Pakistan Navy and People's Liberation Army (PLA Navy) have been interacting since long, however, bilateral naval exercises are unique in the entire spectrum of multifaceted maritime operations. The maiden bilateral exercise of the series held in Sep 2014 at Karachi laid a solid foundation for the subsequent 2nd exercise in Shanghai, China and adjoining areas from 28 Dec 2015 to 3rd Jan 16.
Pakistan Navy Ships SHAMSHEER and NASR along with embarked helicopters were extended warm welcome and hospitality during their visit to Shanghai for participation in the exercise. Official call on by senior military and civilian officials, joint interactive sessions, seminars on professional topics and social events were the hallmark of the Harbour phase. The Sea phase of the exercise covered the entire spectrum of naval operations in Surface, Sub-surface and Air warfare domains. PLA (N) was represented at sea by large number of naval units including ships, submarine, fighter aircraft and helicopters. Salient events conducted at sea included basic to advance level anti-submarine warfare exercises with PLA (N) submarines, live Gunnery Air & Surface firing practices and Maritime Interdiction Operations involving Special Forces from both sides.
Leveraging the ever growing military cooperation, the 3rd Pakistan Navy and PLA (Navy) Bilateral Exercise of the series was conducted at North Arabian Sea. PLA (Navy) Task Group comprising two destroyers/ships and one Fleet Tanker, headed by Rear Admiral Yu Manjiang visited Karachi to participate in the exercise.
The sea phase of the exercise covered wide spectrum of maritime and naval operations by ships, helicopters, Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Fighters and Special Forces. Joint Boarding Operations by Special Forces, Air Defence Exercises, Communication Drills and Joint Manoeuvres by ships were the hallmark of the events conducted at sea. A de-brief/hot wash-up of the exercise was also held at sea upon culmination of the exercise.
Cognizant of the fact that naval collaboration between Pakistan Navy and PLA (Navy) has become even more important in the backdrop of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to effectively handle complex asymmetric challenges in the maritime domain, the successful conduct of these bilateral exercises held in close timeframe is reflective of strong mutual desire to improve the level of coordination and interoperability at operational and tactical levels. These exercises not only provided a further impetus to growing mutual naval collaboration to effectively contribute towards contemporary maritime security challenges in the region, it also contributed in terms of providing valuable opportunity for both Pakistan Navy and PLA (Navy) to learn from each other’s experiences and refine warfare tactics.
Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah visited the PLA (Navy) Ship LIUZHOU at Karachi and met the Chinese Flotilla Commander, Deputy Chief of Staff PLA (Navy) South Sea Fleet, Rear Admiral Yu Manjiang.
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