The Chinese navy has been striving to hone its combat capability through joint drills and rigorous training since the start of the year.
During Joint Sea 2014, conducted in late May in the East China Sea, the Chinese and Russian navies strengthened their cooperation and capabilities in maritime operations.
During the weeklong exercise, 14 ships, two submarines and nine fixed-wing aircraft from the two navies practiced tactical maneuvers including air defense, an anti-ship attack, anti-submarine combat and rescuing hijacked vessels.
This exercise was the third of its kind and followed joint drills off the coast of Russia’s Far East in July 2013 and the Yellow Sea in April 2012.
Compared with the previous two exercises, Vice-Admiral Tian Zhong, deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army navy, said this year’s drill featured a more realistic combat environment and higher integration in communication.
In July, the Chinese navy sent a fleet to take part in the US-led Pacific Rim joint exercises off Hawaii. The fleet of four ships, including the missile destroyer Haikou and missile frigate Yueyang, is the second largest in the drill, following that of the US Navy.
The Chinese vessels have taken part in a series of events during the world’s largest international maritime exercise, including gun-firing, maritime security operations, surface warship maneuvers and humanitarian rescue and disaster relief.
The PLA navy has also organized several major patrol and training operations over the past seven months, sending ships and submarines to the South China Sea, western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean to test its combat capabilities.