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PLA Counterspace Command and Control

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

This report started as an effort to answer two questions about each of six counterspace weapon classes typically referenced in unclassified counterspace reports.  The weapons discussed in this report include: Direct Assent Antisatellite Missiles, Directed Energy Counterspace Weapons, Terrestrially based satellite electronic jammers, Space based grappling counterspace weapons, Offensive cyber counterspace weapons, Space based satellite electronic jammers.


1. Who in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will operate counterspace weapons in wartime?

2. Who will task the operators and how will the operators use counterspace weapons in wartime?

Each of the above six chapters includes a brief summary of the findings, areas for follow-up research, and dedicated sections for each question.  Only official People’s Republic of China (PRC) and PLA media and books, as well as technical reports by at least one PLA author are included.  Each chapter answers the first question differently, based on the publicly available information.  For example, some chapters include a likely operator, and other chapters include the most likely operator trainer.  In terms of the second question, each chapter describes if the PLA has discussed destructive or reversible uses, and answers if the PLA described those effects as directed by the Central Military Commission (CMC) or a Theater Command (TC).

The goal of such an approach is to bring more fidelity to unclassified reports on the PRC’s counterspace command and control (C2) to benchmark and better track organizational changes.  Improved unclassified discussions specific to PLA counterspace weapons C2 supports military planning, and coordination with allies and partners.  This research not only empowers the warfighter, but also the diplomat.  Dialogue with allies, partners, and Chinese counterparts demonstrates U.S. leadership in the establishment of norms for responsible behavior in space. 

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