Exclusive: Chinese flotilla participating in ‘Northern/Interaction-2023’ drills set sail; Russia navy and air forces to join
Published: Jul 15, 2023 11:10 AM Updated: Jul 15, 2023 04:57 PM
China Russia Photo: VCG

China Russia Photo: VCG

The Chinese naval flotilla warships and ship-borne helicopters to participate in the "Northern/Interaction-2023" military drills have left military port in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on Saturday morning, heading to the designated waters to carry out training missions. As scheduled by militaries of China and Russia, Russia will dispatch naval and air forces to participate in the drills. 

A see-off ceremony was held around 9:45 am by officers from the Central Military Commission, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Northern Theater Command and the PLA Northern Theater Command Navy.

The Chinese naval flotilla is composed of the guided-missile destroyer Qiqihar, Guiyang, the guided-missile frigates Zaozhuang, Rizhao, and the comprehensive supply ship Taihu carrying four ship-borne helicopters. 

All five ships have undertaken numerous significant missions. 

Zaozhuang and Guiyang have previously set a new record for the longest continuous navigation time in the history of the PLA Navy during the 36th batch of escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, after having completed a 184-day long-distance voyage without docking for maintenance. 

Rizhao was recognized as an advanced unit in combat readiness by the PLA Northern Theater Command for its outstanding performance in major training tasks. 

After the flotilla arrive in the designated sea area, it will conduct joint military exercises with Russian participating forces. 

During the mission preparation period, the Chinese flotilla carried out scientific planning and organization works, refined and improved the training plan, and undertook specific map-based simulations and joint exercises of sea and air operations, further honing the flotilla's ability to carry out the joint missions.

As scheduled by the two militaries of China and Russia, Russia will dispatch naval and air forces to participate in "Northern/Interaction-2023" drills in the central region of the Sea of Japan organized by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Northern Theater Command. The subjects of the joint drills are themed "safeguarding the safety of strategic maritime routes" and are designed to further elevate the coordination capability of the two militaries and strengthen their capabilities of jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability, as well as responding to various security challenges, according to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Saturday.