PLA forms Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force

Following on from the earlier report that the PLA Second Artillery Corps has been elevated into a full service branch and renamed as the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF), Chinese state media confirmed today that at the same time the PLA also created a brand new branch known as the PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) on the last day of 2015.

New military communications satellite to be launched

A new communications satellite, named Chinasat 1A, is due to be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre (XSLC) on 19 September aboard a Changzheng 3B booster. It is believed that the satellite is for military purposes, possibly a replacement to the Fenghuo 1 (Chinasat 22A) tactical COMSAT launched in 2006. This will be the first military communications satellite to be based on the DFH-4 design. Its military designation may be Fenghuo 2.