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Eastern Order of Battle

Order of Battle
of the Chinese combat aircraft types

Nanchang Q-5 Fantan attack aircraft at the PLAAF Part One - in the Seventies

 

Early Chinese J-7 Fishbed interceptor fighter

 

PLAAF is the tactical bomber of the IL-28 / Harbin H-5

Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force
In the eighties

By 1971 the PLAAF had created fifty air divisions and thirteen air corps and had simplified its administrative command structure. The largest Air Force organizational unit was the division, which consisted of 17,000 personnel in three regiments. A typical air defense regiment had three squadrons of three flights; each flight had three or four aircraft. The Air Force also had 220,000 air defense personnel who controlled about 100 surface-to-air missile sites and over 16,000 AA guns. In addition, it had a large number of early-warning, ground-control-intercept, and air-base radars manned by specialized troops organized into at least twenty-two independent regiments.

PLAAF Shenyang J-6 MiG-19 Farmer

In the eighties the People's Liberation Army Air Force possessed about 4,500 aircraft, of which the majority were combat aircraft. Out of these aircrafts the great majority (about 2500) were J-6 (MiG-19) types in the eighties!

But the Chinese Cultural Revolution severely impacted the PLAAF's equipment acquisition, training and operational readiness. Unfortunately, the recovery from the Cultural Revolution did not begin until the 1980s. Prior to the early 1980s, the PLAAF's senior leadership was dominated by ground force officers, who viewed airpower as long-range artillery to support the Army. As a result, the PLAAF's strategy and doctrine were primarily ground force oriented. The PLAAF's administrative and operational structure remained fairly static during the 1980s.

 

Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force military regions  In the early eighties

Shenyang Military Regionís Air Force

 

Beijing Military Regionís Air Force

 

Jinan Military Regionís Air Force

 

Nanjing Military Regionís Air Force

 

Fuzhou Military Regionís Air Force

 

Wuhan Military Regionís Air Force

 

Guangzhou Military Regionís Air Force

 

Kunming Military Regionís Air Force

 

Chengdu Military Regionís Air Force

 

Lanzhou Military Regionís Air Force

 

Wulumuqi Military Regionís Air Force

 

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) consolidated its military regions in 1985 and formulation of the PLAAF's five-year plan (1986-1990). Six military regions were merged in 1985. Of the one-eleven military regions, only eight remained. At the beginning of the mid-1980s, most of the PLAAF leaders had already gone up within the air force rank.