The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s 28th Chinese naval escort taskforce arrived in the waters east of the Gulf of Aden on Dec 23, to replace the 27th Chinese naval escort taskforce.
The 28th naval escort taskforce, sent by the PLA Navy’s North Sea Fleet, consists of two Type 054A (Jiangkai II class) guided-missile frigates, Yancheng (546) and Weifang (550), and a Type 903 (Qiandaohu-class) comprehensive supply ship Taihu (889). The ships also embark two ship-based helicopters and nearly 700 officers and men.
A mission handover ceremony was held by the two escort taskforces on Dec 26 after two days of joint performance of escort tasks.
Since arriving at the Gulf of Aden on August 23, in the past four months, the 27th escort taskforce has successfully provided escort for 53 Chinese and international vessels in 35 batches, and warned away 42 suspected pirate vessels.
The three ships set sail from a naval port in Qingdao of East China’s Shandong province on Dec. 3 and held drills during the voyage to make full preparation for its escort mission.
Since 2008, the Chinese Navy has sent 27 contingent convoy escort missions to the Gulf of Aden and Somalia to carry out escort missions. It has successfully completed the task of escorting more than 6,400 Chinese and foreign ships.