UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Liberation Army Rocket Force

The People's Liberation Army Rocket Force is a new service of the People's Liberation Army. It was renamed from the Second Artillery Corps and was officially established on 31 December 2015. It is a strategic support for China's status as a great power and an important cornerstone for maintaining national security. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China , chairman of the country, and chairman of the Central Military Commission, conferred military flags and delivered training speeches to the Army, Rocket Army, and Strategic Support Forces. Zhou Yaning served as the commander of the Rocket Army, and Wang Jiasheng served as the Rocket Army Political Committee.

President Xi Jinping pointed out that the establishment of the PLA Rocket Force is an important decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the CMC to realize the Chinese Dream and the Dream of a Strong Military, and a strategic initiative to build a modern military power system with Chinese characteristics. Xi said that the PLA Army should optimize its power structure and troop formation, speed up the Armyís transformation from the regional defensive type to the full-spectrum combat type, so as to build a powerful, modern and new-type Army. Xi stressed that the PLA Rocket Force is Chinaís core strategic deterrence power. The PLA Rocket Force should strengthen the trustworthy and reliable nuclear deterrence and nuclear counter-attack capabilities, intensify the construction of medium and long range precision strike power, and reinforce the strategic check-and-balance capability, so as to build a powerful and modern Rocket Force.

It is worth noting that the commander and political commissar of the Rocket Army were selected by the second artillery commander Wei Fenghe and the second artillery political commissar Wang Jiasheng. Official resumes show that Wei Fenghe, 62, has been working in the Second Artillery Force since he joined the army. In 2010, he was promoted from the Second Artillery Chief of Staff to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Army. In 2012, he took command of the new second artillery. He was elected as a member of the Central Military Commission on November 15, 2012, and was promoted to the rank of general on November 23.

The 61-year-old Wang Jiasheng had served as deputy director of the political department and director of the political department of the General Armament Department. In December 2011, he served as deputy political commissar of the General Equipment Department. In 2013, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. In December 2014, Wang Jiasheng became the political commissar and party secretary of the Second Artillery Corps.

PLARF force structure changes from 2nd Artillery Corps include various new units, changes in True Unit Designations and Military Unit Cover Designations, and the reassignment of some missile brigades from one base to another. After reorganization in 2015, these bases were renumbered as bases 61 to 67, of which base 67 was the new code for base 22. The numbers of the brigades were also renumbered according to the situation of the base. For example, a brigade under the 62nd base will be named 62X brigade.

Each base has about 6 brigades. Each brigade contains thousands of personnel, and the missile launch vehicle itself is also divided into a launch battalion composed of launch companies. Depending on the type of missiles equipped by the brigade, the number of transport / erection / launch vehicle (TEL) for each formation also varies greatly. For example, the DF-31 brigade has about 12 launchers per brigade, and each company is responsible for one launcher, while the DF-15 brigade has up to 36 launchers per brigade, and each company has a maximum of 3 launchers. It is believed that the cruise missile brigade has 27 launchers and the intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) brigade has about 16 launchers.

It is possible for each vehicle to be fired more than once. The missile mobile launcher can not only carry missiles, but can also be repeatedly loaded and fired. The reload time of the missile is about 40 minutes to 120 minutes. For example, according to the calculation of 144 missiles attached to the 817 missile brigade in Yongan, Fujian , it should be prepared according to the 4-4 system, that is, it has 16 missile launch vehicles, and at least 54 launches from each base in Fujian, Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi. There are about 300 launch vehicles in total. It is conservatively estimated that more than 270 missiles can be successfully launched at one time; 540 missiles can be launched twice.

The People's Liberation Army Rocket Army has: intercontinental, long-range, medium-range, and short-range nuclear attack capabilities. It has jurisdiction over the 61st base (in Huangshan City, Anhui Province), the 62nd base (in Kunming City, Yunnan Province), the 63rd base. (Huaihua City, Hunan Province) 64th Base (Xining City, Qinghai Province, Lanzhou City, Gansu Province) 65th Base (Panyang City, Liaoning Province) 66th Base (Luoyang City, Henan Province) The 67th base (Baoji City, Shaanxi Province), the 68th base (Luoyang City, Henan Province), the 69th base, with a mobile launch brigade as a combat establishment.

Available: Dongfeng-5 intercontinental ballistic missile, Dongfeng-11 short-range ballistic missile, Dongfeng-15 short-range ballistic missile, Dongfeng-16 short-range ballistic missile, Dongfeng-21 medium-range ballistic missile, Dongfeng-26 medium-range ballistic missile, Dongfeng-31 Various types of missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, Dongfeng-17 short-range ballistic missiles, and Changjian-10 patrol missiles, have powerful combat strength, with about 150,000 officers and men directly under the direct command of the Central Military Commission.

China has a series of defense facilities located deep under mountains dubbed the "Underground Steel Great Wall," which "guarantee the security of the country's strategic arsenal" against potential attacks, including those from hypersonic weapons. While China is one of a few countries in the world that operate nuclear weapons, it has promised no first use. It was crucial the force survive an initial hostile strike to launch a counterattack.

