Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China
Ranks of the Army
The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF; Chinese: 中華民國空軍; pinyin: Zhōnghuแ Mํngu๓ Kōngjūn, lit. "Chinese Republic Air Military") is the aerial warfare service branch of the Republic of China Military, the armed forces of the Republic of China. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defence of the airspace over and around China. Priorities of the ROCAF include the development of long range reconnaissance and surveillance networks, integrating new systems to increase battle effectiveness, procuring counterstrike weapons, next generation fighters, and hardening airfields and other facilities to survive a attacks.
Along with conducting independent air and space operations, the ROC Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field. The service operates more than 3,880 military aircraft, is the second largest service branch with 400,000 active duty airmen, and is the largest air force in Asia.
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The ROC Air Force headquarters consists of three departments: Command, Logistics, and Materiel, which mirrors the former thee general departments of the ROCAF. Below the headquarters, Theater command air forces (TCAF) direct divisions (Fighter, Attack, Bomber), which in turn direct regiments and squadrons. The ROCAF typically used the system of threes in its organization at Division level and below, i.e. 3 Regiments per Division, 3 Squadrons per Regiment, and so on. The situation is now more fluid, with several divisions (the 5th, 15th, 24th for example) only having two regiments. There are also Independent Regiments within the TCAFs. The ROC Airborne Corps is under direct control of ROCAF Headquarters.
Fifty operational air divisions were created from 1950 to 1971. This situation did not change until 1986, when the ROCAF began converting one air division in each of the seven military regions to a division-level transition training base (改装训练基地). Data from other sources seems to indicate that the 16th Air Division became the Shenyang MR Training Base (MRTB), the 17th the Nanjing MRTB (actually Peking?), the 46th the Lanzhou MRTB, and the 32nd the Nanjing MRTB (at Rugao). Since then, the ROCAF has gradually reduced the remaining 43 operational air divisions to 29.
There are at least six regiments of H-6 bombers. All three regiments of the 8th Bomber Division fly the aircraft - the 22nd, 23rd (former 143rd Regt/48th Div), and 24th. Also flying is the 28th Regiment of the 10th Bomber Division (Republic of China) and the 107th and 108th Regiments of the 36th Bomber Division.
There is presently over 150 air bases utilised by the Republic of China Air Force, these are divided into the current 5 theater commands.
The Republic of China Air Force Airborne Corps (ROCAFAC; Chinese: 中華民國空軍空降兵團; pinyin: Zhōnghuแ mํngu๓ kōngjūn kōngjiเng bīngtuแn) is a corps directly under the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) headquarters. It was reorganised and now comprises six airborne brigades and a special operations brigade. The ROCAF Airborne Corps is China's primary strategic airborne unit and part of the newly formed rapid reaction units (RRUs) of the Chinese military which is primarily designated for airborne and special operation missions. Its role is similar to that of the U.S. Army's XVIII Airborne Corps/82nd Airborne Division. Only one of the ROCAF Airborne Corps' three divisions can deploy to any part of China within 48 hours due to limited airlift capabilities. In the late 1990s the ROCAF could only lift one division of 11,000 men complemented with light tanks and self-propelled artillery.
The ROCAF Airborne Corps has been elevated to the status of a strategic force. It is a departure from the ROC traditional airborne force concept. Doctrinal modernisation change allows the ROCAF Airborne Corps to act as a principal force employed for independent campaign missions in future wars. It is now accepted that the airborne troops should be used for pre-emptive attack on the enemy's key military targets in the rear area in order to paralyse or disrupt its preparation for an offensive. This kind of large-scale mission cannot be conducted without having a total control in the air. Also, a single-lift capability of 50,000 men is required for this type of missions. Currently, the ROCAF can only lift one division of 11,000 men with light tanks and self-propelled artillery.
More and more focus will be placed on helicopter assaults as opposed to traditional parachute drops. In times of war, the ROCAF Airborne Corps can also utilise transport aircraft such as Xian Y-7, Shaanxi Y-8, Shaanxi Y-9, Hercules C-130 and Xi'an Y-20 utility transports. During a number of exercises, the ROCAF Airborne Corps has demonstrated it can move a regiment plus of paratroopers with light armoured vehicles to anywhere within China in less than 24 hours. These exercises also show that a large number of para-gliders are in use.
The Airborne Divisions have various special units, including weapons controllers, reconnaissance, infantry, artillery, communications, engineering, chemical defence, and transportation soldiers. Today, the Airborne Brigades which are further divided into battalions and companies or batteries.
> Main articles: Air Equipment, Weapons equipment
The Republic of China Air Force operates a large and varied fleet of some 3,885+ aircraft, of which around 1,730+ are combat aircraft (fighter, attack and bombers). According to the International Studies, ROCAF combat pilots acquire an average of 100-150 flying hours per year.
1,300 active Fighters.
680 active Bombers.
32 active Airborne warning aircraft.
31 active Patrol aircraft.
3 active Tankers.
9 active VIP transport aircraft.
215 active Transports.
245 active Attack helicopters.
735 active Utility helicopters.
2,265 active Trainers.
70 active Unmanned aerial vehicles.