ABOARD CHANGBAISHAN, Jan. 24 -- Shipboard helicopters with a patrolling Chinese flotilla successfully completed low-altitude flight training missions in the South China Sea on Friday night.
Pilots from the Nanhai Fleet flotilla, which is patrolling the South China Sea, fulfilled the flight task in dim light and against strong winds.
The move means that the Chinese pilots have mastered the technique of landing round the clock on all types of Chinese naval vessels equipped with landing platforms, said Zhou Xun, deputy commander of the helicopter regiment.
The low-altitude flight training missions are part of the flotilla's annual schedule, which includes combat drills in the South China Sea, the West Pacific Ocean and the east Indian Ocean.
The three-ship flotilla, which consists of amphibious landing craft Changbaishan and destroyers Wuhan and Haikou, left from a military port in south China's Hainan Province on Monday.
Changbaishan is the country's largest landing ship by gross tonnage and is equipped with an advanced weapons system. Both Wuhan and Haikou have experience with major drills and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden.
Three helicopters and a company of marines are stationed aboard the ships.
Since Monday, the helicopter regiment has successfully completed about 100 training flights, which have improved its combat capability in a "complex environment," said Liu Dehua, a naval air force official with the Nanhai Fleet.