China and Pakistan recently concluded their largest-ever bilateral naval exercise Sea Guardian III, underscoring growing defense ties between the two nation. The activity involved destroyer, submarine, and air operations around the port city of Karachi.
Advanced Platforms Deployed
Notable Chinese naval assets included the Type 052DL guided missile destroyer Linyi, one of China’s most sophisticated surface combatants. It was the first time Pakistan hosted this destroyer class for drills.
China also deployed a Song-class diesel electric submarine, continuing the trend of sub training after previous Type 039 and 093 subs visited Pakistan.
Joint Training Activities
The exercise encompassed a wide range of joint naval drills including visit, board, search, seizure (VBSS), air defense, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, countermine missions, and special operations.
Rotating command of the flotilla during the multiday event enhanced coordination between the Chinese and Pakistani fleets across the activity’s threat scenarios.
According to Pakistan Navy officials, the Sea Guardians exercise significantly advanced interoperability between the two navies.
The goal is developing seamless integration for executing full spectrum maritime operations together in the Arabian Sea region.
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In addition to joint readiness, the drill conveyed important strategic messaging about China-Pakistan defense ties.
Deploying top-tier Chinese naval assets highlights shared resolve in protecting common economic interests, especially the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Regional Peace and Security Impacts
The conducted drill serves as an indicator that the deepening maritime cooperation between China and Pakistan will continue to play a role in regional peace & security dynamics. Anticipating further joint naval exercises with increased sophistication in the future is reasonable.
Joint Maritime Patrol
During current Sea Guardian 3 Exercise China and Pakistan have conducted their inaugural joint maritime patrol. Both nations will reciprocally send observers, meanwhile the Chinese observers actively participated in the exercise alongside the Pakistani anti-submarine patrol aircraft.