Located far from major population areas, several dozen kilometers south of Fuzhou, the Longtian [Lung-T'ien] Airbase is evidently a military airfield.
Based on imagery from 1969, this airbase consists of a hard-surface, greater than 8000 foot runway, with two alert hardstands, one at each end of the runway. There are almost 30 dispersed revetted hardstands. Each revetted hardstand could hold from one to three fighter aricraft as has been seen at other PLA bases. These revetments are in two groups: one at the northeast end and one at the northwest end of the base. There is a possible weapons storage area (WSA) in the northern part of the base, signifying possible facilities for the storage of bombs and munitions for ground-attack aircraft. Longtian could support between 30 to 90 combat aircraft. Air defense batteries could be located at the western end of the base.
In March 2000 it was reported that the PLA Air Force was deploying new air-defense missiles [possibly batteries of Russian-made S-300 missiles] opposite Taiwan at the coastal cities of Xiamen and Shantou, and at Longtian, near Fuzhou. The S-300 missiles have twice the range of the HQ-2 [China's version of the Russian-designed SA-2 SAM] deployed at these locations. China has a total of six HQ-2 facilities near Taiwan, also including airfields at Fuzhou, Zhangzhou near Xiamen, and the military airfield at Liancheng.
Photographic Evaluation Report
High resolution imagery is available from two sources, including declassified CORONA imagery. As of 01 May 2000 Russian 2-meter resolution KVR-1000 imagery coverage was not available via the SPIN-2 service on TerraServer. As of 08 April 2000 archival Space Imaging IKONOS 1-meter imagery available on the CARTERRA™ Archive includes 4 scenes, acquired between 11 January 2000 and 11 January 2000. Of these scenes, however, all 4 have heavy cloud cover in excess of the standard 20% threshold, and none of the imagery includes Longtian Airbase.
Sources and Resources
"Chinese Bases Near Taiwan Sport Defense Missiles," Bill Gertz, The Washington Times 28 March 2000, Page 1.