PLAN overseas deployment and excercises a list


Registered Member
So there is talk of China joining the US in conducting safe passage missions in the Persian gulf

How real is this? And should China join ?

Surely China can now sustain 2 flotillas 24/7

For that they need another 9 warships committed in a 3 formation

The Chinese Navy are definitely not going to join a US-led mission, for political reasons.

And I don't see oil tankers going to Chinese destinations being deliberately attacked because:

For Saudi oil exports, the largest customer is China.
For Iranian oil exports, the largest (and currently only?) customer is also China.

asif iqbal

Lieutenant General
33rd Flotilla sets sail today

DDG 177
FFG 550
Tanker 968

33 batches total 106 ships

completed more than 1,200 missions, 6,700 escorts

started in 2008 and yes I remember the 1st one
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China & Pakistan kick off "Sea Guardians-2020" naval drill from Karachi....

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Li Jiayao
2020-01-06 16:46:18


Vice Admiral Dong Jun, general director of the Chinese side and deputy commander of the PLA Southern Theater Command delivers speech at the opening ceremony on Jan. 6, local time. The PN-PLAN Bilateral Exercise, code-named Sea Guardians-2020, kicked off at the Pakistan Navy Dock Yard in Karachi, Pakistan on the morning of January 6. ( by Mu Ruilin)

By Dong Zhaohui

KARACHI, Pakistan, Jan. 6 -- The PN-PLAN Bilateral Exercise, code-named Sea Guardians-2020, kicked off at the Pakistan Navy Dock Yard in Karachi, Pakistan on the morning of January 6, local time.

According to the consensus reached between Chinese and Pakistani Navies, the joint drill will be held from January 6 to 14 in waters of northern Arabian Sea, with the purpose of enhancing security cooperation between the two countries, consolidating the development of the all-weather strategic partnership, and promoting the joint construction of a safe marine environment.

The joint drill also aims to innovate the methods of conducting China-Pakistan joint naval drills and enhance the capabilities of the two navies to jointly cope with maritime terrorism and crime. The drill has nothing to do with the regional situation and is not targeted at any third party.

Vice Admiral Dong Jun, general director of the Chinese side and deputy commander of PLA Southern Theater Command, and Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq, general director of the Pakistani side and commander of the Pakistani Naval Fleet delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. VA. Khaliq then announced the start of the drill.


Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq, general director of the Pakistani side and commander of the Pakistani Naval Fleet delivers speech at the opening ceremony on Jan. 6, local time. The Sea Guardians-2020 China-Pakistan Joint Naval Drill kicked off at Karachi, Pakistan on Monday morning.( by Mu Ruilin)
The Chinese participating troops mainly consist of the naval forces under the PLA Southern Theater Command. The PLA Navy deployed five warships including destroyer, frigate, supply ship and submarine rescue vessel with two ship-borne helicopters and dispatched more than 60 special operations soldiers.

The Pakistani participating troops mainly include two Zulfiquar-class F22P/F21 frigates, two fast attack craft (FAC), one fixed-wing anti-submarine patrol aircraft, two ship-borne helicopters and more than 60 special operations soldiers.

The drill consists of two phases including port training and maritime joint drill. The drill covers subjects including discussion and exchange, tactical deduction, formation movement, joint patrol, air-defense and anti-missile, maritime interception and temporary inspection, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations, joint anti-submarine, maritime live-firing, and joint marine training.

The Chinese participating naval ships, including the guided-missile destroyer Yinchuan (Hull 175), the guided-missile frigate Yuncheng (Hull 571), the comprehensive supply ship Weishanhu (Hull 887), and the submarine rescue ship Liugongdao (Hull 865) have already docked at Karachi military port on January 4 and 5 local time.

The Pakistan Navy held a grand welcoming ceremony for the Chinese naval fleet at the dock on the morning of January 5. Over 200 people including Commander of the Pakistan Navy Fleet Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq,President of the Pakistan Navy Tactical School Commodore Zafar Iqbal, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Chinese Military Attaché to Pakistan Chen Wenrong, staff member of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and representatives of Chinese-funded institutions, Chinese students and local overseas Chinese welcomed the Chinese warships at the dock.

Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq, Ambassador Yao Jing and Rear Admiral Huang Fengzhi, commanding officer of the Chinese participating forces and deputy chief of staff of the Navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command, all spoke at the welcome ceremony.

VA. Asif Khaliq said that the Sea Guardians drill is a strong witness to the continuous development of relations between the two countries and the continuous deepening of maritime cooperation between the two navies. The concept of the “Sea Guardians”bilateral naval exercise is to provide a platform for the two navies to share information, enhance understanding and deepen their common interests. This concept will eventually become the basis for the two navies to test and improve their technical and tactical capabilities, maintain regional marine security, learn from each other and enhance the level of cooperation and synergy.

Ambassador Yao Jing said that the peace of the oceans is related to the safety of each country and region. The name of the joint drill, Sea Guardians, fully reflects the good wishes of the Chinese and Pakistani navies in jointly building a community of shared maritime destiny, and demonstrates the confidence and capability to jointly guard marine peace and security. This is the sixth time that the two navies hold bilateral joint drill. Yao Jing believes that the Sea Guardians series will be another famous brand of cooperation and exchange between the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces along with the Warrior series between the two ground forces and the Eagle series between the two air forces.



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Lieutenant General
How many warships does the PLAN currently have in the Gulf region?

The 34th anti-piracy task force set off on the 23Dec19, so it should be in the Gulf already.

The 33rd task group seemed to have headed to Iran to conduct joint exercises with the Russians and Iranians.

In addition, there is the group in Pakistan right now for exercises.

So, by my count, that’s 3 naval task groups of 3 of each of DDGs, FFGs and supply ships in the region or able to get there very quickly.

Then there would be whatever assets the PLAN had present at its Djibouti naval base.

Even if we assume they only have the 3 task groups, that’s 6 capital ships, which is a pretty powerful force, and gives China a lot of options it would not otherwise have without such a big and powerful navy.


Registered Member
That seems off.

33rd is the one led by Destroyer 117 Xining. Iran exercises has concluded and 117 should be its way to rendezvous with the rest of the task force ready to go home. They should rendezvous next with the 34th for the hand over of the mission.

34th is the one led by Destroyer 175 Yinchuan. This is the group currently in Pakistan for exercises. Once this is over they should meet up with the 33rd for the hand over of the mission.

So there should only be two groups in the Indian Ocean. One headed to the Gulf of Aden and the other heading home.

Noting a pattern where the destroyers only took part of the exercises, even if the escorting frigate and tanker is nearby. Frigate 550 of the 33rd went to South Africa to meet up with the Marshal Ustinov of the Russian Navy, which is a Slava class cruiser, to exercise with the Russians and South African Navy, but Destroyer 117 did not participate on this. Likewise, 550 escorted 117 all the way to Iran, but 550 did not participate with the exercises there. 117 exercised with the Iranian Navy and the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry. With Sea Guardian 2020 in Pakistan, only Destroyer 174 took part, but Frigate 571 and the tanker did not participate.