People's Liberation Army Rocket Force predecessor, the Second Artillery Corps, was founded in July 1, 1966 by Mao Zedong approval of the Chairman, Zhou Enlai prime minister personally named, always by the Central Military grasp direct Commission, was the core force of China's strategic deterrence. It was responsible for deterring other countries use nuclear weapons against China, carrying out nuclear counterattacks and conventional missile precision strike missions. From the very beginning, this mysterious army holding the "big sword" shouldered the task of safeguarding the fundamental survival interests of the Chinese state. It can be said that for potential hostile forces, the Second Artillery was comparable to the sword of Damocles in ancient Greek mythology, the most powerful killer tool to deter the enemy.

Before December 31, 2015, the Chinese People's Liberation Army was composed of three services: the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and an independent arm, the Second Artillery Corps. Although the "Second Artillery" and the Air, Sea, and Air Forces are the same level as the Zhengda Military Region, compared with the Land, Sea, and Air Forces. The service identity of the "Second Artillery" was still different. However, as a strategic force directly under the control of the Central Military Commission, the "Second Artillery" was actually not related to the Army Group Army except for wearing an army uniform.

China called the "Rocket Army" and Russia called the "Strategic Rocket Army". From a technical point of view, ballistic missiles and rockets are actually the same thing, so from the name, the outside world will understand that these two units are missile units. But why does China not add the word "strategy", is there anything in it? Russia is called the "Strategic Rocket Army" because it controls all of Russia 's land-based strategic nuclear strike forces, including SS-18 "Satan" intercontinental missiles deployed in 46 silos and SS-19 deployed in 60 silos. Intercontinental missiles, "Poplar-M" SS-27 intercontinental missiles deployed in 60 silos, 72 mobile-position "Poplar" SS-25 intercontinental missiles, 18 mobile-deployed "Poplar-M" intercontinental missiles and 58 SS-29 intercontinental missiles.

Russia had a total of 305 intercontinental ballistic missiles and carries 1,166 nuclear warheads. Both of these figures exceed the number of US-based land-based missiles and warheads, but the overall number of US and strategic nuclear missiles and warheads exceeds that of Russia, because the US military's underwater strategic nuclear power, survivability and strike effect far exceed Russia.

The Chinese Rocket Army, as the successor of the original "second artillery", not only has the original strategic missile force, but also has many advanced tactical conventional missile forces. The latter obviously does not take on the role of national strategic nuclear deterrence, but is instead a high-precision "killer weapon" of our military's high-tech local warfare, and even bears the assault role of the first wave of strikes. In contrast, the United States does not have tactical ballistic missiles, while both Russian tactical missiles are used by the Army.

Therefore, China had only the word "rocket army" without the word "strategy", which reflects the characteristics of the equipment of the Chinese rocket army. So, how to understand the Rocket Army in the context of reforming the "structuring the military commission-theater-troop combat command system and military commission-service-troop leadership management system"? In fact, the strategic missile weapons of the major nuclear powers are directly controlled by the highest military organs of various countries. Take the United States as an example. All land-based, space-based, and sea-based strategic nuclear weapons in the United States have command authority during wartime, and the President (and the Secretary of Defense) directly command through the United States Strategic Command based on the degree of threat. The U.S. Strategic Command is a functional joint combat command featuring the US global strategic strike.

Du Wenlong, a regular researcher at the Combat Theory and Doctrine Research Department of the Academy of Military Sciences, analyzed: There are a few considerations for the second artillery to be renamed the Rocket Army. First of all, the second artillery is a way of naming under certain historical conditions. For a long time, the second artillery is actually responsible for the functional tasks of a service. This time it is renamed the Rocket Army. Second, the name was changed to the Rocket Army, which showed that the Chinese army was more open, more confident, and more transparent. The name was changed to show its image more clearly and completely, showing the confidence, openness, and transparency of the Chinese army. The Rocket Army is the core force of China ís strategic deterrence, the strategic support of China ís status as a great power, and an important cornerstone of maintaining national security. China has always pursued the principle of not using nuclear weapons first and adheres to the nuclear strategy of self-defense defense. The minimum level of security required is consistent with China ís nuclear policy and strategy, without any changes.

The People's Liberation Army Rocket Army is the core force of China's strategic deterrence, the strategic support for China's status as a great power, and an important cornerstone for maintaining national security. All Rocket Army officers and soldiers must grasp the Rocket Army's functional positioning and mission tasks, enhance credible and reliable nuclear deterrence and nuclear counterattack capabilities, strengthen the construction of medium and long-range precision strike forces, and strengthen strategic checks and balances in accordance with the strategic requirements of both nuclear standing and global deterrence. Ability to work hard to build a powerful modern rocket army.

The deep underground Great Wall, where troops are on duty for training, guards and officers will have disturbances in their perception of time and space.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 18-10-2021 15:46:59 ZULU