People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force

People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force
Emblem of People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force
Active January 2016present
Country  People's Republic of China
Allegiance Communist Party of China[1]
Type Strategic force
Role Information warfare, cyber warfare, space warfare
Part of People's Liberation Army
Commander General Gao Jin
Political Commissar General Zheng Weiping

The People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLASSF or SSF ; Chinese: 中国人民解放军战略支援部队) is a theater command-level organisation responsible for the space, cyber, and electronic warfare missions of the People's Liberation Army and strategic-level information support for joint operations. As such, the SSF is more or less the information warfare branch of the People's Liberation Army.[2][3] It was introduced in December 2015 as part of the first wave of the People's Republic of China military reform.[4]


Initial announcements did not provide much detail, but Yang Yujun of the Chinese Ministry of Defense described it as a combination of all support forces. Commentators speculate that it will include high-tech operations including space, cyberspace and electronic warfare operations, independent of other branches of the military.[4] Another expert, Yin Zhuo, said that "the major mission of the PLA Strategic Support Force is to give support to the combat operations so that the PLA can gain regional advantages in the space warfare and cyber warfare domains, and to ensure smooth operations."[5]


Functionally and structurally, the Strategic Support Force operates like the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force.[3] The SSF is formed from the units responsible for space, cyber, and electronic warfare in the former General Staff Department (including the cyber espionage capabilities of the former Third Department, the electronic support measures from the former Fourth Department, and the space-based ISR systems and Aerospace Reconnaissance Bureau and Satellite Main Station), General Political Department, and General Armaments Department (including the launch, telemetry, tracking, and control facilities and research and development organisations).[2]

Space Systems Department

The Space Systems Department is the consolidation of all PLA’s space-based C4ISR systems.

  • Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center / 20th Testing and Training Base
  • Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center / 25th Testing and Training Base
  • Xichang Satellite Launch Center / 27th Testing and Training Base
  • Wenchang Aerospace Launch Site
  • Space Telemetry, Tracking, and Control
  • Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center
  • Xi’an Satellite Control Center / 26th Testing and Training Base
  • Telemetry, Tracking, and Control Stations
  • China Satellite Maritime Tracking and Control Department
  • 23rd Testing and Training Base
  • Aerospace Reconnaissance Bureau
  • Satellite Main Station
  • Aerospace Research and Development Center
  • Project Design Research Center

Network Systems Department

The Network Systems Department is the integration of all PLA’s information warfare capabilities.


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