China Aerospace Studies Institute Article Search

China Aerospace Studies Institute Articles

  • Overview of the PLA Air Force’s Integrated Air & Space Strategy

    This paper examines the “integrated air and space capability” 1 (kongtian yiti / 空天一体) component of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force’s (PLAAF) first ever service strategy, which was implemented to coincide with the PLAAF’s 10th Party Congress in May 2004 and represented a major milestone in China’s efforts to build a “Strategic Air
  • "The Qingdao" Commissioning of China’s First Domestic Aircraft Carrier

    Figure 1: Xi Jinping inspects CV-17 Shandong. Credit: XinhuaThe People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned its first domestically built aircraft carrier, CV-17 Shandong, on 17 December, 2019. The commissioning ceremony occurred at Sanya Comprehensive Support Base (三亚综合保障基地) with Xi Jinping and numerous senior PLA officials in attendance.[1]
  • "Flying Twice" No More: Assessing the Aerospace Component of the PLA Military Parade

    When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was planning for the military parade at the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in October 1949, China had 17 aircraft in total. China's late premier, Zhou Enlai, reportedly had to order the military to "fly them twice" to make the show more credible. On 1 October 2019, more than 100,000 military and civilian participants gathered at the heart of Beijing, participating in a military parade and a mass pageantry to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. This carefully choreographed event, designed for both domestic and foreign consumption, showcased more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of equipment. 

  • China's Aviation Industry: Lumbering Forward

    As we move further into the era of 21st century great power competition, it is important to understand with
    whom we are competing. This study is the first in a series of studies by the China Aerospace Studies Institute
    that seeks to lay the foundation for better understanding the Aerospace Sector of the People’s Republic of
    China (PRC). This study focuses on the major actors and institutions in the aviation portion of the PRC’s
    aerospace sector. Further case studies will examine specific programs within the sector, as well as the role of
    so-called ‘private’ or ‘commercial’ companies. This foundational study looks at the national-level, and the state-owned
    enterprises (SOE) that make up the bulk of PRC aviation.

  • Understanding Shuangxue: The PLAAF's Learning Organization Initiative

    This study focuses on how the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is attempting to better
    educate their people, promote learning, and thereby improve their combat
    effectiveness, the ultimate goal of any military. While many western nations’
    militaries have a long history of multi-faceted education and learning built
    into their personnel systems, the PLA, like many other communist-modeled
    militaries, has tended to focus on military training, vice education, limited to
    an individual’s specific position at the time, and left the ‘education’ portion
    to focus solely on political education in support of the Party. This appears to
    be slowing changing. With the introduction of the Shuangxue, aka double
    learning, model, the PLA is attempting to incorporate training and education
    across different levels and specialties. Inevitably this attempt to change not
    just a system, but a mindset, will have successes and failures, but it appears to
    have garnered enough momentum and senior level support to persist into the
    foreseeable future. This study seeks to explain the origins of Shuangxue, provide
    examples and insights as to how it is being applied through the force, and set a
    baseline against which the future may be judged.

  • PLA Aerospace Power: A Primer on Trends in China's Military Air, Space, and Missile Forces

    The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to develop rapidly
    across all aspects, hardware, technology, personnel, and organizational structure,
    etc. The PLA’s aerospace forces are, in many ways, leading that change. These
    include the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), PLA Naval Aviation, PLA Rocket Force
    (PLARF), and space and cyber assets affiliated with the PLA Strategic Support
    Force (PLASSF). This second edition from the China Aerospace Studies Institute
    (CASI), seeks to provide a brief primer on the trends affecting these forces and
    provide basic information about their composition and role today.

  • Understanding the "People" of the People's Liberation Army: A Study of Marriage, Family, Housing, and Benefits

    This study focuses on the People of the People’s Liberation Army. Without
    people, there is no army, and without highly trained people, there is no modern
    army. This is true not just for China, but for nations all over the world, the United
    States included. U.S. military periodicals and journals often feature articles and
    exposes detailing a myriad of ‘people problems’ facing the Department of Defense
    today. Obesity of potential recruits, low levels of civilian unemployment, and
    massive pilot shortage, are just a few of the challenges that the U.S. facing with
    recruiting, training, and retaining the best and brightest for the U.S. military.
    China’s Communist Party faces many of the same challenges in trying to fill and
    maintain the ranks of the PLA; however, some are uniquely Chinese, and may
    come as a surprise to those not familiar with certain aspects of Chinese culture.

