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  • PLA – A quick Reference.

    PLA – A quick reference.

    State Council ------------------Central Military Commission (CMC)
    Ministry of National Defense
    People’s Armed Police
    Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (The new CONSTIND)

    Central Military Commission (CMC) ------------- People’s Armed Police
    General Staff Department ----------------- Ministry of National Defense
    General Political Department ----------------- Ministry of National Defense
    General Logistic Department ----------------- Ministry of National Defense
    General Armament/Equipment Department ----------------- Ministry of National Defense
    (Included the old Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (CONSTIND)
    PLA Academy of Military Science
    PLA National Defense University
    Air Force
    Strategic Missile Force (Second Artillery Corp)
    Seven Military Regions
    15 Airborne Corp
    HongKong garrison
    Macao garrison
    Central Guard.
    Globalsecurity’s China military guide has great write up on PLA.

    Seven Military Regions:
    Beijing MR - Beijing, Tianjiang, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia
    Shenyang MR – Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning
    Jinan MR – Henan, Shangdong
    Nanjing MR – Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Fujian, Shanghai, Anhui
    Guangzhou MR – Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan
    Chengdu MR – Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunan, Guizhou, Tibet
    Lanzhou MR Shaanix, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Ningxia.

    The following drawing is taken from the current edition (2008) of the Annual Pentagon China Military Power Report
    Attached Files
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

  • #2

    15 Airborne Corp
    43rd Airborne Division
    44th Airborne Division
    45th Airborne Division

    Beijing Military Region
    27th GA
    235 Mech Infantry Brigade
    80th Motor Infantry Brigade
    188th Mech Infantry Brigade
    82nd Motor Infantry Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    Armor Brigade
    AD Brigade

    38th GA
    6th Armor Division
    112th Heavy Mech Infantry Division
    113th Light Mech Infantry Division
    4th AD Brigade
    6th Arty Brigade

    65th GA
    207th Moto Infantry Brigade
    193rd Motor Infantry Division
    70th Motor Infantry Brigade
    1st Armor Division
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    Beijing Garrison
    1st Beijing Garrison Division
    2nd Beijing Garrison Division
    3rd Beijing Garrison Division

    Tainjin Garrision
    196th Motor Infantry Brigade
    Motorized Infantry Brigade

    Shengyang Military Region

    16th GA

    4th Armor Division
    48th Motor Infantry Division
    68th Motor Infantry Brigade
    69th Motor Infantry Division
    10th Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    39th GA

    3rd Armor Division
    115 Mech Infantry Division
    116 Mech Infantry Division
    190 Mech Infantry Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    40th GA

    118th Motor Infantry Brigade
    119th Motor Infantry Brigade
    5th Armor Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade.

    Three Fortification Zones. (each with a Division)

    Nanjing Military Region

    Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile Brigade

    1st GA

    10th Armor Division
    1st Amphibious Mech Infantry Division
    3rd Motor Infantry Brigade
    9th Artillery Division
    AD Brigade

    12th GA

    2nd Armor Division
    34th Motor Infantry Brigade
    36th Motor Infantry Brigade
    179th Motor Infantry Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    31st GA

    86th Motor Infantry Division
    91st Motor Infantry Division
    92nd Motor Infantry Brigade
    Amphibious Armor Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    13th AD Brigade

    Shanghai Garrison
    1st Shanghai Garrison Brigade
    2nd Shanghai Garrison Brigade

    Fujian Provincial Military District
    11th Costal Defense Division
    12th Costal Defense Division
    13th Costal Defense Division
    15th Costal Defense Division

    Changdu Military Region

    13th GA

    149th Mech Infantry Division
    37th Motor Infantry Division
    Armor Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    14th GA

    31st Motor Infantry Division
    40th Motor Infantry Division
    Armor Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    Tibet Military District

