Kaiyangxing (pennant number 856), the PLA Navy’s new-generation electronic surveillance ship, was commissioned at Qingdao Naval Base on Tuesday, 10 January 2017. The ship joins the Combat Support Flotilla of the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet.
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.
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.