Beijing (UPI) Apr 1, 2011
China's military is working with civilian aviation companies to provide integrated support for army aviation equipment.
The General Staff Headquarters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the Army Aviation Department and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China signed an "Agreement on Military and Civilian Integrated Support for New Army Aviation Equipment" in Beijing Thursday.
According to Aviation Department Director Zhang Ming, the agreement commits the PLA to adopting a military-civilian integrated support mode for army aviation equipment maintenance, Jiefangjun Bao reported Friday.
The agreement states that the jointly developed military and civilian integrated support system will be dominated by the PLA and supported by national defense industrial sectors and relevant civilian aviation manufacturing facilities.
The military and civilian integrated support system envisaged under the agreement is intended to utilize the best elements of the country's civilian aviation industrial sector support system while integrating the military's and civilian equipment support resources.
It is similar to the close connections between the U.S. civilian aviation sector and the military.
The military-civilian integrated support agreement for improving the PLA's army aviation equipment has incorporated information exchange, resource sharing and collaborative work and has reportedly already resulted in improving broad support capabilities for new equipment overall.
An area of particular concern under agreement is upgrading capabilities of the PLA's helicopters. The military's new strategies envisage them as a major high-tech main battle element in the army.
While helicopter equipment upgrades are proceeding, maintenance support lags and is an area of concern for the PLA.
General Staff Headquarters Army Aviation Department Armaments Bureau Director Lei Jun said: "Equipment maintenance crucial to army aviation equipment construction and all-round development of the arm involves a complicated system.
"In the context of fast-growing army aviation equipment construction, we must make scientific overall planning to speed up the progress of equipment maintenance."
As part of the expanded cooperation with the country's civilian aviation sector, the PLA sees that in the future army aviation equipment support will increasingly rely on outsourced local civilian aviation research, production and maintenance units. Military and civilian equipment maintenance forces will be pooled together to carry out joint support and further reform of the military's aviation elements' integrated support mode.
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