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People's Daily Online>>China Military

Sino-Russian drills enter live-fire stage


15:08, April 25, 2012

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhuanet) --A fleet of Chinese and Russian navies, with three warships from each side, arrived at a joint drill area on Tuesday to conduct live-fire exercises, a move to ensure both sides' maritime interests by tackling new challenges and threats in the region.

The six-day drill has formally entered the live-fire stage, experts said.

Both navies will begin exercises including defense of air routes and maritime traffic routes, search and rescue operations and anti-submarine tactics, as well as practice on air, sea and underwater targets with cannons of various calibers on Wednesday and Thursday.

The joint drills, taking place in the Yellow Sea from April 22 to Friday, involve 25 naval vessels, 13 aircraft, nine helicopters and two special fighting groups, making it the largest joint navy drill between the two nations in recent years.

Four Russian warships from the Pacific fleet, including the aircraft carrier Varyag, are participating in the drills. Missile destroyers, missile frigates, missile boats, a support vessel and a hospital ship gathered from China's side.

The exercises are practical and advanced since both navies have devoted their main forces, such as China's Harbin guided missile destroyer and Russia's Varyag, said Zhang Junshe, deputy director of Naval Military Studies Research Institute.

Li Jie, a researcher with the same institute, told Chinese media that both countries have displayed more technologically-advanced weapons compared with the military exercise in 2005.

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