Assessment of capabilities of the underground bases of China Air Force (Part 1)

Assessment of underground bases of China Air Force (Part 1)

Fighters Shenyang J-8 towed into one of the many "super-hardened" underground air bases PLA. Which represent the horizontal tunnel on the hillside, the bases were extremely hard to kill, and to find their hidden preparation for surgery. Refueling, loading guns and preparing for take-off are invisible to the orbital and airborne reconnaissance. Pay attention to the open outer gate Blastguard.

Concise overview
PLA Air Force have about forty underground air bases, providing a unique and truly amazing opportunity to withstand large-scale air attack of the enemy, because for the destruction or even the temporary decommissioning of these databases will require significant efforts and the general application of precision munitions penetrating the large mass.

Due to absence of the enemy's capability to monitor what is going on at these sites means of orbital, air or ground surveillance data objects allow you to do a covert preparation for combat, whether in conflict or in the period, specifically the previous conflict.

Capacity of underground shelters is at least the last 1,500 combat aircraft. Maybe even more if you have the planes not only in the major internal tunnels. This capacity is greater than the total number of modern combat aircraft in the current time in service with the PLA.

The strategic plan of the infrastructure of underground air bases makes it possible to resist the PLA saturate even the United States and to save its own fleet of combat aircraft from the destruction on the ground. This will force at least some of the enemy, including the United States, the air drawn into a protracted war of attrition to apply decisive combat aircraft losses PLA.

The impressive vitality of underground infrastructure airbases PLA not the main judgment in the ongoing debate in the U.S. about the usefulness, purpose and even the substitution of languid bombers. If the defeat of underground infrastructure is part of the People's Liberation Army air bases intended use of the aircraft of the future, he needs to have sufficient survivability necessary for re-penetration zone acts encompassing air defense systems with the ability to deliver the languid "zemletryasuschih bombs." All the least, than this will lead to a long war of attrition.

A unique feature of the Chinese Air Force, compared to other large air force, is the widespread use of underground or "super-hardened" refuges, more than forty of which were identified on the basis of open source and a series of declassified intelligence satellite images.

Established to ensure the highest survivability of aircraft and critical infrastructure during an air attack, underground shelters historically used by the air forces of such countries as Sweden, Switzerland, Korea, the former Yugoslavia and the former socialist Albania. Their motivation is usually had the desire to maintain the fleet of aircraft in the criteria when the defending side has a military air force numerically, as often as not technologically competitive in relation to potential threats.

Hidden deep underground infrastructure has been very resilient during the second World War, when Germany built a huge number of underground production lines for the production of primary products, including ballistic missiles and fighter planes. These funds have been very resistant to the carpet bombing with the introduction of standard unguided munitions. In several successful attacks on ground targets such involved only the 617th Squadron of the Royal Air Force, using the "zemletryasuschie bomb" Tallboy or Grand Slam.

Assessment of underground bases of China Air Force (Part 1)

Assessment of underground bases of China Air Force (Part 1)

Saumar tunnel after the bombing "zemletryasuschimi bombs" in 1944 (Royal Air Force).

The emergence of nuclear weapons in 1945, and the possibility of an explosion in the air at low and medium altitudes, has spurred significant interest in the highly protected shelters and underground hangars at the end of the 1940s and 1950s, after the West and the Warsaw Pact have expanded their nuclear capabilities and adopted the doctrine of their implementation.

Researchers they say, that the extra pressure of explosion from 1 to 2 psi (pounds per square inch), causing damage to the aircraft. More highest excess pressure, typically from 4 to 10 psi is usually causes irreparable damage to aircraft.

Aircraft placed in open areas, closed to concrete or ground caponiers were vulnerable to excess pressure in a nuclear explosion, including both direct pressure, so raising and tilting the plane during the passage of the shock wave.