  • Selling a Maritime Air Force: The PLAAF's Campaign for a Bigger Maritime Role

    Inter-service rivalry is an ever-present condition for militaries around the world. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is no exception to this rule. Since the end of 2015, the PLA has been undergoing massive reforms, both in strategic direction and in operational structure. The Chinese Communist Party has realized that, despite decades of investments, the PLA still has not caught up with the leading militaries of the world, although that is now an explicit goal. As part of this shift, the PLA is moving away from its traditional land defense army-centric organization toward the more ‘modern’ arms of warfare - air, blue sea, space, and cyber. As these newer, at least newer to the PLA, missions gain in importance, it is not surprising that the bureaucratic tendencies latent in any system have begun to show themselves. While the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) seems to have lost out on its bid to maintain control of PLA space issues, with the establishment of the PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF), it has started to make more concerted efforts to expand its presence and capabilities in the maritime domain. While both the PLAAF and the PLA Navy (PLAN) conduct aviation operations over water, the PLAAF is concerned that the rise of the PLAN’s aircraft carriers, and its attendant Naval Aviation arm, may be gaining influence and importance. As such, the PLAAF has undertaken a campaign toward increasing its relevance, capabilities, and presence, in the maritime domain. This study outlines the contours of that campaign, and its relevance to the future of both the PLAAF and PLAN Naval Aviation.

  • Brigadization of the PLA Air Force

    In 2016, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) began to implement its 11th large-scale reorganization, including a 300,000-man force reduction. One key component of the reorganization was the PLA Air Force's (PLAAF) shift away from its traditional Division-Regiment system to a Base-Brigade structure for its fighter and ground attack aircraft. This transition originally began in 2011 but implementation was apparently delayed soon after it began and did not restart until 2017. This paper discusses the evolution of the PLAAF's fighter and ground attack combat aircraft units and flight colleges to a brigade structure. 

  • Beijing ups pressure on domestic airlines to buy China-made jets

    GUANGZHOU -- China's government is increasing the pressure on domestic airlines to use more jets developed and manufactured in the country, a push that could present a big challenge to Boeing of the U.S. and Airbus, the European multinational.For the full
  • The Real Stakes in the New Space Race

    "America is only dipping its toe into the pool of the future, while China is already swimming furiously away."Read the full article at: https://warontherocks.com/2019/08/the-real-stakes-in-the-new-space-race/
  • A Primer on PLA Aerospace Forces (2nd Ed.)

    CASI is pleased to announce the 2nd Edition of its "Primer on Trends in China’s Military Air, Space, and Missile Forces".  We have hard copies that we are happy to send you, and it is available online on our website here:CASI Primer 2nd Edition      The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to develop rapidly across all aspects,
  • China's Aviation Industry: Lumbering Forward

    CASI is pleased to announce the publication of "China's Aviation Industry: Lumbering Forward".  We have hard copies available, or you can download it from hereChina's Aviation Industry: Lumbering Forward     As we move further into the era of 21st century great power competition, it is important to understand withwhom we are competing. This study
  • China and Russia historic flight

    Chinese and Russian bombers conducted a historic air patrol over the western Pacific.  The Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement about the flight."On July 23, 2019, the Aerospace Force of Russia and the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army of China conducted the first joint air patrol by long-range aircraft in the Asia-Pacific
  • This Chinese truck can launch a salvo of drones

    From C4ISRNET:What is most striking about modern warfare is the synthesis of technologies. A light truck for carrying troops is over a century old. Tube-launched artillery mounted on trucks was a stable of World War II. Explosive-tipped drones are a new variation on loitering munitions that have been around in some form since the 1980s. Combined,