The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLA Navy) three new battleships have set sail to conduct a far-sea training exercise in the South China Sea.
The three ships consisted of guided-missile destroyers Haikou (Hull 171) and Changsha (Hull 173), and the comprehensive supply vessel Luomahu (Hull 964), according to PLA-sponsored website China Military.
Training will begin with a joint exercise, with participation from the aviation force of China as well as other troops.
The PLA Navy has deployed three ship-borne helicopters and dozens of marines to facilitate the exercise.
Vessels will conduct exercises on escort, anti-terrorism, anti-piracy and joint air defence, as well as maritime defence operations as part of the training.
The website reports these activities will take place in the South China Sea, the eastern Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific Ocean.
Confrontation drills conducted during the sessions will include the PLA Navy’s aviation forces of the South Sea Fleet, the garrison troops in the Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands, in addition to some troops participating from the East China Sea Fleet and the North China Sea Fleet.
Commanding officer and South China Sea Fleet deputy commander Yu Manjiang said the far-sea training exercise is in line with international laws and conventions, and is part of a routine arrangement in accordance with the PLA Navy’s annual plan.
Image: Comprehensive supply ship Luomahu attached to the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy lifts the gangway as it prepares for the far-sea training. Photo: courtesy of Xinhua / Zeng Tao.