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The first radar battalion was established in April 1950 in Nanjing, but was called a Telecommunications Group (dianxun dadui) for security purposes. The group had five squadrons (zhongdui). The second battalion was established in Shanghai as part of the, Shanghai Air Defense Headquarters (fangkong siling bu) in May 1950. The first radar regiment was formed in 1955, and the name Radar Troops (leida bing) became official on 26 July 1957, and the radar troops became a PLAAF branch (bingzhong). 

Once the PLA Air Defense Force (ADF/fangkongjun) was established in December 1950, radar units were divided into two types. Those subordinate to the ADF were responsible for early warning, and those subordinate to the PLAAF were responsible for directly supporting aviation units.

 Initially, ADF warning radar sites (jingjie leida zhan) reported the information to a battalion station lying zhan) or a regimental station (tuan zhan). Once the information was synthesized, it was forwarded to the Military Region ADF Headquarters General Station (junqu fangkong bu zong fenzhan). Finally, the General Station reported the information to the appropriate unit. At that time, all of the PLAAF's radar sites were subordinate to the Communications Department (tongxin bu), which was a first level administrative department within HqAF.

 Shortly after the PLAAF and ADF merged in 1957, the HqAF Aircraft Reporting Command Department (duikong qingbao bing zhihui bu) was renamed the Radar Department (leida bing bu) and was directly subordinated to the PLAAF commander. In addition, the MRAF Headquarters Department's Aircraft Reporting Command Division (zhihui chu) was also renamed the Radar Department (leida bing bu) and became directly subordinate to the MRAF commander.

 In 1959, radar sites (leida zhan) were established as the basic unit, while regiments became the highest unit. At that time, the sites and regiments either had a Reporting Battalion Headquarters (qingbao ying bu) or an Administrative Battalion Headquarters (guanli ying bu) between them, depending upon the situation. As a result, the radar organization had either a three level (regiment-battalion-site) or a two level (regiment-site) structure. In the early 1960s, this changed so that there was only a three level structure.

 Today, Radar Troops are organized into regiments (tuan), battalions lying), and companies/sites (lian/zhan). Each regiment has various battalions, including one reporting battalion (qingbao ying) and up to 20 radar companies/sites. Each company/site has 2-3 radars and 20 personnel (officers and enlisted) assigned. For example, one company near the Sino-Soviet border reported 39,705 groups (pi) and 45,539 sorties (jiaci) in 1988.

 Radar Troop training takes place at the PLAAF Radar Academy (leida xueyuan) in Wuhan or at Radar Troop Training Groups (leida bing xunlian tuan). The Radar Academy had graduated over 7,800 cadets by the end of 1987, and'there were 510 cadets in the 1989 and 500 in the 1990 graduating class. Training is for three years, and the cadets must serve one year in a unit before they receive their commission. In addition, over 1200 technicians and platoon commanders (paizhang) had been trained at MRAF training units, such as the training group in the Chengdu MRAF, by the end of 1987. The Lanzhou MRAF also has a radar training group. 


The regiments apparently have the status of independent regiments, and are therefore equal in status to a division (shiji). A radar regiment's command staff consists of the following personnel: 

- Commander

- Political commissar

- Deputy commander(s)

- Chief of staff (Director, Headquarters Department)

- Director, Political Division

- Director, Logistics Division

- Director, Maintenance Division

 The regiment also has a Party Committee (dangwei) and Party Standing Committee (dangwei changwei), of which the political commissar is the secretary. The Standing Committee .consists of the command staff, and the Party Committee includes the command staff plus the commander and political director of each subordinate battalion. 


The regiment's administrative organization consists of a Headquarters Department (siling bu), Political Division (zhengzhi chu), Logistics Division (houqin chu), and a Maintenance Division (jishu chu). Although the Maintenance Division is equal to the Logistics Division at the regiment level, but works for the higher headquarter's Logistics Department. Each of the divisions have subordinate branches (gu). For example, the Logistics Division has a Quartermaster Branch (junxu gu), and the Political Division has a Propagands Branch(xuanchuan gu).



Radar regiments are subordinate to the Radar Division (leida chu) within the next higher headquarters level for day-to-day technical matters, to the Operations Division (zuozhan chu) for operational matters, and to the training and logistics elements for those functions.

 Within each radar regiment's Headquarters Department there is a Command Post (zhihuisuo), which is best translated as an operations centers. The Command Post is separate from the operations element and comes under the chief of staff. There is at least one representative from each of the second-level administrative elements within each of the four first-level departments/ divisions who man the Command Post. Each subordinate operational unit also has a Command Post.

 When a radar unit tracks an aircraft, the unit passes the information up two separate chains. The first chain is to the command post at HqAF through the radar unit's next higher command post, whether that next higher level is the regiment, an MRAF Headquarters, an Air Corps, or a Command Post such as the Tangshan Command Post. At the same time that the info is going to HqAF, it is being sent directly to the General Staff Department's command post.





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