The Sea Guardians – 2 maritime exercise jointly held by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Pakistan Navy (PN) kicked off at a military port in Wusong, Shanghai on Sunday. Themed with “joint response to maritime security threats”, the Sea Guardians – 2 PLAN-PN joint maritime exercise aims to promote bilateral defense cooperation and enhance capabilities of the two militaries to jointly respond to maritime security threats, and to consolidate the traditional friendship between the two counties and two militaries, and push forward development of the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation. The four-day joint exercise, which is arranged according to the annual military cooperation plan of the two navies, has nothing to do with the regional situation and is not targeted at any third party.
The exercise will be held in the waters and airspace off Shanghai from July 10 to 13, and consists of two phases, i.e., port planning and maritime exercise. During the first phase, the two sides will carry out onshore activities such as operation planning, professional expertise exchanges, cultural and sports competitions. The joint drills the two navies will hold during the maritime exercise phase include attacking at maritime targets, tactical maneuver, anti-submarine operation, replenishment at sea, reinforcing damaged ships, anti-aircraft and anti-missile operations, etc.
The exercise is co-directed by PLA Navy Rear Admiral Liu Zhigang and Commodore Rashid Mehmood Sheikh of Pakistan Navy. The Chinese participating ships are mainly from the PLA Eastern Theater Command, including the guided-missile frigates Xiangtan (Hull No. 531) and Shuozhou (Hull No. 610), the comprehensive supply ship Qiandaohu (Hull No. 886), and one submarine, one early warning aircraft, two fighter jets and one helicopter. Pakistan Navy sent the Frigate Taimur to participate in the exercise.
This is the second time that China and Pakistan have held the “Sea Guardians” series joint maritime exercise. In January, 2020, the two sides held a joint maritime exercise code-named Sea Guardians-2020 in the northern Arabian Sea, during which the participating forces of both sides cooperated in a close and deep way, with all training subjects successfully completed, blazing new trails for future joint maritime exercises between the two navies. The drill subjects include anti-pirate speedboat attack, maritime interception and temporary inspection, helicopter cross-deck landing, anti-missile drill, search and rescue drill, change of guard formation, ship-aircraft coordinated anti-submarine drill, underway replenishment control, submarine rescue and lifesaving.