China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC)

The China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) is a separate entity of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and is the corporation authorized by the Chinese government to provide satellites, commercial launch services and to carry out international space cooperation. CGWIC was established in 1980.

As the professional company promoting international cooperation for China’s space industry, CGWIC is devoted to the internationalized development of China’s space industry. CGWIC has become a systems integrator for space products and services. In conjunction with its three main contractors, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) and China Satellite Launch, Tracking and Control (CLTC), CGWIC develops, maintains and operates the Long March LM-2C, LM-2D, LM-2F, LM-3A, LM-3B, LM-3C and LM-4 launch vehicles. The LM-3 family of launch vehicles are mainly used for the launch of commercial satellites.

Since CGWIC officially introduced its Long March launch vehicles to the international commercial launch services market in 1985, the company has conducted more than 24 international commercial launch missions for over the 30 satellites and 6 piggyback payloads. Back in 2004, CGWIC signed communications satellite in-orbit delivery contracts with international customers based on the newly developed DFH-4 platform, setting an important record-breaking milestone for China’s satellite export business. Through extensive international commercial cooperation, CGWIC has established close ties with satellite manufacturers and satellite operators all over the world and has an excellent reputation in the international aerospace industry.


The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is the main contractor for the Chinese space program and state-owned. CASC has a number of subordinate entities that design, develop and manufacture a range of spacecraft, launch vehicles, strategic and tactical missile systems and ground equipment. CASC was officially established in July 1999 as part of a Chinese government reform drive, having previously been one part of the former China Aerospace Corporation. Various incarnations of the program date back to 1956.

Along with space and defense manufacture, CASC also produces a number of high-end civilian products such as machinery, chemicals, communications equipment, transportation equipment, computers, medical care products and environmental protection equipment. CASC provides commercial launch services to the international market and is one of the world’s most advanced organizations in the development and deployment of high-energy propellant technology, strap-on boosters, and launching multiple satellites atop a single rocket. By the end of 2013, the corporation has registered capital of 45 billion USD and employed 170,000 people.

Launch facilities

China Great Wall Industry Corporation is providing commercial launch services from the Jiuquan Space Launch Center (JSLC) and the Xichang Space Launch Center (XSLC). CGWIC launched communication satellites for ChinaSat, NigComSat, VeneSat, Eutelsat, BelinterSat.

The construction of the Xichang Space Launch Center started in 1970 and became operational in1984. The facility’s location was chosen due to its high altitude, canyon topography, the May-October launch window weather, and low latitude. The Xichang base operates two unique launch pads; Launch Complex 2 is used for the launch of Long March-2E (ChangZheng-2E) space launch vehicles (SLV’s) while Launch Complex 3 is responsible for launching geostationary satellites onboard the Long March-3 series (ChangZheng-3 or CZ-3) SLV’s. Because all of China’s geostationary transfer orbit and geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) launches are from XSLC, it is China’s highest traffic space launch center. The facility is capable of processing one launch vehicle and simultaneously storing another one.

Launch Vehicles for commercial launches

Long March 3A (Chang Zheng 3A, CZ-3A or LM-3A)
The development of LM-3A launch vehicle was started in the 80’s on the basis of LM-3 fight proven technology and other heritages of Long March launch vehicles. In February 1994, its maiden flight was successfully performed.

LM-3A is a 3-stage launch vehicle developed on the basis of LM-3 and LM- 2C. Its third stage is powered by cryogenic propellants – liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. It is mainly used for launching spacecraft with GTO (Geostationary Transfer Orbit) missions. Its launch capability for GTO mission is 2,600 kg. The fairing static envelope is 3m in diameter.

Long March 3B (Chang Zheng 3B, CZ-3B or LM-3B)
To meet demand of international satellite launch market, especially for high power and heavy communications satellites, the development of LM-3B launch vehicle was started in 1986 on the basis of the fight proven technology of Long March launch vehicles.

LM-3B is the most powerful launch vehicle in Long March fleet based on LM- 3A as its core stage with four liquid boosters strapped on the first stage. The development of LM-3B has been made upon good heritage of mature and flight proven technology of Long March family of launch vehicles. Its GTO (Geostationary Transfer Orbit) capacity is 5,100kg.

In recent years, the LM-3B/E (Enhanced Version) launch vehicle is developed on the basis of LM-3B, increasing the GTO capacity up to 5,500kg. LM-3B/E has nearly the same configurations with LM-3B except its enlarged core stage and boosters. On May 14th, 2007, the flight of LM-3B/E was performed successfully, accurately sending the NigcomSat-1 into pre-determined orbit. With the GTO launch capability of 5,500kg, LM-3B/E is dedicated for launching heavy GEO communications satellite.

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