The PLA Air Force 15th Airborne Corps, comprises three airborne divisions (43rd, 44th, 45th airborne divisions). The PLA Air Force‚Äôs 15th Airborne Corps is China‚Äôs primary strategic airborne unit and it is part of the newly formed rapid reaction units (RRU) of the Chinese military which is primarily designated for airborne and special operation missions. Unlike most armed forces, the airborne division is part of the Air Force and its role is similar to that of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
These three divisions can deploy to any part of China within 48 hours:
The PLAAF could lift all three division of 33,000 men with light tanks and self-propelled artillery. Reports claim that a 10,000 man airborne division was transported to Tibet in less than 48 hours in 1988.
15th Airborne Corps to acts 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 paralyze 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.
The Airborne Divisions have various special units, including weapons controllers, reconnaissance, infantry, artillery, communications, engineering, chemical defense, and transportation soldiers. Today, the Airborne Divisions have three regiments plus one light artillery regiment, which are further divided into battalions and companies.
In times of war, the 15th Airborne Corps can also utilize civilian aircraft such as Shaanxi Y-9, Shaanxi Y-8, Xian Y-7, C-130s, HU-1s, AS332s, Chinooks, and a very large number of Y-5 (700+) utility transports. During a number of exercises, the 15th Airborne Corps has demonstrated it can move a regiment plus of paratroopers with light armored vehicles to anywhere within China in less than 24 hours. These exercises also show that a large number of para-gliders are in use.
These PARA-troopers ( SF ) are very capable force in disrupting supplies and reinforcement to frontal isolated zones up in mountains and plans..
The type of operation is very similar to once Op-market garden in WW2..
Great thread Kunal, but you missed the most important aspect, i.e. air assets. PLAAF does not have enough transport aircrafts. I find the legend of transporting an entire division in less than 48 hours in 1988 a bit over the top.
Currently, PLAAF fields less than half the number of transports when compared to IAF.
Correction: Current transport fleet of PLAAF stands today (2011) at 45 Y 8, ~80 AN-26, 20 IL-76 and 300 Y5's, not to mention the new Y9's now entering service.
I cant believe you thought there were only 3-5 Y8's. There are pics of more than ten in the Chinese Military Pics and Videos thread alone.. Using logic alone, how does the production of an aircraft start in the early 80's yet in 2011 they number "3-5"? *shaking head*