China, US, Russia navies hold drill in Arabian Sea off Pak coast
A multilateral naval exercise is being conducted in Pakistan in the Arabian Sea along with the naval forces from several countries. A fleet of warships led by a frontline destroyer of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) also took part in it.
A week-long exercise called ‘Aman-21’ was inaugurated on Friday. Navies from 45 countries are partipating in the exercise which has been held every 2 years since 2007. The participating countries include, the US, UK, China, Russia, Turkey and several Arab and African countries.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) stated in a report, “The PLA Navy 119 Flotilla” arrived near the Karachi port earlier this week after the flotilla wrapped up its escort mission in the Gulf of Aden.”
The report further added, “The 119 Flotilla, led by the Type 052D guided missile destroyer Guiyang and consisted of the Type 054A guided missile frigate Zaozhuang and the Type 903A comprehensive supplement ship Dongpinghu.”
According to the state media, it is very rare for the Chinese and the US navies to take part in multilateral exercises. It also said that this drill comes in the backdrop of military tensions between China and the US in regions like the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.
Analysts said, ‘It is also rare because Russia has also joined the exercise together with NATO countries.’
A Pakistani Navy officer told the Chinese state media, “The exercise this time is unique in a sense that it provides an opportunity to navies from China, Russia and the US and other Western navies to come under one platform.”
A Type 052D destroyer was dispatched by the Chinese Navy. To this, the US Navy reacted and said, China’s new naval power is depicted by this particular type of Chinese destroyer.
An independent US-based think tank, US Naval Institute, wrote in a report, “Chinese naval threats have grown by leaps and bounds during the past decade. No class of surface warship has demonstrated this newfound naval might more than the modern Luyang III–class guided-missile destroyers, also known as the Type 052D, which began entering, service in 2014.”
The Navy chief of Pakistan, Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi told Chinese state media that inorder to maintain regional balance of power, the PLAN’s presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) the maritime area was significant.