CAPE TOWN, November 25. /TASS/. The first-ever joint naval drills of Russia, China and South Africa started in southern Africa on Monday. A joint parade of the ship crews from the three countries at the central quay of Cape Town opened the event.
A TASS correspondent was among the accredited mass media invited to the ceremony.
Russia is represented by a naval group headed by the missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov at the drills. The group also includes the medium sea tanker Vyazma and the SB-406 rescue tug boat. Last Sunday, they entered the port of Cape Town under the blasts of gun salutes.
South Africa’s SAS Amatola frigate and SAS Drakensberg replenishment tanker and China’s Weifang guided-missile frigate are taking part in the drills. The exercise is code-named "Mosi," which means "smoke" in one of South Africa’s state languages, Sesotho.
With the start of the drills, the headquarters of the three countries are launching serious work to specify the strategy and tactics of the joint actions at sea, South African Navy Spokesperson, Commander Greyling van den Berg, told TASS. He said that the crews would also carry out training on shore, which includes physical training and marching, as well as hand-to-hand combat.
Maneuvers near the Cape of Good Hope
The second part of the drills, when the ships will set out to the open ocean for practical action, will start on Wednesday. They will be carried out near the Cape of Good Hope. The drills will run until November 30.
The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town nearby are in a key part of the world where two oceans meet — the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The most important naval and trade routes from Europe, Africa and Asia pass through there.
The current drills of the three countries have the highest priority for its participants. Earlier there were plans to carry out naval drills between South Africa and France and then Germany in the Cape of Good Hope area. However, they were rescheduled for next year and the periods of both drills have not been coordinated yet.