Russian, Chinese warships start joint exercise in Mediterranean Sea
"Then the crews started practicing joint maneuvers, which will be alternately controlled by the Russian and Chinese commanders. During the maneuvering the Russian sailors will perform smoke screening at the request of the Chinese," the spokesperson added.
Also, today deck-launched helicopters will practice flights with a deck exchange: a Russian helicopter will land on the deck of the Chinese frigate, while the Chinese on the deck of the Russian cruiser, the defense ministry said.
"The sides will also conduct joint air defense practice sessions. Their feature will be the use of deck-launched helicopters as real target imitators," the defense spokesperson said.
The exercise will end with a farewell ceremony with both crews lined up on the upper decks.
"Such an interaction between the two countries' navies is being held for the first time. The main objective of this exercise is to raise the level of operative compatibility between the Russian and Chinese warships during joint operations in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea," the defense ministry said.
The Russian-Chinese plan of naval maneuvers was approved on Thursday, January 23, during a visit of Petr Velikiy by a delegation of commanding officers from the Chinese frigate.
Prior to that a group of the commanding officers from Petr Velikiy had visited Yancheng.
On January 7 the Russian and Chinese warships established interaction for the first time during a naval operation to ensure safe transportation of Syrian chemical weapons in the Mediterranean Sea.
The command of the Russian permanent naval force in the Mediterranean stationed aboard the Pyotr Veliky heavy nuclear-powered missile carrying cruiser has visited the Chinese frigate Yancheng, which is providing the safe transportation of Syrian chemical weapons jointly with the Russian sailors.
The sides discussed the possible holding of a joint tactical drill in the Mediterranean, the Defense Ministry said.
The drill may be held shortly for upgrading compatibility of Russian and Chinese warships in joint operations in the eastern Mediterranean.
"Key elements of the Russian-Chinese maritime exercises will be the practice of elements of operative interaction, deterrence of contemporary terrorist threats and joint maritime rescue operations," the Defense Ministry said.
The Pyotr Veliky and the Yancheng escorted the Danish ship Ark Futura carrying the first batch of Syrian chemical weapons on January 7.
"Continuous communication was maintained with the Chinese ship on the escorting mission. The mission, which saw the first-ever practical interaction between ships of the Russian Navy and the Chinese Navy in the escorting of special-purpose transport vessels, was accomplished successfully," the Defense Ministry stressed.
Voice of Russia, Interfax