Chinese PLA , Russian naval forces kick off drills in Baltic Sea

| Updated: Jul 22, 2017 03:34 IST

Moscow [Russia], July 21 (ANI): The 'Joint Sea 2017' drills of the Russian and Chinese naval forces have begun the first stage of major exercises, marking the first time they have taken place in Europe.will engage in exercises with the Russian Navy. Chinese naval ships entered the Baltic Sea on Friday and began the first stage of the 'Joint Sea 2017' joint drills with Russia for the first time in Europe. As the Chinese ships entered the Russian sea port of Baltiysk on Friday,the first stage of Joint Sea-2017 will be held from July 21 to 28 in the Baltic Sea, the second phase of the Joint Sea maneuvers will be held in the Russian Far East, the Sea of Japan, and the Sea of Okhotsk in September. Nearly 10 ships, over 10 aircraft and helicopters from the Russian and Chinese navy will join the exercises in the first phase, Sputnik reported. China's most advanced guided-missile destroyer, the 052D, which is equipped with phased array radar and a vertical launching system is participating in the drills. "This is the first visit of Chinese fleet in Baltiysk in the history of the Russian-Chinese relations," Tass agency quoted Russian Baltic Fleet spokesman Roman Martov as saying. The Russian Navy will deploy the latest class corvettes - Stregushchiy and Boiky. In addition, nearly a dozen aircraft and helicopters from both sides will take part. "The key goals of the exercises are to increase the efficiency in cooperation between the two fleets in countering security threats at sea, to train compatibility of the crews of Russian and Chinese warships, to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the Russian Navy and the Naval Forces of the Chinese People's Liberation Army," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. (ANI)