Number of assault troops/units


VIP Professional
After all these recent re-organizations, it's a bit hard to track what sort of units PLA has.

I am particularly interested in assault troops. Amphibious landing, air assault and airborne assault units.

As far as I can tell, current unit count is as follows:

4 airborne assault brigades (2 of them mechanized. All 4 PLAAF airborne)
3 air assault brigades (1 of them PLA, 2 are PLAAF airborne)

But when it comes to amphibious landing units, I have a harder time tracking everything.

Right now the Marine Corps seems to be operating 6 brigades.
PLA used to operate amphibious assault brigades as well, and they probably still do, to some extent. But I don't know how many remain within PLA, ever since they were transferred to Marines. Before the increase of the Marines i seem to have noted 1 division and 2 brigades for PLA. That might result in 5 brigades worth of units. So IF there are indeed 6 marine brigades, that MIGHT indicate there are 1 or 2 more amphibious assault brigades left within the PLA.

Can anyone help with any of this?


VIP Professional
I just learned that in December 2017, some media in China reported that out of six marine corps brigades (so they had 6 already even a year ago) three of them were former coastal defence brigades. And one was former Army. But what does that mean exactly? When we talk about previous organization, were those 3+1 brigades all army? Or were the coastal defence ones a completely separate entity?


Registered Member
Xi announced publicly, I think at the last parade in Northern China where the J-20 and J-16 were displayed, that they were going to further increase the size of the marine corps by moving personnel from the army into it.
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