AIR FORCE WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT
AIR FORCE WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT
The Scientific Research Department (keyan bu) is the organization tasked with developing the PLAAF's weapons and equipment. At the MRAF Headquarters level, the Scientific Research Division (keyan chu) has some, but not all, of these responsibilities. The Scientific Research Department's responsibilities are as follows:
- Once the contract is awarded, the Scientific Research Department coordinates on the criteria (such as system and subsystem requirements, quality control, and performance), budget, schedule, and on any technical problems that occur during the development process. The requirements are based on the operational needs set north by the PLAAF's units, by the General Staff Department's approval, .by capability of the ministries to produce such systems, and by the money available.
TYPES OF AIR FORCE WEAPONS
general terms, the PLAAF's weapons can be categorized into three types of systems:
operational (zuozhan), command and control (zhihui kongzhi), and support (baozhang).
Operational systems are divided into air-to-air, air-to-surface,
surface-to-air, and surface-to-surface types of
weapons, these include aircraft, airborne weapons, surfaceto-air
Command and control systems include ground warning command (dimian yujing zhihui),
airborne warning command (kongzhong yujing zhihui), communications,
and automated control handling (zidonghua kongzhi chuli).
Support systems include transport aircraft, refueling aircraft,
reconnaissance and ECM aircraft, trainers, weapons maintenance, logistics
WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION CRITERIA
- General and specific national economic construction and national defense construction.
The national economic level and the economic and technical capability of
national defense industries.
Domestic and international S&T and weapons development trends.
new programs to be placed in the medium-long term plan must have an
evaluation of the combined economic and technical criteria, must have an
evaluation report, must have a definite mission, and must be based on a
definite medium-long term plan. The contents of the
combined economic and technical evaluation includes the following:
An analysis of operational use requirements and tactical and technical
Basic estimate of when the equipment is needed at the unit and how many to buy.
A technical analysis of the possibility of achieving the desired results.
An analysis of the development costs and budget and the necessary support
Comparison with the same type of foreign equipment in terns of current levels
and the development situation.
GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT
are five general procedures for developing weapons. Basically, the PLAAF
submits a report to the General Staff Department, COSTIND, and the Military
Commission requesting a certain weapon system. If the report is approved, it is
put in the medium-long term or annual plan. The PLAAF then submits a
request for proposal (RFP) to the appropriate ministries and/or foreign
companies. Once the program is defined, the PLAAF and the contracting ministry
do a joint report to the General Staff Department and COSTIND. Design and
production finalization follow this. Altogether, there are three reports and
three approvals during the five phase process.
THEORETICAL EVALUATION (LUNZHENG) PHASE
Based on the medium-long term plan and the annual plan, the Scientific Research Department's subordinate research institutes, units, and schools conduct a theoretical evaluation of the weapon system's operational performance requirements and tactical and technical criteria. This evaluation includes an analysis of the operational mission and objectives, the basic requirements of the system's components and important equipment, and the development schedule. A report is submitted to higher authorities, and, if approved, the process moves to the next phase.
PROGRAM (FANGAN) PHASE
This phase consists of submitting an RFP to the
appropriate contractors (zhaobiao), and selecting a
contractor (xuanding yanzhi
danwei) based on a national unified plan and set
guidance. Once the contractor is selected, the PLAAF's research institutes) and
military representatives at the production facility (jun daibiao chu) conduct a joint evaluation along with the contractor
of the development program and of the development and implementation of a
prototype/mockup (yangji). After the critical
technology is decided, a development mission report (yanzhi
renwu shu) is drafted on
the basis of the development plan's feasibility. The report is submitted to
higher authorities, and, if approved, the process moves to the next phase.
ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT (GONGCHENG YANZHI) PHASE
Based on approval of the development mission report and
the appropriate contract, the production unit is responsible.for
designing the weapon, and producing and testing a prototype/mockup. Testing
normally takes 12-18 months. During this phase, the military
representative reviews the program in terms of development and expenditures.
DESIGN FINALIZATION (SHER DINGXING) PHASE
Once the engineering development phase is completed and
the weapon meets the design requirements, the military conducts tests at a unit
or a testing base. Based on the results of these tests, the National
Finalization Commission (guojia dingxing
weiyuanhui) carries out design finalization testing. If these results are
acceptable, the design is finalized. The senior members of the commission are
the Minister of the Ministry of Aero-Space Industry the PLAAF Deputy
Commander who is responsible for equipment and R&D. There are several other
members, including the responsible deputy chief of staff, members of the
Ministry of Aero-Space and/or relevant ministries, and the director of
the Scientific Research Department. The PLAAF members also belong to a PLAAF
Aviation Commission (hangkong bing
weiyuanhui), which is chaired by same deputy commander as above. The day to day
administrative affairs for design finalization and the PLAAF commission are
handled by the Aviation Finalization Office (hangkong dingxing
PRODUCTION FINALIZATION (SHENGCHAN DINGXING) PHASE
On the basis of the design finalization, a set number of
production examinations and tests are conducted. After they are completed,
production finalization testing and production finalization are carried out.
Production finalization is an important way for the natiorl
to carry out a complete examination of a production batch, and to confirm
whether or not the production batch meets the required standards. The
production finalization organization then sends the necessary report to the
appropriate authorities for approval. Finally, the equipment is procured
and turned over to the Equipment Department within the Headquarters Department
to begin supplying the units.
In November 1959, the PLAAF received its first K-5 AAMs from abroad. During the first half of 1960,
The SAM range is located near the AAM range. In July 1970,
the range also came under PLAAF control, and was later renamed the PLAAF 2nd
Test and Training Base (kongjun deer shiyan xunlian jidi).
Between October 1958 and January 1959, the PLAAF formed its
first SAM unit, equipped with the Soviet SA-2.
In July 1986, the PLAAF had proposed its weapons requirements for the 7th five year plan. In 1987, it had already completed its report on the plans for weapons development in the year 2000.
* The terms zhongdian zhi yi (focal point) is a key to determining which projects get emphasis in the five year plan.
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