Russia-China joint naval drill starts

Updated: 2012-04-22 11:21

By Zhao Shengnan (

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Russian naval deputy chief of staff Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov announced on Sunday the official start of the joint exercise with the Chinese navy in Qingdao of East China's Shandong province.

Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, delivered exercise tasks.

The drill is scheduled to be held from Sunday to Friday in the Yellow Sea of the Pacific Ocean.

A total of 16 vessels and two submarines from Chinese navy would participate the drill, including five missile destroyers, five missile frigates, four missile boats, a support vessel and hospital ship. Together with them are 13 aircrafts and five shipboard helicopters.

More than 4,000 Chinese servicemen will attend the drill, said the navy sources.

On Saturday, a Russian naval task force arrived at the naval base in Qingdao.

The task force, four warships from Russian navy's Pacific Fleet and three supply ships, left their home port in Vladivostok on April 15.

The Russian warships include the Pacific Fleet's flagship Varyag, a slava-class guided missile cruiser, Marshal Shaposhnikov, Admiral Panteleyev and Admiral Vinogradov, three Udaloy-class destroyers.

According to China's Defense Ministry, the exercise will focus on joint maritime air defense, anti-submarine tactics, maritime search and rescue as well as joint effort to rescue hijacked vessels.

The two navies will also deploy aircraft and special force units to conduct joint maritime anti-terror task in the exercise.

Sukhanov said the exercise would be held within the framework of the "strategic partnership" agreed by the leaders of the both countries.

The exercises will involve tests for the command-and-control, armaments, support and protection systems of the two navies, Sukhanov was quoted by Beijing-based People's Daily as saying.

The navies will also conduct surface and underwater exercises and test combat systems interoperability, as well as the effectiveness of automated control systems, electronics and information warfare.

"Participating naval forces will train in the prevention of armed conflicts in exclusive economic zones," he said.

China and Russia have conducted four bilateral and multilateral military exercises since 2005 within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Xinhua contributed to this story.