KARACHI – Pakistan and China conducted for the first time joint maritime patrol in the northern Arabia Sea during the Sea Guardian2023 exercise, a move that is part of the both countries’ actions to protect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's Type 054A frigate Linyi and the Pakistan Navy's F-22P frigate Saif formed a task group and launched the joint patrol in waters around major maritime routes and port channels in the northern Arabian Sea, as the China-Pakistan Sea Guardian-3 joint exercise entered the sea phase on Tuesday, the PLA Navy said in a press release.
This marks the first time that Pakistan and China navies have held a joint maritime patrol, experts said.
The joint patrol is an important part of the Sea Guardian-3 joint exercise, which is dedicated to displaying the two countries' common duties and firm determination in safeguarding the CPEC, the press release said.
During the joint patrol, the two sides conducted training that included joint search and rescue operations, formation maneuvering and VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure), effectively enhancing their capabilities in jointly dealing with maritime security threats, the PLA Navy said.
During another part of Sea Guardian-3, six warships, including the PLA Navy's Type 052D destroyer Zibo, Type 054A frigate Jingzhou and Type 903 replenishment ship Qiandaohu as well as the Pakistan Navy's Type 054A/P frigate Shah Jahan, formed a task group and launched the sea phase of the drill in the northern Arabian Sea, the PLA Navy said in a separate press release.
They practiced multiple training operations including VBSS, aerial photography, air defense, communications and joint anti-submarine training during the first day of the sea phase, with warships from both sides taking turns to act as the command ship, according to the PLA Navy.
Kicked off at the Karachi Naval Dockyard on Saturday, the Sea Guardian-3 consists a port phase from Saturday to Monday and a sea phase from Tuesday to Friday (today).
The PLA Navy has sent a Type 052D destroyer, two Type 054A frigates, a replenishment ship, a conventional submarine and a submarine support ship, while the Pakistan Navy sent at least two Type 054A/P frigates, two F-22P frigates and an anti-submarine patrol aircraft, plus special forces from both sides.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against USD and other currencies in the open market on March 3, 2024 (Sunday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.3 for buying and 282.45 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302.5 for buying and 305.5 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 354 for buying, and 359 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.3 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.5.
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