ORENBURG，Sept. 6 (ChinaMil) -- The first batch of troops and weapon systems of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) arrived Wednesday in Orenburg, Russia for the multinational Center-2019 (Tsentr-2019) strategic drills. The rest participating Chinese troops will arrive by Saturday.
The Chinese troops and equipment were transported to the Donguz training range at arrival with the help of Russia's Central Military District, where they received a warm welcome ceremony from the Russian side as host.
The Center-2019 drills will run in Russia’s Orenburg Region from September 16 to 21, which comprise two modules. The first module is on jointly studying and planning counter-terror operations, including repelling air strikes, reconnaissance operations and defensive measures, while the second will focus on studying and commanding offensive operations by multinational troops to jointly fight and defeat international terrorist attacks.
Russia’s Defense Ministry recently specified that the Center-2019 strategic maneuvers will focus on evaluating the level of troops’ preparedness, raising the level of inter-operability and demonstrating the readiness of the armies from Russia and the Central Asian countries to defend their national interests.
According to the spokesman of Russian Defense Ministry, the drills will be hosted in eight training ranges including Donguz, Totsky and Ashuluk in the European part of the Russian Federation.
“Up to 12,950 people (of which up to 10,700 are the Russian military and up to 2,250 are the military personnel of foreign countries),and over 20,000 units of military hardware and weapons including 250 tanks, 450 armored infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 200 artillery systems and multiple artillery rocket systems, 600 aircraft systems and 15 warships and support vesselswill be employed in practical operations of the military forces,” he added.
China will be represented in the drills by troops from a heavy brigade of the76th Group Army under the PLA Western Theater Command. The brigade is equipped with ZBD-04A infantry fighting vehicles and Type-96Amain battle tanks and had once participated in the Stride 2015 Zhurihe military exercises.
Totally, the Chinese military will send 1,600 troops, 300-odd weapon systems and around 30 helicopters and aircraft to take part in the drills. Other foreign states including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will also be involved in the drills to practice joint operations.
Last year, the Chinese PLA’s 78th Group Army also sent troops armed with Type 99 main battle tanks, J-10 fighter jets and other equipment to take part in the"Vostok-2018" exercise in Russia.