PNS Taimur is the second of four Type 054A/P frigates China built for Pakistan. The photo was taken in Shanghai on June 23, 2022. Image Credit: Pakistan Navy

Islamabad: Pakistan Navy and Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy began their joint naval exercise ‘Sea Guardians 2’ at a military port in Wusong, Shanghai.

The four-day (July 10 to 13) exercise is focused on improving joint response to maritime security threats. The exercise aims to promote bilateral defence cooperation and enhance the capabilities of the two navies to jointly counter maritime security threats and consolidate the all-weather Pakistan-China strategic partnership, according to the official statement.

The exercise is a part of a scheduled event and is not aimed at any third party, said Captain Liu Wensheng, spokesperson for the PLA Navy.

The exercise, being held in the waters and airspace off Shanghai, consists of two phases: Port planning and maritime exercise. During the first phase,

Pakistan and China navies will conduct onshore activities such as operation planning, and professional expertise exchanges. The second phase will feature training courses including joint strikes against maritime targets, tactical manoeuvring, joint anti-submarine warfare and joint support for damaged vessels, according to Chinese media.

Warships taking part in exercise

PLA Navy Rear Admiral Liu Zhigang and Pakistan Navy’s Commodore Rashid Mehmood Sheikh are leading the naval drills.

Pakistan Navy’s most advanced guided-missile frigate PNS Taimur is participating in ‘Sea Guardians 2’. PNS Taimur is the second of the four Type 054 A/P frigates that China is constructing for the Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy formally commissioned the second Type 054A/P frigate, PNS Taimur, into its naval fleet on June 23, 2022. The warship is the country’s most technologically advanced and highly capable fleet of frigates with enormous surface-to-surface, surface-to-air, and underwater firepower besides extensive surveillance potential.

The Chinese participating ships are primarily from the PLA Eastern Theater Command, including the guided-missile frigates Xiangtan (531) and Shuozhou (610), the comprehensive supply ship Qiandaohu (886) as well as one submarine, one early warning aircraft, two fighter jets, and one helicopter.

This is the second exercise of the ‘Sea Guardians’ series. The first was held in January 2020 in the northern Arabian Sea off Karachi.