    52nd Mountain Infantry Brigade
    53rd Mountain Infantry Brigade

    Guangzhou Military Region
    32nd Pontoon Bridge Brigade

    41st GA

    123rd Mech Infantry Division
    121st Motor Infantry Division
    Armor Brigade
    Artillery Brigade
    19th AD Brigade

    42nd GA

    124th Amphibious Mech Infantry Division
    163nd Motor Infantry Division
    1st Art Division
    AD Brigade
    9th Armor Brigade

    Guangzhou Garrison
    Guangzhou Garrison Division

    Lanzhou Military Region

    21st GA

    12th Armor Division
    55th Mountain Infantry Brigade
    61st Mech Infantry Division
    15th Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    47th GA

    139th Mech Infantry Brigade
    56th Motor Infantry Brigade
    1st Arty Briagde
    AD Brigade
    Armor Brigade

    Xinjiang Military District

    4th Highland Motor Infantry Division
    6th Highland Mech Infantry Division
    8th Highland Motor Infantry Division
    11th Highland Motor Infantry Division
    AD Brigade
    2nd Arty Briagde

    Jinan Military Region

    20th GA

    Armor Brigade
    58th Mech Infantry Brigade
    60th Motor Infantry Brigade
    11th Armor Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade

    26th GA

    8th Armor Division
    138th Motor Infantry Brigade
    77th Motor Infantry Brigade
    199th Motor Infantry Brigade
    Arty Brigade
    54th AD Brigade

    54th GA

    127th Light Mech Infantry Division
    162nd Motor Infantry Division
    11th armor Division
    Arty Brigade
    AD Brigade
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson


    • #3
      Xinhui, what guns do each artillery brigades and divisions have? Also, what is the organisation and table of equipment with the divisional engineer regiment regiments? Which kind of pontoons do the PLA River crossing Regiments have?


      • #4

        Good sir, the answers are somewhat complicated. There are still divisions awaiting new equipment while the 38th and 39th Group Armies have discarded their 1960 era systems. Add to that a splattering of independent artillery and engineering regts, then there is a mix of old and new still around.

        The best place for all your answers would be the where Andy and I run this academic (read you would have more fun staring at a dead fish) centric forum.
        Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 01 Jun 09,, 19:25.


        • #5
          Originally posted by klrajiv View Post
          Xinhui, what guns do each artillery brigades and divisions have? Also, what is the organisation and table of equipment with the divisional engineer regiment regiments? Which kind of pontoons do the PLA River crossing Regiments have?
          There are only two Arty division in PLA's orbat, the 1st and the 9th, both of them are stationary with one purpose, Taiwan. I don't think many folks would consider them tactical units as they are equipped with A-100 300mm long-range rackets for offshore bombardment.

          PLA is slowly, (I mean painfully slow) moving away from the Soviet/Russian 130mm/152mm cal systems toward 155mm based system, it took them 20 years and still only very limited number of elite arty formations (38th GA, 39th GA, 54th GA, 1st GA, 142nd GA) have 155mm systems in their TOE (PLZ05, PLZ91, PLL01)
          “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson


          • #6

            for an amateur groundpounder watcher, can you explain the cost/benefits of the shift?
            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov


            • #7
              The short answer is that if you want to put a HE round some where near the target, the Soviet system will work just fine and much cheaper, but if you want mobility, accuracy, long service life, all those good stuff, well, a western based system might be a better answer.
              “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson


              • #8
                Section 8 wrote the following unpublished article and it should explain (in general) some of the short comings of the Soviet systems as demonstrated with the Type59 Howitzer.

                The First Modernization:

                The Chinese engineers began to work on the improved
                variant of the Type 59 in the late 1960s. The goal was
                to the fixing many of the shortcomings of the Type
                59’s design while try to expands its capability. Many
                of the new components for the improved design were
                borrowed or influenced by the Type 66 152mm howitzer
                and Type 60 122mm field gun.

