This South African National Defense Force (SANDF) has confirmed its participation in a trilateral maritime exercise with China and Russia, Russian News Agency TASS reported.

Citing a South African online news portal ‘Defense Web’, the report said that the three navies will undertake a series of joint naval drills.

The exercise is scheduled to be held between 17 and 24 February 2023.

The eight-day long exercise will be carried out off the South African coastal province KwaZulu-Natal in the Indian Ocean.

Encompassing from Durban to Richard’s Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, the latest iteration of exercise between the SANDF, China’s People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLAN) and the Russian Navy is expected to cover nearly 160km of area.

Around two Russian Navy warships are expected to take part in the exercise.

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The activities will majorly comprise gunnery training, force protection drills as well as other air defence exercises.

The report claimed that the latest exercise has the same name, ‘Mosi’ or smoke, as that of the first naval exercise conducted by the three countries in the South African territorial waters.

It was held in November 2019, off the coast of Cape of Good Hope in the Atlantic Ocean, near Cape Town.

The new trilateral exercise announcement comes a few days after China and Russia concluded a week-long joint exercise in the East China Sea.

Held between 21 and 27 December, the bilateral exercise aimed at showcasing the joint capabilities of both the nations to counter maritime security threats, while maintaining international and regional peace and stability.

In 2016, Russia and China conducted a joint naval exercise with India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Egypt.