Chinese Armed Forces ORBAT Part 4: Rocket Forces

PLA Ballistic missiles

Formerly the 2nd Artillery Corps, PLA Rocket Force is now considered a separate service branch in itself with 90,000 to 1,20,000 personnel. It seems like TCs in their respective areas may command some of the resources of certain units belonging to PLARF. Its HQ is located at the Qinghe Compound in Beijing and is commanded directly by CMC. This force is divided in seven bases spread across multiple regions. Unit number for brigades starts from 96XX. Before it’s reorganisation in 2015, the bases had different assigned numbers starting from 51 till 56. Base 51 was assigned northeast Asia, 52 Taiwan, 53 southeast Asia, 54 & 55 north America and Europe and 56 south and central Asia.

Chinese PLA Rocket Forces emblem
IMAGE 1: PLA Rocket Forces emblem

After 2015, bases were numbered from 61 to 67. Each base has usually 6-7 brigades and each brigade has 3 launch battalions formed out of launch companies. Brigades use these numbers in their own designation. For example a brigade under Base 61 will have designation 61X Brigade.

This command is led by a full general and theater leader grade officer is assigned as Political Commissar. 6 Army Leader grade officers command 6 bases (equivalent to an Army) numbered 61-66 with subordinate launch brigades and regiments. There is a Base 67 (formerly Force 22) which stockpiles nuclear weapons. There are between 90000 to 1,20,000 personnel in the force with an average of 15000 to 20000 personnel in each base. Additionally, there are 3 training bases and 1 engineering base.

Each missile Base has a local HQ covering 3-5 missile brigades with multiple launch units at battalion level. Each brigade has 3 Launch Battalions and/or Launch Companies. They can operate mobile or silo based missiles. Support elements include battalions for maintenance, signals, engineering and logistics & support units. Each brigade usually has a mobile command post and some pre-surveyed and reserve launch sites. A launch battalion may have a mobile or fixed launch control center with multiple companies under its command. The companies have 5-6 missiles on the same number of TEL and transport vehicles along with mobile power generators, a survey vehicle and a command vehicle.

 Inside of a DF-15 missile base
IMAGE 2: Inside of a DF-15 missile base

Each brigade may have hundreds or just a handful of missiles depending upon its role. Conventional missile brigades usually have a larger number of missiles with up to 30-36 launchers with 1-6 missiles on each. Nuclear missile brigades usually have 6-8 missile launchers or silos or cave sites. DF-31 brigades have 12 launcher in each brigade while DF-15 brigades may have 12 companies with 3 launchers each, bringing the total to 36 missiles per brigade. Majority of ground launched cruise missile brigades usually have 20-28 launch vehicles while IRBM and MRBM brigades may have 15-18.

 DF-21 Missile inside a missile storage base
IMAGE 3: DF-21 Missile inside a missile storage base

NOTE: It’s not clear whether anti-satellite and BMD assets are with PLARF or SSF.

IMAGE 4: 611st Brigade HQ with a missile launch site

UNIT

LOCATION

MISSILE

NOTE

LAT

LONG

MUCD/OLD

2nd Artillery Corps HQ

Beijing

40° 2’8.07

116°19’11.24

Base 61.

Huangshan, Anhui

Former base 52

30°03’38″N

118°09’36″E

96601/96151

611st Brigade

Chizhou.

DF-21A

former 807

30°41’30.98″N

117°53’59.82″E

96711/96161

612nd Brigade

Jingdezhen

DF-21A

former 811

28°58’49.94″N

117° 7’13.69″E

96712/96163

613rd Brigade

Shangaro

DF-15B

former 815

28°28’29.42″N

117°53’43.31″E

96713/96165

614th Brigade

Yon’gan

DF-11A

former 817

26° 3’38.36″N

117°18’54.18″E

96714/96167

615th Brigade

Meizhou

DF-11A

former 818

24°16’59.08″N

115°58’15.22″E

96715/96169

616th Brigade

Ganzhou

DF-15B

former 819

25°50’2.00″N

114°54’35.50″E

96716/96162

617th Brigade

Jinhua

DF-15B

former 820

29° 8’54.14″N

119°36’57.62″E

96717/96164

Base 62.

