MARYLAND, U.S--Russian warships are now steaming in the East China and the Philippine seas near Japan, the Russian Navy and the Japan Defense Ministry announced on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Indo-Pacific Deployment 2022 (IPD22) drilled with the U.S. Navy while ships from five Indo-Pacific nations sailed together out of Guam en route to the Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC2022) exercise in Hawaii.
The Russian Navy said destroyers RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov (543) and RFS Admiral Panteleyev (548) and the missile range instrumentation ship RFS Marshal Krylov were underway with accompanying corvettes and had operated replenishment ship Pechenga in the Philippine Sea.
The movements of Russian, as well as Chinese warships around Japan, have been observed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense, with the Ministry’s Joint Staff Office issuing releases.
Hull numbers and images provided in the release identified the ships as Marshal Shaposhnikov and Admiral Panteleyev, corvettes RFS Sovershennyy (333), RFS Gromkiy (335), RFS Gremyashchiy (337) and RFS Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov (339) and Marshal Krylov. The release also stated that destroyers JS Kongo (DDG-173) and JS Teruzuki (DD-116) along with JMSDF P-1s Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of Fleet Air Wing 4 based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi monitored the Russian ships.
On Sunday, the JSO issued a release stating that five Russian ships were observed around Okinawa and sailed northwest through the Miyako Strait into the East China Sea.
A second group of nine Russian ships were spotted on Friday, 25 miles north of Cape Soya, Hokkaido stated a JSO release that day. Hull numbers and images provided in the released identified the ships as corvettes RFS Koryeyets (390), RFS R-29 (916), RFS R-20 (920), RFS R-24 (946), RFS R-298 (971), RFS R-19 (978) and RFS R-261 (991), an Altay class replenishment ship and the hospital ship Irtysh.
On Sunday, three People’s Liberation Army Navy ships were sighted sailing south in the sea area about 137 miles east of Mt. Jinhua, Miyagi Prefecture, hull numbers and images provided identified the ships as destroyers CNS Lhasa (102) and CNS Chengdu (120) and replenishment ship CNS Dongpinghu (902), according to Japanese officials.
The PLAN ships were monitored by the destroyer JS Makinami (DD-112), the release also included details of the PLAN ships’ movement since their sighting on June 12 in the Tsushima Strait and the movement of a Dongdiao class surveillance ship with hull number 794 which has been on and off sailing in the vicinity of the group.
Meanwhile the JMSDF’s IPD22 deployment conducted its first engagement with JS Izumo (DDH-183) and destroyer JS Takanami (DD-110) having carried out an exercise with destroyer USS Sampson (DDG-102) and replenishment ship USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204) in the Pacific Ocean from Friday to Sunday.
In other developments, a multi-national sail exercise was held from Thursday to Saturday by ships of five Indo-Pacific navies who are sailing towards Hawaii for the Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC 2022) exercise, set to be held in Hawaii from June 29 until August 4.