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People's Liberation Army Navy - Coastal Defense

The PLA Navy's coastal defense forces are composed primarily of shore-to-ship missile units and antiaircraft artillery (AAA) units. The PLAN usually lists the coastal defense forces as fourth in protocol order among its five branches. However, the PLAN provides very little public coverage of the coastal defense forces compared to the other branches.


The coastal defense forces were officially established in 1950 with the opening of the Coastal Artillery School in August and the creation of the first coastal artillery battalion in October. In 1952, PLAN Headquarters created a Coastal Defense Department within the Headquarters Department. Today, PLAN Headquarters, each fleet headquarters, and each support base with subordinate coastal defense units has a coastal defense troop administrative organization in the Headquarters Department.

During 1951, the PLAN created several coastal artillery regiments, which were subordinate to either a base or a naval garrison. In 1955, a mobile coastal artillery regiment was established along with several independent coastal artillery battalions. In 1963, the PLAN began equipping its coastal defense forces with fixed and mobile shore-toship missiles. By the end of the 1960s, these missiles were organized into either regiments or battalions and were subordinate to either a fleet headquarters or a base.

The PLAN states that, since being created in the 1950s, the coastal defense forces have, either independently or in coordination with the ground forces or other PLAN branches, participated in more than 400 combat operations. During these operations, the coastal defense forces sank or damaged more than 70 vessels and shot down or damaged more than 40 aircraft.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:46:24 ZULU