Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s guided-missile frigate Yuncheng (571) left a military port in Zhanjiang in south China’s Guangdong Province on Nov. 15 to participate in the International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
The ship departed with its ship-borne helicopter, for the exercise, which will be held in late November in the waters near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. The statement from PLA said that the deployment came after an invitation from the Bangladesh Navy.
Founded in 2008, the IONS currently has 35 member states and observers and aims to promote coordination and cooperation of maritime affairs among navies in the region through open and inclusive dialogue.
China became the observer of IONS in 2014. This is the first time that the Chinese Navy has send ships to participate in the multilateral exercises under the framework of the forum.
Zhang Mingqiang, commander of the task and deputy commander of a destroyer detachment under the Chinese PLA Navy, said that the joint exercise mainly focuses on how should the navies across the world reach a smooth communication mechanism and carry out cooperation on tactical level in the wake of major maritime disasters.
The Chinese frigate Yuncheng and its counterparts from Bangladesh, India, Iran and other countries will participate in the exercise of joint search and rescue of missing fishing vessels.
The Chinese frigate will also attend a maritime fleet review held by the Bangladesh side, and conduct military and cultural exchange activities with other participating navies.
The drill is conducive to enhancing the mutual understanding and trust of the participants and enhancing their capabilities to jointly cope with the security threats in non-traditional maritime areas.
Yuncheng, China’s homegrown new missile frigate, had successively executed two escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somali and participated in the China-Russia “Joint Sea 2017” naval exercise. It had also visited over 10 countries including Mozambique, Thailand, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, Greece and Singapore.
Huang Panyue/ China Military Online