Russian and Chinese navy ships have teamed up in a bilateral naval exercise called the Joint Sea-2014.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is paying an official visit to Beijing to, inter alia, talk about the long-awaited gas deal between the two countries, joined his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Tuesday at a naval port in Shanghai to officially launch the naval drills.
A total of 14 vessels, two submarines, nine fixed-wing aircraft, including special forces and helicopter teams will participate in the seven-day drill, taking place in the waters and air space near Shanghai, in the East China Sea, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS informed.
The drill, third in a row, represents a continuation of the two countries’ efforts to strengthen military ties and it will include various types of manouvres at sea, search and rescue operations, helicopter deck landings, anti-submarine along with live-fire drills on sea and air targets.
“The two sides will mix all the warships together for the first time, and the ships will carry out battle exercises beyond visibility for the first time,” Tian Zhong, the officer directing the drill for China’s Navy told Xinhua.
Since the bilateral naval exercises are becoming more frequent, military exchanges are also expected to grow in number and scope.
The ships taking part in the exercise include Russia’s Varyag, a Slava-class missile cruiser with anti-aircraft and anti-submarine striking capabilities, followed by Russian destroyer Bystry, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev, the large amphibious ship Admiral Nevelskoy, the tanker Ilim and the sea-going tugboat Kalar. China is contributing to the exercise with, among others, Zhengzhou and Ningbo missile destroyers .
Naval Today Staff, May 21, 2014; Image: Wikimedia