China Sends New Naval Fleet on Escort Mission

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s 37th fleet left the port city of Sanya in south China’s Hainan Province last week for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships.

The fleet is composed of the Type 052D guided-missile destroyer Changsha (173), the Type 054A missile frigate Yulin (569), and comprehensive supply ship Honghu (963). On board the warships are 700 officers and soldiers, including dozens of special operation troops.

The PLA Navy began to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia in December 2008. This is the first time Changsha is joining the naval escort mission.

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