The Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA Navy) will be conducting a massive combat drills in West Philippine Sea. According to official report from China Military Online, guided-missile destroyer Hefei, multi-role frigates Sanya, and supply ship Honghu sailed from a naval port in Sanya, Hainan Province last week.
The said warships “will join forces in a certain water of the South China with submarines of the Nanhai Fleet Sea (South Sea Fleet) to stage a training exercise involving subjects of breaking through enemy blockage in a joint operation of surface ships and submarines, reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance,” the Chinese military said.
According to the report, the said drills will mark the beginning of the annual confrontation training exercises in the high sea and combat-readiness patrol.
Guided-missile destroyers Lanzhou and Guangzhou, multi-role frigate Yulin are also set to join the said combat drills. Lanzhou is currently participating in the on-going ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting–Plus (ADMM-Plus) Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism Exercise.
Mentioned six Chinese warships will be divided into three combat groups to hold training exercise in the West Philippine Sea, the east Indian Ocean and the west Pacific Ocean. The Chinese military said all warships participating in the training exercise are all new type main battle ships of the Chinese navy.
The aviation units of PLA Navy South Sea Fleet, garrison troops in the Paracel and Spratly Islands and some units of the PLAN’s Beihai Fleet will also be involved in the exercise.
“The training exercise aims to test the combat capability of new main battle ships, submarines and the naval aviation force, enhance the integrated training of the command and information systems of the ship formation at sea,” deputy commander of PLA Navy South Sea Fleet Rear Admiral Zhou Xuming told PLA Daily.