People's Liberation Army Navy Organization

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The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is the Naval branch of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The PLAN force consists of approx. 250,000 men and over a hundred major combat vessels, organized into 3 fleets: the North Sea Fleet, the East Sea Fleet, and the South Sea Fleet. Below is the organizational structure of the PLAN.

PLAN Headquarters
PLAN HQ is subordinate to the PLA General Staff Department and the Chairman of the CMC. Information current as of 2006

Commander-in-Chief of the Navy: Admiral Zhang Dingfa (he has died on Dec. 14, 2006)  Political Commissar of the Navy: Admiral Hu Yianlin  Acting Commander-in-Chief of the Navy: Wu Shengli (Vice chief of the general staff of the PLA) Deputy Commanders-in-Chief of the Navy:
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Vice Admiral Zhao Xingta Vice Admiral Wang Shouye (dismissed and arrested in 2006, sentenced to life in prison for alleged corruption)  Vice Admiral Zhang Yongyi  Rear Admiral Zheng Baohua  Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral Sun Jianguo Fleet Commanders
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North Sea Fleet: Vice Admiral Zhang Zhannan East Sea Fleet: Vice Admiral Zhao Guojun South Sea Fleet: Vice Admiral Gu Wengen

The People's Liberation Army Navy is divided into three fleets.

the North Sea Fleet, headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong Province, patrols the Bohai Bay and the Yellow Sea. Its flagship is DDG Harbin.  the East Sea Fleet, headquartered in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, patrols the East China Sea, which is called the Eastern Sea in Chinese. Its flagship is J302 Chongmingdao.  the South Sea Fleet, headquartered in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, patrols the South China Sea, or the South Sea in Chinese. Its flagship is AOR/AK Nanchang.

North Sea Fleet Major bases: Qingdao (HQ), Huludao, Jianggezhuang, Guzhen Bay, Lushun, Xiaopingdao. Minor bases: Weihai Wei, Qingshan, Luda, Lianyungang, Ling Shan, Ta Ku Shan, Changshandao, Liuzhuang, Dayuanjiadun, Dalian East Sea Fleet Major bases: Ningbo (HQ), Zhoushan, Shanghai, Daxie, Fujan. Minor bases: Zhenjiangguan, Wusong, Xinxiang, Wenzhou, Sanduao, Xiamen, Xingxiang, Quandou, Wen Zhou SE, Wuhan, Dinghai, Jiaotou South Sea Fleet Major bases: Zhanjiang (HQ), Yulin, Huangfu, Hong Kong, Guangzhou (Canton). Minor bases: Haikou, Shantou, Humen, Kuanchuang, Tsun, Kuan Chung, Mawai, Beihai, Ping Tan, San Chou Shih, Tang-Chiah Huan, Longmen, Bailong, Dongcun, Baimajing, Xiachuandao, Yuchi

Naval Aviation
Main article: People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force The PLANAF has 25,000 personnel and roughly 800 aircraft under the navy's command. It operates similar aircraft to the air force, including fighters, bombers, strike aircraft, tankers, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, maritime patrol, seaplane, transport, training and helicopter types. The PLANAF has traditionally received older aircraft than the PLAAF and has taken less ambitious steps towards mass modernization. Advancements in new technologies, weaponry and aircraft acquisition were made after 2000. The modern day PLANAF is capable of performing a number of roles, from airborne interdiction to coastal ship defense. PLANAF Air Bases includes: North Sea Fleet: Dalian, Qingdao, Jinxi, Jiyuan, Laiyang, Jiaoxian, Xingtai, Laishan, Anyang, Changzhi, Liangxiang and Shan Hai Guan East Sea Fleet: Danyang, Daishan, Shanghai (Dachang), Ningbo, Luqiao, Feidong and Shitangqiao South Sea Fleet: Foluo, Haikou, Lingshui, Sanya, Guiping, Jialaishi and Lingling

Coastal Defense
With around 25,000 personnel, the navy's coastal defense force forms the vanguard of China's defense from amphibious and air attack. The coastal defense troops operate a variety of artillery and missile systems that are capable of engaging air and sea targets. The coastal defense troops have played a key role in PLAN history. In 1958, this force fired artillery against KMT forces on the islands near the mainland. Throughout the 1960s-80s, the coastal defense troops were focused on defending China's coast from a possible Soviet sea-borne invasion. The principle weapon that has served with the coastal defense troops is the HY-2 coast-launched anti-ship missile (based fundamentally on the Soviet SS-N-2 Styx). These missiles could be launched from either fixed emplacements, or mobile truck mounts. Since the 1990s, the coastal defense forces have received more types of short to long range anti-ship missiles. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the threat of an amphibious invasion of China has diminished. Though no longer a vital component of the PLAN, the coastal defense forces nonetheless would be important in any conflict to protect key PLAN coastal assets from enemy sabotage, as well as air defence.

Marine Corps
Main article: People's Liberation Army Marine Corps The PLAN has command over two 6000-man marine brigades both based in the South China Sea. It is believed in time of war, up to 28,000 Marines can be mobilized. These two brigades possess combined arms units, including armor, artillery, missile, air defense, and logistical support. PLAN marines are part of the rapid mobilization forces of the Chinese military. The marines perform two principle missions in the PLAN: 1) Serve as the spearhead of any amphibious operation; and 2) Garrison or assault island chains, in particular potentially disputed territories in regional waters. Special forces elements of the marines include reconnaissance units known as 'frogmen'. These are troops that could be launched from submarines or small craft to survey landing sites and sabotage enemy defenses prior to a full marine assault.

Paramilitary Maritime Organizations
The PLAN is complemented by paramilitary maritime services, such as CMS, Hai Guang, People's Armed Police and the militia. The CMS is known to perform mostly coastal and ocean search and rescue or patrols. The CMS has received quite a few large patrol ships that would significantly enhance their operations. Hai Guang, militia, police and other services operate hundreds of small patrol craft. For maritime patrol services, these craft are usually quite well armed with machine guns and 37mm AA guns. It is believed that in the near future, an integration of all these separate services would form a Chinese coast guard. In addition, these services operate their own small aviation units to assist their maritime patrol capabilities. Hai Guang and CMS are known to operate a handful of Harbin Z-9 helicopters, and a maritime patrol aircraft based on the harbin Y-12 STOL transport. Roles of these services are diverse but include:
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Patrol of territorial waters and disputed territories Anti-smuggling, anti-piracy Maritime policing and ship inspections Harbour and coastal security Research and survey Search and Rescue Fisheries protection