Chinese Navy task group heads for Baltic Sea and bilateral drills with Russian Navy

Russian Ministry of Defense photo of the 2012 naval exercise between China and Russia

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).

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.

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