China to hold bilateral naval exercise with Pakistan in Arabian Sea

According to information published by People’s Daily Online on October 26, 2023, China and Pakistan are set to conduct a joint maritime exercise dubbed "Sea Guardians-3" in the northern Arabian Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Opening ceremony of the joint China-Pakistan Sea Guardians -2 maritime exercise in the military port of Wusong, Shanghai, 2022. (Picture source: China MoD)

The upcoming drill aims to enhance the collaborative response of both nations to potential maritime threats, encompassing various naval operations including formation movement, search and rescue, and anti-submarine exercises.

Alongside the naval drills, the event will also feature professional exchanges and mutual visits, fostering a deeper understanding and cooperation between the military personnel of the two nations.

"Sea Guardians-3" epitomizes a significant step in cementing the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and traditional friendship that China and Pakistan share. Furthermore, the exercise is designed to ramp up realistic combat training for the militaries of both nations.

Sea Guardians

"Sea Guardians-3" comes as a continuation of the maritime collaborative efforts initiated in January 2020, with the first "Sea Guardians" exercise in the northern Arabian Sea, and furthered in "Sea Guardians-2" held in Shanghai in July 2022.

China-Pakistan relations

China's delivery of naval equipment to Pakistan highlights the ongoing military collaboration between the two nations. In May 2023, China delivered the last two frigates to Pakistan as part of a four-warship deal from 2018. These include Type 054 A/P Frigates named PNS TIPPU SULTAN and PNS SHAHJAHAN. This delivery marks a step in the military ties between both nations.

Pakistan is also procuring eight Yuan class Type 039/041 diesel submarines from China, with four expected by the end of 2023. These subs, equipped with advanced sensors and armaments, align with Pakistan's naval strategy, which emphasizes submarines and missile-carrying maritime patrol aircraft.