                The first thing that got changed was the Type 59’s
                carriage. The new carriage was based on that of the
                new Type 66 152mm howitzer’s spit-trail wheel
                carriage. The new carriage offered many features the
                old carriage lacked. It removed the need to uses a
                limber wheels and therefore not only it offered better
                cross-country mobility but also greatly reduced deploy
                and recovery time. The newly added flip-up metal
                coaster wheel at the end each trails makes it much
                easier to open and close the spit-trail. The new
                carriage also added a base-plate that when lowered to
                the ground, it helps improve the overall stability and
                reduce recoil during firing. The lowered base-plate
                together with the coaster wheels on the trail also
                allows 360 degree traverse for the field gun.

                The Type 59’s recoil mechanism had to be redesigned in
                order to fits into the new carriage. The original Type
                59 uses an over and under configuration for its recoil
                and counter recoil buffers. In the new carriage the
                bottom position is taking up by the new base-plate.
                The counter-recoil buffer cylinder had to be relocated
                to the top of the breech assembly and along side of
                the recoil buffer cylinder. The side benefit of the
                new configuration is that it makes servicing both
                buffer cylinders a much simpler job.

                A simpler double-buffed muzzle brake replaced the
                multi-port “pepperbox” type design used on the
                original Type 59. The new muzzle brake is cheaper and
                easier to manufacture, weights less and it also
                increases the efficiency to over 45 percents.

                The Type 59’s breech mechanism also received an
                upgrade. The old manually operated horizontal
                sliding-wedge breech was replaced by a semi-automatic
                vertical sliding-wedge breech. The new breech was
                based on the Type 66 152mm howitzer’s breech. The new
                breech added a coil spring and uses gravity to reduce
                the effort in open and close the breechblock. The
                “semi-automatic” function is that the breech mechanism
                can be configured to automatically to open the
                breechblock and ejects the spent propellant case at
                the end of the recoil cycle. This does help speed up
                the reloading operation somewhat. The maximum firing
                rate had increased from the original’s 6-8 rpm to 8-10
                rpm with the Type 59-1’s new semi-automatic breech.
                However, the realistic rate of fire is still depends
                on the efficiency of the gun crew. After the first few
                minutes of firing, even the most experienced crew will
                be slow down due to fatigue. The other improvements to
                the breech assembly include a retention device that
                holds the projectile or the propellant case in place
                while the breechblock is opened during high-angle ammo
                loading operation. The redesigned firing mechanism has
                added safety to prevent it from firing if the
                breechblock is not closed completely.

                Besides those major changes, there were other smaller
                but no less significant improvements. New ball
                bearings and rollers were added to the field gun’s
                mechanical components. Those help to reduce frictions
                while improve the reliability. Light emitting diodes
                and fiber optic lightings replaced conventional light
                buds for the sight illumination and the running
                lights. The automotive braking system was replaced by
                a pneumatic brake system that’s comparable with common
                PLA trucks and artillery prime movers.

                The 130mm field gun’s formidable ballistic performance
                remains unchanged in the Type 59-1. Most of the
                upgrades were focused on improve its mobility and
                operational efficiency. The biggest improvement
                resulted from all those upgrades is a major 2,100
                kilograms weight reduction from the original Type 59’s
                8.2 tons towing weight to new Type 59-1’s 6.1 tons.
                This in term, lead to a significant improvement to the
                field gun’s mobility and it’s light enough to be tow
                by most of the medium trucks in service with the
                Chinese military.

                The Type 59-1 variant’s development was completed in
                the early 1970s. However, due the turmoil of the Mao’s
                Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution the Type 59-1’s
                initial production was grinded to a halt after few
                small batches. The Chinese military only started to
                receive the Type 59-1 130mm field gun in numbers in
                the early 1980s.

                The Second Modernization:

                The second modernization of the Type 59 field gun
                system occurred the 1980s. The emphases of the second
                modernization was not on the Type 59 field gun itself
                but to enhance its targeting capability, effective
                range, ammunitions and an attempt of developing a
                self-propel version of it.

