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