Expert: Three Naval fleets' drill tests China's military reform results

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-08-04 16:55

File Photo shows a warship fires a missile during a realistic combat training exercise of the PLA Navy under complicated electromagnetic environment in a sea area of the East China Sea, Aug 1, 2016.

BEIJING, August 4 (ChinaMil) -- A large-scale live-fire confrontation drill was staged in the East China Sea on Aug 1, involving over 100 vessels, tens of military aircraft, some coast defense troops and some radar, observation and communication and electronic confrontation forces. It was the second large-scale joint drill of China's three major naval fleets within a month.

A military expert said in an interview with CCTV program Focus Today that the drill could test the results of China's military reform that was launched last year and it demonstrated China's resolve to safeguard national security and maritime rights and interests.

Admiral Wu Shengli, member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and commander of the PLA Navy, was in overall charge of the drill, which involved the East China Sea Fleet and some troops from the North China Sea Fleet and South China Sea Fleet.

They were divided into the Red Army and Blue Army and carried out "back-to-back" strike and defense training exercises in the designated sea and airspace.

During the drill, the naval aviation unit, submarines, surface vessels and coast defense troops launched various missiles to attack all kinds of targets at high speed, in multiple directions and with great precision.

Teng Jianqun, an expert on international issues, also pointed out that the drill can test the results of China’s military reform launched a year ago.

The PLA Navy has organized actual-troop live-fire confrontational drills in complicated electromagnetic conditions and underwater acoustic environment for 11 years in a row.

According to leaders in the training bureau of the staff department of the PLA Navy, the drill this year is an annual routine training of the PLA Navy that focuses on the study and practice of applying the combat system, reconnaissance and early warning, long-distance precision strike and comprehensive air defense anti-missile system in complicated electromagnetic conditions.

The PLA Navy organized over 100 vessels, tens of aircraft and some coast defense launching units of the three fleets to participate in an actual-troop live-fire confrontation drill on waters from Hainan Island to Xisha Islands in early July.

According to military expert Li Li, this drill and the previous joint drill of the three fleets in the direction of the South China Sea are both annual exams led by the PLA Navy in various combat directions.

It was a good chance to test the Navy's capability of accomplishing combat missions in various directions and how well its diverse arms can coordinate with each other after new equipment is commissioned in large quantities and the reform of Theater Command system is basically completed, Li Li said.

Putting the drill in a complicated electromagnetic environment can test the joint combat capability of naval aviation units, submarine and coast defense troops in conditions of serious electromagnetic interference.

Protecting our maritime rights is an important mission of the Chinese military, said Teng Jianqun. As more security challenges will come from the sea, China is holding the series of military drills to fully prepare itself for possible future conflicts and send a message to the outside world: China has the capability and resolve to safeguard its national security and maritime rights and interests and the Chinese military is able to deal with any challenge.

Li Li said China is facing mounting pressure from the East China Sea and South China Sea today, and it is necessary for the PLA Navy to make its voice heard at critical moments in face of certain countries with a hidden agenda.

The large-scale military drill is conducive to enhancing Chinese Navy's real combat capability and able to keep the military in good war preparedness, which is exactly the state that a modern military should be in.

The author is QiuYue, a reporter from People's Daily Online.

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