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PLA Air Force - Air Defense

The AAA Branch was originally established in 1949 as part of the PLA Air Defense Force, which was a full service, until it was merged with the PLAAF in May 1957. According to some reports several AAA units in the PLAAF are integrated with SAM units and various radar systems in combined-arms air defense units.

The Air Force had 220,000 air defense personnel who control about 100 surface-to-air missile sites and over 16,000 antiaircraft guns. In addition, it has a large number of early-warning, ground-control-intercept, and air-base radars manned by specialized troops organized into at least twenty-two independent regiments. By the end of the 1980's, the radars used by the Air Force's radar corps contained over 20 varieties.

China lacked a coherent, national, strategic-level integrated air defense system (IADS). It has a variety of major defensive weapon systems; however, the bulk of China's air defense system is based on obsolete weapon systems, which, when combined with an antiquated and inefficient C3 system, allow for routine operations, such as providing point air defense for major cities and other high-value assets, but does not allow for an in-depth or flexible air defense throughout the country.

China's air defenses consist of strategic assets operated by the PLAAF and tactical assets operated by the PLA's ground forces. Historically, Beijing relied upon its large inventory of interceptors along with PLA anti-aircraft artillery units to defend the country. However, the acquisition of modern SAMs may be precipitating a change to the historical strategy in which SAMs had not been the primary choice of engagement. Modern SAMs are primary weapons against cruise missiles, SRBMs and tactical aircraft at close range. PLAAF aircraft would be primary weapons for engaging tactical aircraft at a greater distance. Until additional SAM units become operational, China will only be able to defend effectively against isolated intrusions and small-scale attacks.

The ground-to-air missile corps was formed in 1958-59. On 7 October 1959, it shot down a Taiwanese reconnaissance aircraft over Beijing, the combat use of surface-to-air missiles anywhere in the world. In the 10 ensuing years, the missile force shot down six US-made U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and three US-made pilotless aircraft. As of 1996 there were 600 air defense missile battalions, equipped with HQ-2 air defense missiles; HQ-3 air defense missiles; HQ-61 air defense missiles; HQ-7 air defense missiles; LY-60 (Lieying) air defense missiles; PL-9 air defense missiles; HY-5 shoulder-launched air defense missiles; QW-1 shoulder-launched air defense missiles; and three sets of advanced Russian-made S-300 missiles.

PLAAF Radar Brigades The Air Force is the main force to defend national air defense security. The Army, Navy and Armed Police Forces are responsible for some air defense tasks in accordance with the instructions of the Central Military Commission. Normally, national air defense implements the air force-military area air force-air defense force command system, and the air force exercises unified command of various air defense forces with air defense missions in accordance with the Central Military Commission's intentions. China's air defense system consists of six systems: reconnaissance and surveillance, command and control, air defense, ground air defense, comprehensive support, and civil air defense.

China has built an air defense force system that integrates reconnaissance and early warning, counterattack, counterattack and protection. It has a variety of air detection radars and early warning aircraft as the main body, supplemented by technical reconnaissance and electronic countermeasure reconnaissance. , Fighter bombers, surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft units as the main body, supplemented by the army's air defense forces, militia reserve air defense forces and people's air defense forces; with various protection projects and protection forces as the main body, and professional technical protection forces as the main Supplementary comprehensive protection means.

The basic daily air defense activities of the Air Force are mainly to organize reconnaissance and early-warning forces, monitor the air movements of the national airspace and surrounding areas, and keep abreast of various air security threats; organize command institutions at all levels to maintain the normal state with the capital as the core and the border and coastline as the focus On-duty combat readiness, commanding various air defense forces at any time; organizing daily anti-aircraft combat duty forces, conducting maritime airspace police patrols, border anti-reconnaissance, and domestic verification and disposal of abnormally unknown air conditions; organizing an air control system to monitor flight activities and maintain air order To ensure flight safety.

Today, the Air Forces surface-to-air missile unit, anti-aircraft unit, and army air defense unit have woven a powerful firepower network with high altitude, mid-air, and low-altitude missiles and anti-aircraft guns and anti-aircraft machine guns in the Republic, protecting the blue sky of the motherland at any time.

Mark Stokes, an expert on Chinese military issues at the US 2049 Institute, said that China's coastal radar is controlled by two independent services, namely the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy and the Air Force. The most vulnerable part of Chinas air defense network is the junction of the two: a radar brigade of the PLA Navy in Cangnan, Zhejiang, and an air force radar brigade in Fuding, Fujian. This gap is located on the south line of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone. Stokes was an assistant to the military officer of the US Air Force in Beijing in the 1990s, and later served in the Department of Defense in charge of China. The article said that the exceptions to this is the large phased array radar in Zhejiang, and other such large strategic radars, which is not controlled by the Navy or the Air Force. These facilities are under the responsibility of the Space Signal Intelligence Collection Force and are affiliated to the General Staff of the PLA.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:08:12 ZULU