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People's Liberation Army Air Force

  • PLAAF Equipment
  • PLAAF Modernization
  • PLAAF Organization
  • PLAAF Base / Brigade Re-org
  • PLAAF Training
  • PLAAF Air Defense
  • PLAAF Airbases
  • PLAAF Uniforms
  • PLAAF Insignia
  • PLAAF History

  • PLAAF References
  • 2015 Military Regions
  • Beijing MRAF
  • Chengdu MRAF
  • Guangzhou MRAF
  • Jinan MRAF
  • Lanzhou MRAF
  • Nanjing MRAF
  • Shenyang MRAF
  • 2017 Theater Commands
  • Central Theater Air Force
  • Eastern Theater Air Force
  • Northern Theater Air Force
  • Southern Theater Air Force
  • Western Theater Air Force
  • China aims to build a strategic air force by 2020, which will become modern by 2035, and will be world-class by the mid-21st century, the Xinhua News Agency reported in November 2018. The primary mission of the PLA Air Force is the defense of the mainland, and most aircraft are assigned to this role. A smaller number of ground attack and bomber units are assigned to interdiction and possibly close air support, and some bomber units could be used for nuclear delivery. The force has only limited military airlift and reconnaissance capabilities.

    The PLA's overall concept of operations is "Peoples War under Modern Conditions," which consists of tactical offensive actions in support of a basically defensive strategy. The primary land component strategy is forward presence and perimeter defense, with offensive operations intended to wear down an enemy which is on the offensive and attacking.

    In this context, the role of the PLAAF is to provide homeland air defense, to direct support to the PLA ground forces. Air defense operations are primarily focused on surface to air missiles, with additional emphasis on counterattacks against enemy bases. The PLAAF's primary objectives would be to prevent the enemy from interfering in the PLA ground forces, with second objectives to conduct Close Air Support (CAS) and Interdiction operations.

    The Soviet Union helped to establish the Air Force in 1949. The PLA Air Force was founded on 11 November 1949, and it was soon engaged in the war to resist U.S. and aid Korea, in the Korean War in the 1950s. On 19 June 1950, the first aeronautical unit of the People's Liberation Army -- the 4th Mixed Brigade -- was established, with Nie Fengzhi as the top commander. The Soviets began to provide aircraft in late 1951.

    Production technology came two years later. By 1956 China was assembling F-4s (copies of MiG-15s) and eight years later was producing both the F-5 (MiG-17) and the F-6 (MiG-19) under license. Meanwhile, Soviet instructors were training the new pilots in Soviet tactics. The withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1960 crippled China's aircraft industry. The industry declined markedly through 1963, further hindered by the high priority accorded to the competing missile and nuclear weapons program. The aircraft industry began to recover in about 1965, however, when China began providing F-4s and F-5s to North Vietnam.

    Chinese pilots saw considerable action in the Korean War and, to a lesser extent, during the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1958. During the China-Vietnam border conflict of 1979, the Chinese avoided air battles, probably at least partly because they lacked the confidence to challenge Vietnam's air force, which though far smaller was better armed and trained. Chinese sources claim that the PLAAF achieved a 97.5 percent readiness rate and a 99.7 percent takeoff rate for its aircraft during the Sino-Vietnamese conflict in 1979. However, this was not a difficult feat, given low sortie rate.

    Overall, the PLAAF launched some 8,500 sorties [including area familiarization, flights during the 30-day conflict, and postconflict sorties] over a period of two to three months. With some 700 aircraft deployed to the Vietnamese border, that suggests only a dozen sorties per aircraft over sixty-plus days. PLAAF fighter engines require a major overhaul after 300 to 350 hours of flying time, while the F100 engines on the F-16 require a substantial overhaul every 1300 hours. The PLAAF's "light front, heavy rear" strategy denies frontline air bases extensive maintenance and repair facilities. [Felix K. Chang "Beijing's reach in the South China Sea"]

    The PLAAF has developed new training programs for the Air Force Academy and flight school, as well as short-term training courses, which are trained up to 60 percent of military personnel. In accordance with these programs increased time, the outlet to flight training and tactical exercises duration during a single flight. Number of training and trainer aircraft in 2005 increased by approximately 2.5 times. During flight training became actively use the new combat training aircraft L-15, developed with the participation of Russian specialists. Annual flight pilots combat units fighter, fighter-bomber and bomber aircraft reached 150 hours, and military transport - more than 200 hours.

    At the same time the PLAAF increased the number of procedures during a flight training exercises. If previously posed only one - two learning tasks, it is now three - four. For example, the testing of long-range air missile elements of combat and combat air passing maneuver using missile and gun armament; testing of skills of fire, interference and countering maneuverable air defenses; working out how to identify, detect ground (sea) moving and stationary targets, performance targeting and use of guided and unguided aircraft weapons. interests in training and education is actively used and joint exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as well as training and exercises on a bilateral basis.

    In addition to highlighting the ability of the troops to coordinate operations and integrate into the combat system, the exercise introduced for the first time third-party force simulation intervention, emergency and dangerous situations such as aircraft-guided reconnaissance, interference, and support, so that the combat effectiveness level has been effectively improved in real to real resistance.

    The assessment of the penetration and assault competition and the "Red Sword" series of system confrontation exercises came into being. The "three major brands" of the Air Force's actual combat training not only opened up the passage from flight to air combat, but also established a clear direction for improving combat effectiveness through troop battles and winning opponents on the battlefield. Rapidly jump.

    Over the past few years, as the titles of "golden helmet" and "golden darts" became popular, some people took these as their purposes. In order to get results and get a gold medal, he did not hesitate to take a slant, opportunistic and tricky tricks, he made crooked tricks, and took the sidewalk. They forget that no matter whether it is "golden helmet" or "gold darts", it is still just a means, the purpose is to be able to fight and win the war with a single order.

    On July 3, 2015, during the half-year military training and security work video and telephone conference of the Air Force, the head of the Air Force specifically made serious criticisms of the actions taken in the exercise field that impaired the tactics and distorted the actual combat. Since then, the "rectification, discipline, and strict quality" special rectification activities vigorously carried out in the Air Force aviation unit and flight schools are another correction of the flight course of the Air Force policy makers.

    In recent years, the Air Force has formed "four major brands" in actual combat training such as the "Red Sword" exercise and the "Blue Shield" exercise through the "Double Learning" activity. As a defense air force on the side of the theater, it must adhere to the guidance of the goal of a strong army, focus on the Air Force's "air and space integration, offensive and defensive" strategic transformation goals, adhere to combat effectiveness standards, adhere to mission traction, as always, grasp the "four major brands" as the focus The actual combat training of the hands ensures that the combat effectiveness level is steadily improved.

    Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi inspected the air force organs four times and made it clear that the Air Force is a strategic service. He personally ignited the dream torch of accelerating the construction of an air-space integration and a strong offensive and defensive force, and made a series of important instructions.

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    Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:09:02 ZULU