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PLA Naval Aviation Training and Operations

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China Aerospace Studies Institute Maxwell AFB United States

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This repot examines the roles, missions and developments in training within the Peoples Republic of Chinas PRC peoples Liberation Army Navys PLAN Naval Aviation Branch. Naval Aviation provides the PLAN with its own air capability independent of the PLA Air Force PLAAF. Historically, Naval Aviation fighters have intercepted aircraft along Chinas coast but have not provided air cover for naval ships at sea, and fighters still rarely provide air cover for at-sea vessels. However, Naval Aviations role is being increasingly transformed to include maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare ASW, offensive strikes against land targets and ships at sea, logistical support, airborne early warning AEW, and helicopter support for the PLANs escort task forces in the Gulf of Aden. Naval Aviation remains a largely land-based force, though the PLANs increasing fleet of destroyers, frigates, land ships and replenishment vessels are equipped with shipborne helicopters for operational and logistics air requirements. The much anticipated and speculated-about Chinese aircraft carrier program will impart an altogether new dimension to Naval Aviation as it seeks to operate farther offshore, to protect Chinese interests abroad however, the PLAN is many years away from integrating a viable carrier component into its overall naval strategy.

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Conference Paper



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Approved For Public Release;

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