Shipping & Shipbuilding News -  12 September 2007 - The Brightest Maritime Daily

Royal Navy's Flag Ship HMS Ark Royal in the company of the Chinese Frigate Saigon, off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

ARK ROYAL and Chinese warships perform joint operations
Flagship of the RN is joined by two of China's latest ships off Portsmouth


Two Chinese Navy ships made a four-day goodwill visit to Portsmouth Naval Base between 6 – 10 September.

The Luyang-class guided missile destroyer Guangzhou and the replenishment ship Wei Shanhu had almost 500 naval personnel from the People’s Republic of China on board. It is the first visit to Britain by Chinese warships for six years, and forms part of a visit to Europe by the ships. The call at Portsmouth follows a visit to St Petersburg, Russia. They began their 12,000-mile voyage from their base at Sanya in Hainan Province on 24 July.

A Chinese Military Delegation, primarily from these warships, visited HMS Ark Royal to get an overview of the Carrier Vertical Strike (CVS). The delegation was headed by the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, included a number of senior Chinese military personnel. The party met members of the Ship’s company and toured around the Fleet Flagship.

The two Chinese ships and Ark Royal conducted a co-ordinated departure from Portsmouth around Monday lunchtime. The Ships then participated in joint operations in the Channel off Portsmouth including communications exercises using Flashing light and VHF radio, forming up for OOW manoeuvres and then conducting a joint Search and Rescue plan seeking out and finding a distressed ship in need of firefighting and first aid teams. Both the Chinese destroyer and Ark sent seaboat teams with the necessary manpower and equipment to assist the distressed ship, the part of which was played by the Chinese replenishment ship. The whole exercise in Sino-British relationships was completed with all three ships forming up line astern before both Chinese ships with decks manned made fast approaches and passed down the starboard side of Ark Royal with the customary marks of respect and ceremonial conducted between all units.

The ships will now continue their voyage to France and Cadiz in Spain before returning to China.



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