PRETORIA, February 17. /TASS/. A joint naval exercise by South Africa, Russia and China, codenamed Mosi-2, were to begin in the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa on Friday, South Africa’s Defense Ministry said.
The trilateral exercise will benefit all participating countries by aligning their operational naval systems and improving joint command and control, South Africa’s Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Thandi Modise said in a statement obtained by TASS. The Defense Ministry also emphasized that the Mosi-2 exercise is a platform for the three countries to exchange military knowledge, skills and operational experience.
The exercises will be running until February 27 off the coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal in the area between the port city of Durban - the main base of the South African Navy in the Indian Ocean - and Richards Bay. The distance between them is 87 nautical miles (160 kilometers).
Russia is represented at the exercises by the frigate The Admiral Gorshkov and the sea-going tanker The Kama, China - by a destroyer, a frigate and a support ship, and South Africa, by one frigate and two support ships.
According to the local newspaper Daily Maverick, The Admiral Gorshkov will demonstrate the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile on board. On February 3, a source close to the Russian military-industrial complex told TASS that during the upcoming exercise in February with the South African and Chinese navies, for the first time ever during such an event a combat training launch of a hypersonic Tsirkon missile from a ship will be carried out. The missile is to hit a surface target at a distance of more than 500 kilometers away.
The current trilateral exercise by South Africa, Russia and China is second in a row. The previous one took place off Cape Town in the southwest of South Africa in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in November 2019.