Kunming, Yunnan.

Former base 53

24°59’27.76″N

102°50’5.08″E

96602/96201

621st Brigade

Yibin.

DF-21A

former 802

28°45’38.72″N

104°47’28.79″E

96721/96211

622nd Brigade

Yuxi.

DF-31A

former 808

24°21’37.35″N

102°29’38.68″E

96722/96213

623rd Brigade

Liuzhou.

DF-10A, LACM

former 821

24°23’8.85″N

109°34’21.51″E

96723/96215

624th Brigade

Qingyuan

DF-21D, DF-31A

former 825

19°28’20.26″N

109°27’25.48″E

96724/96219

625th Brigade

Jianshui.

DF-26, DF-21??

Had 621 earlier

23°44’19.40″N

102°52’18.39″E

96725/96216

626th Brigade

Qingyuan

DF-21C/D

DF-26 ??

former 825

Had 624 earlier

23°41’2.06″N

113°10’35.23″E

96726/96319

627th Brigade?

Puning?

?

Being raised?

23°24’43.72″N

116°10’54.20″E

96727

Base 63.

Huaihua, Hunan.

Former base 55

27°34’31.70″N

110° 1’29.91″E

96603/96301

631st Brigade

Jingzhou.

DF-5B

former 803

26°34’44.78″N

109°40’15.84″E

96731/96311

632nd Brigade

Shaoyang.

DF-31

former 805

27°15’8.62″N

111°23’12.29″E

96732/96313

633rd Brigade

Huitong.

DF-5A.

former 814

26°53’37.39″N

109°44’20.16″E

96733/96315

634th Brigade

?? ???

DF-41?

former 805?

26° 8’50.64″N

109°46’24.65″E

96734

635th Brigade

Yichun.

CJ-10, LACM

former 824

27°53’12.79″N

114°23’10.68″E

96735/96317

636th Brigade

Shaoguan.

DF-16

former 826

24°45’25.09″N

113°40’43.47″E

96736/96318

637th Brigade

?? ???

?? ???

New

96737

Base 64

Lanzhou.

Former base 56

35°56’20.38″N

104° 0’41.81″E

96604/96351

641st Brigade

Hancheng.

DF-31

former 803

35°28’31.99″N

110°26’48.45″E

96741/96111

642nd Brigade

Datong.

DF-31A

former 809

36°56’51.22″N

101°40’1.92″E

96742/96361

643rd Brigade

Tianshui

DF-31A

former 812

34°31’47.33″N

105°54’48.53″E

96743/96363

644th Brigade

Hanzhong

DF-41 or DF-17

Established July 2017

33° 7’58.64″N

106°56’2.08″E

96744

645th Brigade

??? ??

??? ??

New

96745

646th Brigade

Korle

DF-21B/C??

former 823

41°41’30.33″N

86°10’14.16″E

96746/96365

Base 65

Shenyang

Former base 51

41°51’28.41

123°27’2.52

96605/96101

651st Brigade

Dalian

DF-21

former 810

39°18’10.35″N

122° 3’54.38″E

96751/96113

652nd Brigade

Tonghua.

DF-21C/D??

former 804

41°40’3.64″N

125°57’16.79″E

96752/96115

653rd Brigade

Laiwu.

DF-21C

former 813

36°14’3.10″N

117°42’53.96″E

96753/96117

654th Brigade.

Dalian.

DF-26

39°14’6.48″N

122° 2’35.81″E

96754

655th & 656th

Being raised?

Base 66

Luoyang

Former base 54

34°32’41.89

112°08’55.39

96606/96251

661st Brigade

Lingbao.

DF-5B

former 801

34° 1’58.55″N

111° 1’24.66″E

96761/96261

662nd Brigade

Sundian/Luanchuan?

