Ten corvettes were randomly selected from the People's Liberation Army-Navy to test their ability to thwart anti-ship missiles, according to PLA Daily, a Chinese newspaper. The drills were held to prepare for potential Japanese or US belligerents.
Last week, US B-52 bombers buzzed over the East China Sea.
"If the first round of interception failed, the vessels [carrying these interceptors] must adjust [their] position in no time so as to launch another bid," the PLA Daily said over the weekend. The frigate Meizhou of the PLA Navy's South China Sea fleet reportedly performed well during the tests.
"Intercepting anti-ship missiles is an urgent task as the surrounding threats grow," Song Zhongping, a military expert, told the Global Times Sunday. "Anti-missile capability is indispensable to building a fully functional strategic PLA Navy. Such exercises are aimed at ensuring the PLA is prepared for battles."
The Australian Navy recently inked a $26 billion contract with Bae Systems to produce nine frigates, which analysts saw as a response to China's burgeoning fleet, Breaking Defense reported June 28.