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China Aerospace Studies Institute Articles

  • ITOW: Air Force Tactical Logistics

    The “In Their Own Words” series is dedicated to translations of Chinese documents in order to help non-Mandarin speaking audiences access and understand Chinese thinking. CASI would like to thank all of those involved in this effort. In the “In Their Own Words” series, CASI and its collaborators aim

  • Army Fuel Keeps Air Force Aircraft Flying

    In mid-February it was reported that a unit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force was receiving aviation fuel and other supplies from a supply base of the PLA Army. The report provides more evidence that the PLA is improving its joint logistics capability, as previously assessed by

  • Status of the 41st Aviation Brigade transition to the J-20

    By late last fall, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF) 41st Aviation Brigade active out of Wuyishan Airbase in Fujian province appeared to be transitioning to the J-20. Commercial satellite imagery from 29 November 2023 shows six J-20 airframes in the open at Wuyishan Airbase. This

  • Dragons Fly

    Dragons Fly! Dr. Brendan Mulvaney, Director of the China Aerospace Studies Institute at Air University, looks at China’s 2023 in the air and what’s likely in 2024. Plus this week’s headlines in #airpower. From the Defense & Aerospace Report 

  • PLA Naval Aviation Reorganization 2023

    In early 2023, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began transferring PLA Navy Aviation units to the PLA Air Force. By mid-2023, the PLA transferred the majority of PLAN fighter, bomber, radar, air defense, and airfield units to the PLA Air Force (PLAAF). In total, the PLA transferred at least three

  • The PLA Reconceptualizes Control of the Air

    The PLA is now promoting a more nuanced and modern understanding of control of the air. Consequently, the PLA is unlikely to seek command of the air in future military campaigns, and it is likely to reduce its spatial and temporal requirements for control of the air as its capabilities to conduct

  • The PLA Hopes B-21 Will Follow in B-2’s Footsteps

    The B-21 was unveiled to the public on December 2, 2022. In the following two months several assessments of the B-21 were published in the media of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Almost all the articles avoided assessing the capabilities of the B-21

  • The Centralization of the PLA Air Force’s Basic and Technical Training

    Initial entry training is a major undertaking for any armed force, but China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF) faces a unique set of challenges based on its enlisted force’s large size, relatively short service commitments, and high proportion of technical requirements. Although the

  • CASI Webinar on the PLA Air Force

    In March of 2022, CASI hosted a webinar focused on the PLA Air Force.  We were honored to host Cristina Garafola, Derek Solen, and Eli Tirk for this session.You can watch the video on DVIDS at: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/851247/casi-webinar-plaafOr on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/ZukCJvY8l4s

  • PLA Air Force: Bomber Force Training

    Bomber Unit TrainingThis paper provides information about bomber pilot training with a focus on daily training and over-water training in the Western Pacific and South China Sea, as well as participation in the Golden Dart competition in China and the Aviadarts component of the International Army

  • PLA Air Force Bomber Force Organization

    This report provides an overview of the organization of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF) Bomber force.According to the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s

  • Competition with China: The PLA Air Force

    Part of CASI's "Competition With China" video series which helps Airmen better understand the strategic competition with China broadly, and takes a deep look at many of the military and security aspects of that competition. CASI uses source documents to research and report on China’s aerospace

  • Third Combat Brigade of PLA Air Force Likely Receives Stealth Fighters

    On 9 December the Dutch Aviation Society’s website Scramble reported that a J-20 bearing the serial number 61162 had been spotted the day before. The J-20 is the first and only fifth-generation fighter that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force operates. Judging from this serial

  • Females in the PLA Air Force

    This report discusses the past and present role of females in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF) to include officers, enlisted personnel, civilian cadre, and civilian personnel. Historically, females in the PLAAF served in two primary roles:

  • PLA Air Force Shifts Transition Training to the Schoolhouse

    On October 4 and 5, 2021, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reported that the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) has begun experimenting with training a brigade of new pilots to fly the J-10, a fourth-generation fighter, at the Shijiazhuang Flight Academy, one of its three flight academies. In the

  • Humans First, Weapon Second?

    The United States Air Force (USAF) views its human warfighter as its most valuable assets. USAF fighter pilots participate in preventive care programs, such as Optimizing the Human Weapon System (OHWS), which provide them with extra embedded physical and psychological support to improve

  • Second Combat Brigade of PRC Air Force Likely Receives Stealth Fighter

    Something unusual appeared in a recent satellite image of an airbase in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In the image, a J-20 appears to be taxiing from the runway at Anshan Airport, a military-civilian, dual-use airport in northeastern China that is the home base of the 1st Aviation Brigade of

  • PLA Aerospace Primer 2nd edition in Turkish

    CASI is excited to announce the first translated version of one of its publications into Turkish.  Retired Turkish Air Force Colonel Dr. Yucel Topcu worked diligently to translate our second edition of the PLA Aerospace Primer.  We are grateful for his hard work and efforts, and pleased that he