Thermal radiation of a nuclear explosion will have a limited impact on the unpainted anodized duralumin skin of the aircraft because of the superior capabilities of infrared reflective aluminum, but it can ignite the painted elements and other materials of the body, as fuel. More information about the details of the impact of thermal radiation in the explosion of a capacity of 24 kilotons of TNT, 1.4 megatons and 20 megatons available here.

The initial gamma radiation and neutron flux of a nuclear explosion is the main danger to personnel, while the residual radiation, bombs and other pieces of rainfall in a position to do plane equipment and dangerous to use.

So Makar, underground shelters are very reliable passive protection from the effects of a nuclear explosion shock wave, thermal and gamma radiation, electrical pulse (EMP) and the neutron flux at the same time providing the right service, protecting refueling and loading of munitions and aircraft themselves. Protection against loss of contaminated sediments in turn provides the ability to protect aircraft and personnel from the effects of chemical and biological weapons, extensively deployed for operational use at the time.

Although the main purpose of the underground shelters were protecting aircraft, personnel, fuel, ammunition and accessories from the ordinary explosion, caused by a nuclear explosion, and chemical and / or biological weapons, they represent another fundamental advantage.

Underground shelters provide stealth absent in ordinary places based aircraft, and operational activities can be seen from the outside only when plane roll out of the cave immediately before a combat mission. Refueling, maintenance, loading, testing and other activities can remain inconspicuous for air, orbital and ground reconnaissance.

The introduction of underground shelters has flaws. If only cave of natural origin has not been extended or modified, the price of tunnel work can be significant, especially in the hard rocks of igneous rock types,
not Myagenko sedimentary type. While the first type offers the best protection more than the latter, their presence is completely dependent on the local geology.

There are also other unique issues of current service. One of them is to prevent the penetration and accumulation of water inside the tunnel. Trees and other vegetation growing near the entrance or other technological holes can destroy the rock or concrete by penetration of roots. Vermin, birds and bats can find shelter or nesting sites in the tunnels, presenting the risk of infection of staff and possible damage to the equipment.

China has started construction of underground shelters for its own large-scale airfield construction 1950, and declassified satellite imagery with KH-4 Corona IMINT, acquired in 1962-1963 demonstrate how the construction such facilities, including auxiliary runways, taxiways, now known as leading to the entrances to the hangars.

Assessment of underground bases of China Air Force (Part 1)

Chinese underground air base, geographic location Download KMZ].

Assessment of underground bases of China Air Force (Part 1)

Raw photo with KH-4 Corona Chanzing air base in Nanjing, made in 1962-1963, indicates access to the underground hangar at the stage of construction

A certain amount of air bases PLA has been investigated in the near future due to the use of satellite photos with the highest razresheniemGoogle Earth IMINT. According to this, it was found that the location of some bases were chosen specifically to build underground hangars that were started but not completed. In other places it is possible to monitor the presence of works on the construction of taxiways and entrances to the hangars, which proves that the current service and construction. In some places, such as the base of the peninsula of Hainan Lingshui, normally located next to her rather large mound has no evidence for an underground hangar or taxiways to it that in other matters does not preclude the ability of building an underground hangar in the future.

At the current time, a small number of underground shelters PLA are abandoned, usually associated with the transformation of the surrounding airfields to civilian airfields. Examples are thrown fighter base Daishan Island to the south of Shanghai, is also absolutely rebuilt in the storage space fighter base in Yidu. The coming of the suburbs is the main prerequisite for the refusal of the People's Liberation Army airfields, although in recent years many of them have also been converted to civilian airports, often retaining some for military use.

At this point, most of the PLA underground shelters are in operation.

More well-known client state of China during the war were the Cool Albania and North Korea, both built airfields with underground shelters on the model of the PLA design.

In the continuation of the article:
The internal design of the underground hangar
Design outdoor blast proof doors
Strategy, design and capacity of underground air bases PLA
The vulnerability of underground air bases
Overview of all underground air bases PLA
Rate of capacity underground air bases PLA
Details of the design and construction of underground air bases
The general plan of the location of the air base

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