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The PLA Navy Coastal Defense Missile Force

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is comprised of five branches (兵种): the surface fleet, the submarine fleet, naval aviation, the marine corps, and coastal defense. As the PLAN modernizes, each of the branches has undergone its own modernization. This includes the PLAN Coastal Defense force (PLANCDF) which is primarily comprised of coastal artillery forces and coastal defense missile forces. Although the PLANCDF coastal artillery has become mostly obsolete, the missile component of this force (海军岸导部队or PLAN Coastal Defense Missile force (CDMF)) has not only been growing, but may play a critical role in many of the PLA’s envisioned operations on China’s periphery. The CDMF is comprised of anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) systems and represents the shore-based medium and long-range fires that the PLAN brings to fights on the periphery of China. In the past decade, the CDMF has consistently undergone upgrades to its organization, the missile systems that it fields, and its barracks (军营). This branch has also been highlighted in official media several times recently demonstrating an increased interest in enhancing its capabilities and bringing the CDMF into focus. This paper aims to document the CDMF organization, its role in PLA operations, the different CDMF regiments within the Theater Commands (TC), the missile technology, and the facility modernizations that the CDMF has undergone. To compile this information, the author used open-source publicly available information from a variety of different online tools as well as official PLA media, and publicly available databases to draw conclusions on the capability and potential roles of the CDMF in PLAN operations.

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