May 28, 2024

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Iran, China, Russia kick off joint naval drill

TEHRAN – Military forces from Iran, China, and Russia launched join military naval drills in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry. 

“Following the consensus reached by the militaries of China, Iran and Russia, the navies of the three countries will hold the Security Belt-2023 joint maritime exercise in the Gulf of Oman from March 15 to 19, according to a news release from China’s Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday,” the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement. 

The statement said, “The Security Belt-2023 exercise is developed from the two joint maritime exercises held by the three countries in 2019 and 2022. The Chinese military dispatches the guided-missile destroyer Nanning to participate in the exercise on such subjects as aerial search, maritime rescue, ship parade and others.”

It concluded, “The Security Belt-2023 exercise will facilitate the deepening of the practical cooperation among the navies of the participating countries, further demonstrate their willingness and ability to jointly protect maritime security, actively build a maritime community with a shared future, and inject a positive momentum to the regional peace and stability.”

Held in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, the drill involves forces from the marine and airborne units of the Iranian Navy, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, and flotillas from China and Russia, according to Tasnim. 

The three countries have held several joint war games in the past recent years with the purpose of improving security of international maritime trade, countering piracy and maritime terrorism, exchange of information in naval rescue and relief operations, and exchange of operational and tactical experiences, according to Tasnim. 

In late February, Iran’s Armed Forces launched a large-scale military exercise featuring the domestically-developed air defense missile systems, radars, electronic warfare devices, communication systems and an integrated air defense network.

The exercise covered two-thirds of the Iranian airspace.

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