                Combat experiences learned from the Sino-Vietnamese
                War in 1979 indicated that the PLA artillery units had
                ineffective surveillance and target acquisition
                ability. The major cause of this deficiency was not
                enough artillery forward observers (FO) and the few
                FOs that they had were either poorly equipped or often
                poorly trained for their jobs.

                The PLA used a two-prong approach to modernize their
                artillery target acquisition capability. The first one
                was the creation more FO positions in the artillery
                units. The best surveillance and communication
                equipment the PLA had at the time were issued to those
                new FOs. They were one of the first to received
                light-intensifier night version equipment, handheld
                laser range finder and digital communication gears in
                the PLA. Their trainings were also updated with new
                tactics and modified according to the new equipments.

                The second approach was by adding artillery radars to
                the Type 59 unit’s organic table of equipment (TOE).
                In the early 1980s, China’s relation with the European
                and American begin to warming up. The Western nations
                started to allow military sales to the China. Since
                one of the Type 59 unit’s main tactical role is
                counter-battery operation, the artillery locating
                radar was on the top of the PLA’s shopping list. The
                first artillery radar the PLA ordered was the British
                made Green Archer Mark I. The first four Green Archer
                units were sent to the initial stage of the Second
                Sino-Vietnamese War in 1984. The imported artillery
                radars together with the newly trained and better
                equipped FOs demonstrated to be highly effective in
                combat engagements. The Vietnamese artillery supports
                were quickly eliminated by the Chinese artillery radar
                equipped Type 59 batteries. The well directed Chinese
                artillery fires inflicted devastating causality on the
                unsupported Vietnamese infantries. The PLA was so
                impressed with the artillery radar’s combat
                performance; they later brought the production license
                for the Green Archer series.

                At the same time, the PLA was also looking for larger
                and longer range artillery radar system with more
                capabilities for their artillery division level TOE.
                The state of the art American made Fiefinder AN/TPQ-37
                was chosen by the PLA for the task. The AN/TPQ-37
                utilizes a phased array antenna and computer
                controlled digital signal processor. It’s capable of
                first round detection at range up to 50km for mortar,
                tube artillery and rockets. Its phased array antenna
                allows the radar to tracks multiple targets
                simultaneously and the onboard computer automatically
                calculates both the firing position and the impact
                point of each projectiles. Only two units of the
                AN/TPQ-37 were delivered to the PLA in the late 1980s
                before the new American led arms embargo cancelled the
                rest of the order. Subsequently, the Chinese engineer
                developed a reverse engineer AN/TPQ-37 copy based on
                the two examples they received. The Chinese made copy
                was designated the Type 704 artillery radar. However,
                the early version was still relied heavily on foreign
                made components. It took the Chinese engineers ten
                years to achieve the completely indigenous production
                of the Type 704.

                By the 1980s, the Type 59 finally gave up its class
                leading long-range crown to the new long barrel 155 mm
                howitzers; which including China’s own 45 calibers
                155mm howitzer. To close the performance gap, a new
                family of enhanced 130mm ammunitions was developed for
                the Type 59. The first to become available was the
                Extended Range Full-bore Base-Bleed (ERFB-BB) rounds.
                It increases the Type 59’s maximum range from 27.5km
                to 35km and 37km if fires at 52 degrees instead of the
                standard 45 degrees. The ERFB-BB ammo works by having
                a very streamlined projectile shape and burns gas
                generating chemicals at its tail in flight to reduce
                air drags. Comparing to the old rocket-assisted
                extended range ammo, the base-bleed ammo is not only
                more efficient in increase the range but it also
                without having the penalty of decrease the size of the
                main explosive charge. The gas generating chemical
                base burner takes up much less space than the rocket
                motor in the rocket assisted round. In fact, the
                base-bleed rounds actually carries slightly more
                explosive than the regular high-explosive (HE) round
                due to its longer projectile. The 130mm ERFB-BB round
                has a dispersion of 1/170 or 0.58% at its maximum

