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

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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.

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