DF-4 or DF-5A

former 804

96762/96263

663rd Brigade

Nanyang.

DF-31A

former 813

33° 0’47.43″N

112°24’52.42″E

96763/96265

664th Brigade

Luoyang.

??

New

34°32’36.63″N

112° 8’49.69″E

96764

665th Brigade

Xinxiang?

??

New

35°18’17.89″N

113°49’42.58″E

96765

666th Brigade

Xinyang.

DF-26

former 827

32°10’3.27″N

114° 7’32.83″E

96766/96267

Base 67

Baoji

Taibai

Storage and handling of Nuclear tipped missiles

33°52’51.28″N

107°15’13.03″E

TABLE 3.1: Structure of PLA Rocket Forces

666th Missile Brigade HQ, former 827th Brigade
IMAGE 5: 666th Missile Brigade HQ, former 827th Brigade

OLD UNIT / BASE

LOCATION

LAT

LONG

MISSILES

2nd Artillery Corps HQ

Qinghe, Beijing

80301 / Base 51

Shenyang, Liaoning

406 Brigade

Tonghua

41°45’15.31

126° 0’1.14″

DF-21

410 Brigade

Dengshahe

39°11’15.91

122° 5’13.43

UI Brigade

DF-3

80302 / Base 52

Huangshan, Jiangxi

407 Brigade

Liangkengwang, Lianxiwang

30° 8’51.44

117°38’35.46

DF-3 / DF-21

411 Brigade

Jiangxi Province

815 Brigade

Leping, Jiangxi

DF-15

80303 / Base 62

Kunming, Yunnan

402 Brigade

Chuxiong

25° 3’47.11

101°32’0.12

DF-21

408 Brigade

Ching-yu, Jianshui

23°37’4.72

102°49’4.0

DF-21A, DF-3A

80304 / Base 54

Luoyang, Henan

401 Brigade

Lo-ning,

34°21’22.89

111°38’18.50

DF-5A

404 Brigade

Sundian

33°15’N

114°45’E

DF-4

413 Brigade

Henan Province

80305 / Base 63

Huaihua, Hunan

403 Brigade

Ta-ling, Dalong

26°38’37.99

114° 1’27.76

DF-3A

405 Brigade

Shuangjiang, Tongdao

26° 8’45.16

109°46’18.28

DF-4A, DF-5

UI Brigade

Tongdao??