                The 130mm cargo carrying ammo was developed along side
                with the base-bleed round. For the longest time, no
                one had developed a cargo carry round for the 130mm
                field gun. The difficulty was due to the 130mm’s
                projectile design. It needs a thick projectile case
                wall construction to cope with the Type 59’s high
                chamber pressure design. However, in the mid 1980s,
                the Chinese engineers had finally overcome that
                obstacle and developed the cargo carrying round for
                the Type 59. The new 130 mm cargo ammo is what the
                American military would calls it the DPICM or
                Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions. The
                130mm DPICM contains 35 dual-purpose bomblets. Each of
                those bomblets is capable of penetrating 80mm of
                rolled homogeneous steel with the build-in small
                shape-charge warhead. The detonation of the bomblet
                also produces fragmentation for incapacitating near by
                unprotected infantries. The 130mm cargo carrying ammo
                has a maximum range of 25km.

                Those new enhanced 130mm rounds indicated a major
                advance in Chinese munitions technology. On the other
                hand, the Chinese engineers may have gotten some
                outside helps. In coincidence, the infamous
                Canadian-born artillery ballistic genius Dr. Gerald
                Bull was doing some consulting works for the Chinese
                arms industry during the mid 1980s. In fact, the new
                Chinese 45 caliber 155mm long range howitzer was
                designed by Dr. Bull. It’s highly possible that Dr.
                Bull may have provided technical assistances to the
                Chinese engineers in developing those enhanced 130mm
                ammo. In addition, the new 130mm ERFB-BB round also
                resembles the Dr. Bull’s signature base-bleed extended
                range ammo design.

                Even the Type 59’s conventional ammos received some
                upgrades. The more powerful RDX replaced the TNT as
                the main explosive charge in the standard HE round.
                However, the old TNT filled HE round remain in
                production because of its lower cost.
                “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson


                • #9
                  Thanks please.


                  • #10
                    The maps speak a 1000 words.
                    puts things in perspective, as to what the PLA assumes is the primary opponents.
                    Thanks very much!!


                    • #11
                      From their new official website

                      Armed Forces

                      Structure and Organization of the Armed Forces

                      The armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) are composed of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), both the active and reserve components, the Chinese People's Armed Police Force (APF) and the militia. The Central Military Commission (CMC) of the PRC directs and assumes unified command of the nation's armed forces. The Ministry of National Defense under the State Council directs and administers national defense work.

                      The active components of the PLA are the country's standing army, which mainly undertake the task of defensive military operations, and help to maintain social order, if necessary, in accordance with the law. Its basic organizational structures can be categorized into the general headquarters/departments, the services and arms and the military area commands.

                      - The general headquarters/departments. The PLA's general headquarters/departments system is composed of the General Staff Headquarters, the General Political Department, the General Logistics Department and the General Armaments Department, which are placed under the leadership of the CMC. The CMC, through these four general headquar-ters/departments, directs and commands all the military area commands and the services and arms. The routine work of the Ministry of National Defense is handled, respectively, by these four general headquarters/departments. The General Staff Headquarters is the leading organ of all military work of the nation's armed forces. It organizes and leads the military construction of the nation's armed forces, and organizes and commands their military operations. Under it there are departments in charge of operations, intelligence, training, adjutant and force structure, mobilization, etc. The General Political Department is the leading organ of all po-litical work of the nation's armed forces. It administers the armed forces' Party work, and organizes their political work. Under it there are departments in charge of Party affairs, personnel, publicity, security, etc. The General Logistics Department organizes and directs the armed forces' logistics construction and logistical support. Under it there are departments in charge of financial affairs, quartermaster, health administration, military transportation, materials and POLs, capital construction and barracks, auditing, etc. The General Armaments Department organizes and directs the weaponry and equipment construction work of the armed forces. Under it there are departments in charge of planning; armaments for Navy, military aviation and strategic equipment; Army equipment research, development and procurement; general equipment support; electronics and information infrastructure, equipment and technology cooperation, etc.

