Bomber Strike Packages with Chinese Characteristics

Published in: The PLA Beyond Borders: Chinese Military Operations in Regional and Global Context, Chapter 8, pages 199–234 (2021)

Posted on RAND.org on June 10, 2021

by Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga

Read More

Access further information on this document at ndupress.ndu.edu

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This book chapter traces the development of China's bomber strike packages and assesses how these flights support operational training for Chinese air force wartime missions. The first section provides an overview of the role of bombers in broader PLA campaign planning. The second section argues that domestic flights, mainly overland, between 2009 and 2013 laid the foundation for later flights past the First Island Chain. The third section describes overwater flights since 2015 and frames them as an important step in realizing the PLAAF's dream of becoming a "Strategic Air Force." The fourth section examines the training value of these missions, focusing on their real-world targets.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.