DF-5

80306 / Base 64

Xining, Qinghai

409 Brigade

Datong

36°30’39.66

103°35’46.23

DF-3 / DF-21

412 Brigade

Tsaidam / Ta-ch’ai-tan, Da Qaidam

37°55’42.63

95°21’46.99

DF-4

414 Brigade

Delingha

37°29’48.46

97° 3’13.19

DF-21 , DF-4

TABLE 3.2: Old Structure of PLA Rocket Forces

UNIT

LOCATION

LAT

LONG

MUCD/OLD

Note

304th Engineering Regiment

Huaihua

27°32’36.13″N

110° 0’23.61″E

96783

3rd Engineering Regiment

Luoyang

34°26’19.85″N

112°24’59.00″E

96546

Base 61 Technical Support Regiment

Yushan

28°39’25.07″N

118°17’17.94″E

96815

Base 61 Operational and Comprehensive Support Regiments

Xiuning

29°47’45.60″N

118°10’53.24″E

96813 & 96814

Base 64 Comprehensive Support Regiment

Xining

36°39’33.46″N

101°41’2.71″E

96844

Base 65 Comprehensive Support Regiment

Tonghua

41°43’50.56″N

125°57’58.03″E

96854

Base 65 Equipment Inspection Regiment

Tonghua

41°35’59.80″N

126°14’54.38″E

96035

Base 61 Missile Component Depot

Shangrao

28°28’55.11″N

117°54’7.39″E

96815

Communications Engineering Regiment

Samenxia

34°47’42.04″N

111°11’0.64″E

96885

Base 62 Equipment Inspection Regiment

Mile

24°23’53.13″N

103°25’52.42″E

96032

1st Installation Engineering Brigade

Luoyang

34°41’13.19″N

112°24’37.11″E

96881

Base 62 Operations Support Regiment

Kunming

25° 0’15.56″N

102°50’1.86″E

96832

Base 63 Technical Support Regiment

Jingzhou

26°38’47.04″N

109°41’22.93″E

96853

Base 63 Equipment Inspection Regiment

Huaihua

27°32’16.32″N

109°59’7.07″E

96033

41st Engineering Brigade

Changping

40°12’48.76″N

116° 3’15.25″E

96786

Jianshui

Laochuzha

23°40’35.49″N

102°57’19.70″E

Maintenance & Inspection Since 1970

Lianxiwang

Zhuang Kengkou

29°52’6.26″N

117°40’52.00″E

Maintenance & Inspection Since 1975

Luanchuan

Zhoujizhuang

33°48’49.94″N

111°32’6.43″E

Maintenance & Inspection

Delighna SSM Regiment Support Area A

Delhi

37°21’38.23″N

97°21’43.93″E

Construction started in 1982. CSS-3 SSM

661 Brigade Support

34° 3’2.05″N

111° 2’4.05″E

TABLE 3.3: PLA Rocket Force Support Units & Bases

UNIT

LOCATION

LAT

LONG

Note

Delingha Tunnel 1

37°29’17.70″N

97°20’41.25″E

Delingha Tunnels Support Facility and possible missile storage

Delingha Tunnel 2

37°34’35.79″N

97°47’53.13″E

Jingxian Cave 1

Nunnery Bian

26°36’14.97″N

109°45’50.91″E

Jingxian Cave 2

Road Chong

26°42’47.76″N

109°41’44.95″E

Possible storage and handling

Jingxian Cave 3

Baigou

26°35’47.52″N

109°50’5.91″E

Lushi cave 1

Jinshancun

35°58’48.38″N

111°10’45.99″E

Lushi Cave 2

Baogou

34°12’59.20″N

110°58’12.73″E

Cave or support facility

Lushi cave 3

Heishanmiao

34° 6’34.18″N

111° 0’17.99″E

Lushi cave 4

Shuiquan

34°13’55.27″N

110°59’53.12″E

Kunming Missile Storage

Huangtu Pocun

24°58’8.14″N

102°53’15.09″E

Shuangchengzi

Hedongli

40°25’47.28″N

99°50’49.10″E

Storage, Also has airbase

Sundian Cave Storage 1

Zhouzhuang

33°45’56.11″N

112° 9’42.45″E

Sundian Cave Storage Support 1

Shaling

33°45’45.53″N

112°12’29.22″E

Tongdao Cave

Changcha

26°11’15.33″N

109°53’36.47″E

Tongdao SSM Support Area A

Gengchong

26°16’6.43″N

109°55’30.50″E

Missile storage and support

Tonghua 2

Xiaochang Chonggouli

41°33’12.11″N

126°14’42.44″E

Possible storage and transfer point. Had CSS-1 and 2

Tonghua 3

Toudao Gangouzi

41°51’38.67″N

125°44’7.81″E

Storage, rail to road transfer point , servicing

Xuanhua Missile Site

Sifabgtaicun

40°38’59.77″N

115° 2’34.02″E

Storage and loading since 1967

Xicun Storage?

Uxxaktal, Malan

42°11’38.86″N

87° 9’47.34″E

Air Base and Weapons Storage

TABLE 3.4: Storage Sites for missiles and warheads

Rail to Road Transfer Points

Information gathered from old declassified CIA maps. With induction of road mobile missiles, many of these locations may not be in use. Additionally, the exact coordinates published in the document don’t match up with those on Google maps, so I had to look around and modify them a bit. So these are not 100% accurate

Technical Support Regiment HQ, 63rd Base. Rail-Road transfer point also visible
IMAGE6: Technical Support Regiment HQ, 63rd Base. Rail-Road transfer point also visible

