China, Iran, and Russia to hold joint naval drills
China, Iran and Russia will hold five-day trilateral naval drills in the Gulf of Oman as of Wednesday, Beijing said, Anadolu News Agency reports.
The trilateral maritime exercises, Security Belt-2023, will conclude on Sunday, China’s Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Militaries from Beijing, Moscow and Tehran have held several joint exercises, so far.
“The Security Belt-2023 exercise is developed from the two joint maritime exercises held by the three countries in 2019 and 2022,” the Ministry said.
It added the Chinese military will dispatch the guided-missile destroyer, Nanning, to participate in the exercises which include aerial search, maritime rescue and ship parade.
“The Security Belt-2023 exercise will facilitate the deepening of the practical cooperation among the navies of the participating countries, further demonstrate their willingness and ability to jointly protect maritime security, actively build a maritime community with a shared future, and inject a positive momentum to the regional peace and stability,” said the Chinese Defence Ministry.
A Russian Foreign Ministry statement later gave further details on the exercise.
“At the first stage of the exercise, the military sailors of the three countries will work out on the maps the drawing of episodes of the exercise on practical actions at sea, will conduct briefings and tactical briefings,” it said on Telegram.
The statement noted that the naval stage of the exercise will be held 16–17 March and the three navies will perform joint manoeuvring and artillery firing, as well as working out “the formation of an interethnic detachment of warships” and freeing “a captured ship, providing assistance to ships in distress at sea and a number of other tasks”.
“On 18 March, after the completion of the joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian naval exercise ‘Security Belt-2023’, the sailors of the three countries will sum up the results of their joint work,” it said.
It added that Russia is represented by a detachment of ships from the country’s Northern Fleet, as part of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the Kama medium sea tanker.