Chi­nese ships hone their com­bat skills in Mediter­ranean be­fore ex­er­cise with Rus­sia

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A Chi­nese naval flotilla car­ried out a live-fire ex­er­cise in the Mediter­ranean Sea on Mon­day en route to the Baltic Sea for a joint drill with the Rus­sian Navy, the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Navy said on Tues­day.

The flotilla, com­pris­ing the CNS He­fei, CNS Yuncheng and CNS Luom­ahu, fired sev­eral rounds at sea tar­gets. Sailors also used small arms to hit nearby tar­gets dur­ing the ex­er­cise, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the PLA Navy.

The op­er­a­tion was aimed at hon­ing crew mem­bers’ skills in at­tack­ing small tar­gets, the news re­lease quoted Zhao Yan­quan, cap- tain of the He­fei, as say­ing.

The He­fei is a Type 052D guid­ed­mis­sile destroyer, the Yuncheng is a Type 054A guided-mis­sile frigate and the Luom­ahu is a Type 903A re­plen­ish­ment ship. All of them be­long to the South Sea Fleet and are said to be the best class of their cat­e­gory.

Af­ter the ex­er­cise, the flotilla con­tin­ued to sail to­ward its des­ti­na­tion in Baltic Sea to take part in the “Joint Sea 2017” drill with the Rus­sians in wa­ters off St. Peters­burg and Kalin­ingrad.

The Chi­nese ships set off for the drill from their home port in Sanya, Hainan prov­ince, on June 18.

The drill is ex­pected to im­prove co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the two navies on joint de­fense op­er­a­tions at hou, Chaohu,

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