UNIT

LOCATION

LAT

LONG

NOTE

Datong Rail to Road transfer point

Datong

36°55’26.95″N

101°40’43.95″E

Dengshahe Rail to Road Transfer Point 1

Chengjiacun

39°14’56.83″N

122° 5’27.20″E

Storage of war stores and possibly missiles

Dengshahe Rail to Road Transfer Point 2

Chengjiacun

39°14’28.62″N

122° 5’49.13″E

Kunming Rail to Road transfer point

Dashuitian

24°56’45.21″N

102°51’44.33″E

Luoyang Rail to road transfer point

Jiepo

34°43’34.45″N

112°31’10.42″E

Shandan Rail to road transfer point

Huanzhuandcun

38°48’45.27″N

101° 4’27.27″E

Lianxiwang Rail to road transfer point

Da’aochong

31° 6’12.60″N

118°12’9.32″E

Tonghua Rail to road transfer point

Dagao Ligoi

41°35’58.87″N

126°15’0.77″E

Tangdao Rail to road transfer point

Xuantan

26°42’36.33″N

109°42’56.22″E

Wuvwei rail to road transfer point

Gongjia Xiazhuang

37°53’54.49″N

102°37’53.18″E

Not confirmed.

CSS-1,2 sighted in 1970s and 80s

Xian rail to road transfer point

Zhaodongcun

34°18’40.20″N

109° 6’59.61″E

Missile storage (in open and shed) since 1960s.

CSS-1,2,3,4 and CSS-NX3

Nanshe rail to road transfer point

Nanshecun

38° 2’24.60″N

112°55’56.95″E

Tai Hang Mountains

Tongdao Rail to Road Transfer point

Dashucun

26°38’47.29″N

109°41’27.22″E

TABLE 3.5 : Rail to road transfer points

Chinese Missiles

PLARF has quite a large number of missiles fitted with conventional warheads. There are atleast 180-200 missiles which can deliver 220-250 nuclear warheads. Of these, 90 are ICBMs on nearly the same number of mobile launchers. Following are the numbers according to a US DOD report:

  • SRBM (300-1000km) : 750 to 1500. Of these, only DF-15 seems to be nuclear capable.
  • MRBM (1000-3000 km): 150-450
  • IRBM (3000-5500 km) : Unknown. Many of these are equipped with nuclear warheads
  • LACM : 270-540
IMAGE 7: Road mobile DF-31 ICBM in snow camo

NAME

NUMBERS

RANGE (km)

STORAGE

PROPULSION

NOTES

BALLISTIC MISSILES

DF-21 / CSS-5

40-50

1700

Road mobile

Solid

DF-21A / CSS-5 Mod 2

40-50

1700

Road mobile

Solid

DF-21C / CSS-4 Mod 4

25-30

1700

Road mobile

Solid

DF-21D /

CSS-5 Mod 5)

1500

Road Mobile

Solid

Anti ship

DF-26

16-20

4-5000

Road mobile

Solid

DF-31 /

CSS-10 Mod 1

6-10

7000+

Road mobile

Solid

3 stages

DF-31A / CSS-10 Mod 2

15-20

11000+

Road Mobile

Solid

3 stages

DF-41 /

CSS-X-20

??

15000

Road mobile

Solid

Under development. MIRV capable

DF-3A

10-15??

3000

Road mobile

Liquid

Old

DF-4 /CSS-3

10-15

5500

Silo

Liquid

Old.

DF-5A / CSS-4 Mod 2

15-20

12000+

Silo

Liquid

DF-5B /CSS-4 Mod 3

DF-15/M-9

90-100

600

Road mobile

Solid

DF-15A /CSS-6

850

Road Mobile

Solid

DF-15B

750

Road Mobile

Solid

DF-16

800

Road Mobile

Solid

DF-11/M-11

100-140

300

Road Mobile

Solid

DF-11A

600

Road mobile

Solid

JL-1

??

1700

SLBM

Solid

Retired?

