China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation


The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is designated very high risk for its extensive research, development and production of missiles, rockets and other aerospace products for the PLA.

CASC was established in 1999 as a defence aerospace conglomerate. The company is primarily focused on ‘developing carrier rockets, various kinds of satellites, … and tactical missile systems.’ ; With revenues nearing USD38 billion (AUD55 billion), CASC employs nearly 180,000 personnel and is on the Fortune 500 list.

PLA experts Mark Stokes and Dean Cheng have noted that CASC’s main products for the PLA include ‘ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, large solid rocket motors, liquid fuelled engines, satellites, and related sub-assemblies and components.’p.17 The Federation of American Scientists claims CASC is particularly advanced in high-energy propellant technology, satellite applications, strap-on boosters and system integration.

CASC maintains an investment business which may be geared towards civilian purposes, according to Bloomberg. The Federation of American Scientists notes that some civilian product lines for CASC include ‘machinery, chemicals, communications equipment, transportation equipment, computers, medical care products and environmental protection equipment.’

CASC oversees multiple research academies, which have been separately identified by Mark Stokes and Dean Cheng and by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. ;

The Nuclear Threat Initiative has identified that CASC has the following subordinate companies:

  • China Satellite Communications Corporation
  • China Great Wall Industry Corporation
  • China Aerospace Engineering Consultation Center
  • China Centre for Resources Satellite Data and Application (CRESDA)
  • Aerospace Science & Technology Finance Co., Ltd
  • Aerospace Capital Holding Co. Ltd
  • China Aerospace Times Electronics Corporation
  • China Aerospace International Holding LtdBeijing Shenzhou Aerospace Software Technology Co., Ltd
  • Shenzhen Academy of Aerospace Technology
  • Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co., Ltd.

Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, one of CASC’s major subsidiaries, hosts the National Defense Technology Key Laboratory for Guided Missile and Command Technology (导弹制导与控制技术国防科技重点实验室) and the Key Laboratory of Space Physics (空间物理重点实验室). ; CASC also hosts the National Key Laboratory of Metrology and Calibration Technology (计量与校准技术国防科技重点实验室).

Economic espionage and misconduct

Drones developed by CASC were reported to have been deployed to Xinjiang following unrest in 2014.

Noteworthy international collaborations

CASC is active in international arms export markets. Egypt, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are known to have procured the CH-4 un-manned aerial combat vehicles (UCAV) from CASC. However, according to the National Interest, ‘the Jordanian air force in June 2019 put up for sale its own six CH-4s’ raising questions about the quality of the UCAV.

The aerospace sector has been identified by Chinese state media as important to the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Signatories to the BRI can ask for space launch services from CASC and countries such as Algeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are reported to have taken China up on this offer. In saying this, such services were offered by CASC prior to the BRI, having collaborated with France to put the Eutelsat communications satellite into orbit.

CASC is active in international education exchanges, forming partnerships with leading universities in the United Kingdom.

CALT, one of CASC’s main subsidiaries, entered into an agreement with the University of Strathclyde in August 2012, establishing the UK-China Space Mechatronic Systems Technology Laboratory Research Programme (中英航天机电系统技术联合实验室, SMeSTech). ; SMeSTech no longer mentions China in its formal name. ;

CALT also established the Advanced Structure Manufacturing Technology Laboratory (中英先进结构制造技术联合实验室) with Imperial College London.

CALT established the Sino-British Joint Laboratory on Advanced Control Systems (中英先进控制技术联合实验室) with the University of Manchester in March 2016. This laboratory was shut down in 2018.

Another subsidiary of CASC’s, the China Academy of Space Technology, entered into an agreement with the University of Surrey on the development of 5G technology.

End-user lists

CASC appears on the US Government Entity List under the following three aliases:

  • 1st General Design Department (a.k.a., Planning Department No 1) of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s First Academy (CALT)
  • Beijing Institute of Astronautic Systems Engineering
  • Beijing Institute of Space System Engineering

The 13th Research Institute, 9th Academy of CASC appears on Japan’s End User List under the following aliases:

  • 13th Institute, CALT
  • 13th Institute China Aerospace Times Electronics Corporation (CATEC)
  • Beijing Aerospace Control Instruments Institute
  • Design and Manufacture Center of Navigation and Control Device

The Beijing Aerospace Automatic Control Institute, a subsidiary of CASC, also appears on Japan’s End User List under the following aliases:

  • 12th Research Institute, CALT
  • Beijing Institute of Space Automatic Control
  • Beijing Spaceflight Autocontrol Research Institute
  • CASC First Academy 12th Research Institute

The 5th Academy of CASC appears on Japan’s End User List under the following alias:

  • China Academy of Space Technology (CAST)

Last updated 16 December 2019. Unclear about any wording? Visit the terminology page.