                      - The services and arms. The PLA is composed of three services - the Army, Navy and Air Force - and an independent arm, the Second Artillery Force. The Army has such arms as the infantry, artillery, armor, engineering, communications, anti-chemical warfare and Army aviation, as well as other specialized units. The Navy has such arms as the surface, submarine, naval aviation, coastal defense and marine corps, as well as other specialized units. The Air Force has such arms as the aviation, surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery, radar, and airborne, as well as other specialized units. The Second Artillery Force is composed of the strategic missile, conventional missile, and other specialized units.

                      - The military area commands. The military area commands (theaters of war) of the PLA are military organizations set up according to the state's administrative divisions, geographical locations, strategic and operational orientations, and operational tasks. Under each military area command are a number of Army combined corps, units of various arms, logistical support units, and provincial or garrison commands. Their major functions include organizing and coordinating the joint operations and exercises of the ground, naval and air forces in each military area; exercising direct leadership over Party affairs, military training, administration, political work, logistical and armaments support of the Army units under its jurisdiction; and directing the militia, military service, mobilization, civil air defense and battlefield construction work in the military area. At present, the PLA has seven military area commands, namely, Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

                      The PLA has the Academy of Military Science (AMS), the National Defense University (NDU), and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). The AMS is the PLA's highest-level research institute and center of military science. The NDU and the NUDT are the two institutions of higher learning directly under the CMC. The former is mainly responsible for the education and training of senior commanding and staff officers and researchers, while the latter is mainly responsible for the education and training of senior scientists and engineers, and specialized commanding officers.

                      The PLA's reserve force is a force with its preset organizational structure, with the reserve personnel as the base and active personnel as the backbone. The reserve force, which is incorporated into the PLA's order of battle, receives military training in peacetime according to relevant regulations, and helps to maintain social order, if necessary, in accordance with the law. In wartime, it may be called into active service in pursuance of a state mobilization order.

                      The Chinese People's Armed Police Force undertakes the task of maintenance of security entrusted by the state. It is under the dual leadership of the State Council and the CMC, and consists of internal security forces, and gold mine, forest, water and power, and transportation security forces.

                      The militia is a component of the state's armed forces. The militiamen and women, under the command of military organs, perform combat readiness support and defensive operations, and help to maintain social order. The General Staff Headquarters is in charge of nationwide militia work. Each military area command is responsible for the militia work under its jurisdiction. Each provincial command exercises leadership and command over the militia in its region.
                      Ministry of National Defense of the People?s Republic of China
                      “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson


                      • #12
                        Who are you, and why are you giving the deployment of the P L A to the public? If you are from China, then have you been arrested? I thought the C C P (Chinese Communist Party) did not allow such things. Anyway, I will go through what you have posted, because it is interesting.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AdityaMookerjee View Post
                          Who are you, and why are you giving the deployment of the P L A to the public? If you are from China, then have you been arrested? I thought the C C P (Chinese Communist Party) did not allow such things. Anyway, I will go through what you have posted, because it is interesting.
                          LOL. Yep, He is in a Chinese prison now and still posting military secrets on the internet.
                          Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie!'...till you can find a rock. ;)


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AdityaMookerjee View Post
                            Who are you, and why are you giving the deployment of the P L A to the public? If you are from China, then have you been arrested? I thought the C C P (Chinese Communist Party) did not allow such things. Anyway, I will go through what you have posted, because it is interesting.
                            US DoD posts what I assume you're referring to annually in a form of a report to congress. It's available to anyone with an internet connection.


                            • #15
                              The military options seem to be very elaborate. Isn't it a waste of resources? If the Chinese military are building up, for their own sake, then I guess one can say nothing on the matter. If one looks at the situation, what is the People's Liberation Army around for? There are no threats to her sovereignty, either from internal, or external sources. Perhaps, because the nation is so large, she needs the armed forces in close proximity to every border.