China’s National Day military parade by the numbers

The 70th anniversary China National Day parade included some impressive numbers of soldiers and new technology on displace. According to reports President Xi Jinping inspected more than 15,000 troops and “more than 160 aircraft and 580 weapon systems.”

So let’s look at this by the numbers:

  • 15,000 troops
  • 160-170 aircraft
  • 580 active weapon systems
  • 80-minute military parade to showcase some of the countries 2 million military personnel
  • 70-gun salute from 56 cannons, symbolizing different groups in society.
  • Parade commander-in-chief General Yi Xiaoguang.
  • Parade organized partly by Beijing-based military command.
  • A peacekeeper force took part
  • 40 per cent of the military equipment on show is on display for the first time.
  • Desert camo on some vehicles.
  • 47 ground squads in the parade
  • 15 are from the People’s Liberation Army’s five theatre commands and other branches of the armed forces.
  • Honour guards, servicewomen, civilian personnel, reserve forces, militia
  • 32 armament squads from land combat, maritime combat, and air and missile defence units 

Individual weapon systems


  • DF-17, a nuclear-capable glider with ranges that include the US.  It’s first appearance, this system is hypersonic
  • DF-41, which has a range of up to 15,000km.
  • DF-100. Hypersonic missile, range of 2000-3000km, can be used at sea.
  • Dongfeng-21D (DF-21D), the “carrier killer”, can fly up to 1,500km
  • DF-26 intermediate range missile, called the “Guam killer”


  • Type-19 assault rifle.


  • Type 99 main battle tanks
  • Type 15 light tanks


  • Z-8 multi-role helicopter
  • Z-10 attack helicopter
  • Type Z-19 reconnaissance helicopters
  • Z-18 helicopters
  • Z-20 medium lift helicopter

Air defense

  • Air-defence squads
  • Red Flag missile defence systems
  • HQ-17 and its phased-array, sector-scan radar with a range of 175km which can track up to 16 targets simultaneously


  • Sharp Sword UAV attack drone, the “final version
  • Gongji-11, described by the state-controlled Global Times as an attack drone with a flying wing design
  • DR-8 drone

Bombers, fighter jets and aircraft

  • H-6 heavy bombers make their fly-past. Designed as a medium-range bomber.
  • H-6K with extended fuel storage, longer range, can carry cruise missiles for up to  2,000km, H-6N
  • HU-6 refueling aircraft
  • J-20A the Air Force’s first stealth fighter jet, still equipped with Russian engines

Naval assets

  • YJ-18A anti-ship cruise missiles, long-range submarine-launched
  • A large autonomous underwater vehicle. Its mission remains unknown.
  • JL-2 missiles. With an estimated range of 4,473 miles (7,200 kilometers).

Why it matters

  • China has a base in Djibouti, showcasing its global reach.
  • Increased rivalry with the US
  • China seeking to project power in its region as well as to Middle East and Africa, and Pacific.





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