PLA navy officers draw their ships together in close formation during a beach landing drill on Aug 24.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]
The Chinese navy completed its first overseas joint beach landing drill on Aug 25 as part of an ongoing marine exercise with Russia.
The drill took place in waters off Russia’s Clerk Cape as part of the ongoing Joint Sea-2015 (II) exercise between the two countries from Aug 20 to 28.
The two navies deployed amphibious equipment and more than 400 marines, who landed on a beach using various methods, including parachuting and descending by rope from helicopters, as well as using amphibious armored vehicles and landing ships.
“For the first time, we shipped tanks and armored vehicles, and landed soldiers directly into an overseas drill area after a long-distance voyage,” said Liang Yang, assistant to the Chinese director of the drill.
“Such a drill will fully test the performance of our weapons in terms of adaptability to local weather and topographical conditions.”
More than 100 Chinese marines were transported directly onto the beach in 14 amphibious armored vehicles, which were unloaded from the Chinese landing ship Changbaishan, anchored more than 1 kilometer off the beach.
“This type of dry landing, which involves putting soldiers ashore without the need for wading, as they did previously, meets both our tactical demands and requirements for real-battle landing,” Liang said.
Chinese and Russian navy vessels sail together during the drill off Russia’s Clerk Cape.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]
Another 24 Chinese marines landed by helicopter fast rope, while the Chinese landing vessel Yunwushan deployed six armored vehicles and 26 marines directly onto the beach.
The Chinese air force also took part in the drill with two J-10 and two JH-7A fighters, which took off from an airport in China and flew across Russian airspace before arriving at the drill area.
Chen Yong, a Chinese air force officer who took part in the drill, said, “The fighters were here mainly to assist the beach landings by commanding the air and launching long-distant attacks at targets on the beach.”
Russian soldier Andrey Ivanov, 30, who was taking part in a military exercise for the first time, said, “Although this drill was complicated and difficult, it went smoothly thanks to the thorough preparations on both sides.”
Dong Jun, Chinese navy deputy chief of staff, said such large-scale joint beach landings require careful planning and command.
The success of the drill demonstrates that both nations’ navies are capable of high-level cooperation, Dong added.