Russia and China Conduct Largest-Ever Joint Naval Drills

On Friday, Chinese and Russian navies gathered in the Sea of Japan to kick off their largest-ever joint naval drills. Ties continue to strengthen between these former Cold War rivals.

Eighteen ships, one submarine, three airplanes, five ship-launched helicopters and two commando units are taking part in the “Joint Sea-2013” exercise. The drills run from July 5 through 12.

The drills will cover anti-submarine warfare, close maneuvering and a simulated takeover of an enemy ship.

This is the largest joint exercise China’s navy has ever participated in.

China’s navy is contributing four destroyers, two latest-generation guided missile frigates and a support ship.

The Chinese vessels sailed on Monday from the port of Qingdao to meet Russia’s navy in Peter the Great Bay near Vladivostok.

Chinese state television broadcast footage of the two fleets conducting operations in the bay. This was followed by Chinese naval officers being welcomed ashore by their Russian counterparts.

China has long been a key customer for Russia’s military hardware. However, their militaries only began joint training in the last decade.

Sino-Russian relations have developed out of common interests. Both share common defense concerns about the expansion of radical Islam and nato. Both seek to take advantage of the weakening United States.

To learn where Asia’s strengthening relations are headed, read Russia and China in Prophecy.