JL-2

48

7000

SLBM

Solid

Type 094 submarines

CRUISE MISSILES

CJ-10/DH-10

40-90 launchers. Upto 550 missiles

1500

Multiple

Subsonic

LACM

YJ-63/KD-63

200

Air, H6 bomber

Subsonic

LACM

KD-88

200

Air

Subsonic

YJ-18

220-240

Multiple

Supersonic in Terminal

AShM, LACM

YJ-62

290-400

Multiple

Subsonic

AShM

YJ-7

25

Multiple

Subsonic

AShM

YJ-8/C-801

42

Multiple

Subsonic

AShM

YJ-82

42

Submarine

Subsonic

AShM

YJ-83

120

Multiple

Subsonic

AShM

YJ-83A/J

180

Multiple

Subsonic

AShM

YJ-91/KH-31P

110

Multiple

Supersonic

AShM, LACM Anti-radiation

YJ-100/KD-20

1500-2000

Air??/Land

Subsonic

LACM

AS-13/KH-59MK

115

Su-30MKK

Subsonic

AShM, LACM

SS-N-22 Moskit

240

Sovremenny ships

Supersonic

AShM, LACM

SS-N-27B Kalibr

200

Kilo Submarine

Supersonic

AShM, LACM

Changfeng

800

Land

Subsonic

LACM

TABLE 3.6 : List of Chinese missiles
Hanzhong Uranium Enrichment Plant
IMAGE 8: Hanzhong Uranium Enrichment Plant

UNIT

LOCATION

LAT

LONG

NOTE

2nd Artillery Corps Research Complex

Beijing

40° 2’24.36

116°19’15.04

Batou Nuclear Fuel Component Plant

Butai

40°35’32.08

109°47’55.30

Chengdu Uranium Enrichment Facility

30°39’8.81″N

104° 3’43.53″E

Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics

31°30’24.40″

104°45’25.79

Jichujiaoyu Center

Nuclear research, warhead storage or 40° 4’23.70″N or 116°15’19.63″E

China Institute of Atomic Energy

Tuoli

39°44’51.86″N

116° 2’48.03″E

Guangyuan Plutonium production reactor

32°29’42.42″N

105°35’24.05″E

600 MWt.

Hanzhong Uranium Enrichment Plant

33°15’47.70” N

107°25’52.74” E

CNNC Shaanxi Uranium Enrichment Co. Ltd. or Plant 405

Heiping Uranium Enrichment Facility 1

Jinkouhe district, Leshan city

29°14’11.77″N

103° 3’40.08″E

Plant 814

Produces Uranium and Tritium

Heiping Uranium Enrichment Facility 2

Shuangfu, Emeishan city

29°36’59.69″N

103°28’33.83″E

Plant 814

Produces Uranium and Tritium

Hsin-ko-erh testing site

41°33’53.51

88°42’28.49

Vertical shafts nuclear test site

Jiuquan Pu Processing

Jiuquan

40°13’23.48″N

97°21’20.23″E

Jiuquan Atomic Energy Complex,

Jiuquan

40°10’54.08

97°16’52.27

Plutonium processing

300-400kg/year

Jiuquan Pu reactor

Jiuquan

40°13’13.62″N

97°21’19.14″E

Koko Nor complex

Haiyan.

36°57’42.01

100°53’48.50

Northwest Nuclear Weapons Research and Design Academy,

Fabrication and stockpile

Koko Nor Fabrication complex

Haiyan.

36°56’32.44″N

100°55’20.46″E

Lanzhou Uranium Enrichment Plant:

36°08’53.30” N

103°31’24.49” E

gaseous diffusion facility and centrifuge

facilities organized into four projects

Po-cheng-tzu testing site

41°41’46.63

88°22’55.62

Horizontal shafts nuclear test site

Yibin Nuclear Fuels Factory

Yibin

28°45’23.88

104°38’16.82

Plutonium, Tritium & Li-6

TABLE 3.7 : List of Chinese nuclear facilities

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