Russia and China are set to conduct the first stage of their Joint Sea 2017 naval drills off the Baltic coast this week, with Beijing having sent one of its most advanced missile destroyers for the exercises.
The Baltic phase of the exercise, starting Friday, will involve about a dozen warships in addition to military aircraft and helicopters from both sides, the Russian defense ministry said. “The main goals of the exercises are to increase the efficiency in cooperation between the two fleets in countering security threats at sea, to train compatibility of the crews of Russian and Chinese warships, to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the Russian Navy and the Naval Forces of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” the ministry said.
Chinese naval forces are scheduled to arrive in the naval base of Baltiysk in Russia’s Kaliningrad region on 21/July for an official welcoming ceremony. The active phase of the joint naval drills in the Baltic Sea will be held between 24-27/July. Chinese state media reported that the PLAN has deployed the Changsha, the second advanced Type 052D guided missile destroyer, commissioned just two years ago. The warship will be accompanied by the missile frigate Yuncheng and the Luoma Lake supply ship. After the first phase of the drills conclude off the Baltic coast, the Chinese Navy will join Russian ships in the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk in September for the second phase of the Russo-Chinese exercises.
The Chinese and Russian navies have been staging their Joint Sea exercises since 2012.
Published by: The War Files