A Chinese Navy three-ship task group is sailing towards the Baltic Sea where it is set to take part in exercises with the Russian Navy.
The bilateral drill, dubbed “Maritime Interaction 2017”, is scheduled to take place between July 21 and 28, and will involve an overall of 21 ships, according to a Russian defense ministry announcement.
According to images shared on social media by Dutch Marine Corps officer Rob Verkerk on July 17, as the Chinese task group passed through the North Sea, the group is composed of Type 052D destroyer Hefei (DDG-174), Type 054A frigate Yuncheng (571) and Type 903 replenishment ship Luomahu (964).
Footage at first light of the Chinese Task Group passing the North Sea towards the Baltic region, escorted by HNLMS Van Amstel. pic.twitter.com/1YHboTTSqa
— Rob Verkerk (@GeneraalVerkerk) July 17, 2017
This year’s exercise will focus on maritime security and interoperability and builds on a previous one, organized between the two countries for the first time in 2012.
In addition to the Baltic Sea, China currently has a task group sailing in the Black Sea where Bosphorus observers captured the arrival of Type 052C destroyer Changchun, Type 054A frigate Jingzhou and Type 903 replenishment ship Chaohu to Istanbul, Turkey.
Chinese warships Jing Zhou, Chang Chun and Chaohu arrive in Istanbul during a summer storm of biblical proportions. pic.twitter.com/EDPUud6Jry
— Bosphorus Naval News (@Saturn5_) July 18, 2017