the immediate effects of this acquisition and towards the future implications.