HomeCASIArticle Display
CASI Banner

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, 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.

     This publication outlines the roles and missions of China’s aerospace forces, the PLAAF and its five branches, the PLARF, and the PLASSF. It also identifies
trends in PLA aerospace training and operational proficiency for these forces and discusses the near-term outlook. This publication is intended to serve
as foundational work, capturing a snapshot of capabilities, and an outline of organizations and key personnel, while identifying trends underway at the time of
its writing in early 2019.

     CASI supports the United States Defense Department and the China research community writ-large by providing high quality, unclassified research on Chinese
aerospace developments in the context of U.S. strategic imperatives in the Indo- Pacific region. Primarily focused on China’s Military Air, Space, and Missile Forces,
CASI capitalizes on publicly available native language resources to gain insights as to how the Chinese speak to and among one another on these topics.
With this second edition, CASI continues to describe the fundamentals in the field. Further research projects will expand on the framework laid out in this primer and will both expand and deepen public knowledge of developments in Chinese aerospace. While primarily focused on developments related to the services and branches of the PLA’s aerospace assets and forces, CASI also explores topics and areas related to the support infrastructure, industrial base, and military-civil fusion, that combines together to form the overall China aerospace field.

     CASI would like to acknowledge the work and effort of its Research Director, Ken Allen, and the many CASI Associates who contributed to the compilation
of data, research, and writing, of this volume, including Henry Boyd, MSGT Eric Griffin, Rick Gunnell, Andreas Rupprecht, Mark Stokes, TSGT Jennifer Thurman, MAJ Catherine Tobin, Sid Trevethan, Jess Woo, and others.

   We hope you will find this volume useful and timely, and welcome any feedback on its contents, or suggestions for further or future research in this field.

Dr. Brendan S. Mulvaney
Director, China Aerospace Studies Institute