Joint exercises to boost 'inter-operability between navies'
Two Pakistani naval vessels Shamsheer and Nasr arrived at Wusong Port in Shanghai on Monday morning to participate in joint naval exercises in a bid to boost defense cooperation with their Chinese counterpart.
"It is a very significant exercise which will enhance the inter-operability and cohesion between the two navies," said Bilal Abdul Nadir, Commander of 25th Destroyer Squadron.
A total of 591 officers and soldiers are on board in the two vessels.
They will stay for six days in Shanghai to participate in a bilateral naval exercise and interact with Chinese friends.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy played welcoming tunes on the shore as the Pakistani sailors got off the ships.
According to Nasir, the defense collaboration between China and Pakistan has a strong foundation. The Navy of PLA regularly participates in the Naval Exercise AMAN in Pakistan and the Pak-China Joint Anti-Piracy Exercises. Chinese navy also visits Karachi regularly.
The naval exercises will involve live surface and air gunnery firing on fake targets and special operations by Special Operation Forces teams together with ships, submarine, aircrafts, and helicopters.
With regards to anti-terrorism operations, Pakistan plans to carry out joint training, information sharing, and joint exercises with China, Nadir told the Global Times.
Nadir said the two countries have a lot of cooperation in anti-piracy actions.
The Pakistani navy is participating in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan and the counter-piracy deployment off the coast of Somalia. Pakistan has regular deployment of two ships there, which operate there on a rotation basis for two months each.
"Chinese ships are operating independently in the Horn of Africa off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. Whenever we come across our Chinese friends, we carry out exercises with them," Nadir said.
The vessels set sail for China from Pakistan on October 23, and docked in Colombo, Male, and Bander Seri before reaching Shanghai. They will travel to Vietnam after finishing the mission in China.
Both Shamsheer and Nasr were constructed in China at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co.
Pakistan's army, navy and air force use many of the most advanced weapons and sensors developed in China, such as tanks, armored personal carriers, missiles, guns and fighter aircraft, Nadir said.