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Chinese Navy Spy Ship Watching RIMPAC

Ships participating in RIMPAC 2018
Ships participating in RIMPAC 2018.

By MarEx 2018-07-15 18:49:42

A Chinese naval vessel has been spotted near the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises underway off Hawaii.

According to USNI News, a U.S. Navy official said the vessel is a Type 815 surveillance ship. We expect the ship will remain outside the territorial seas of the U.S. and not operate in a manner that disrupts the ongoing RIMPAC exercises, said the spokesperson.

China had its invitation to the exercises revoked by the U.S. for its "continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea," according to the Pentagon.

The exercises are continuing as planned, and on July 12, live fire from aircraft, a submarine and land assets sank the decommissioned ex-USS Racine (LST 1191) in waters 15,000 feet deep 55 nautical miles north of Kauai, Hawaii. Units from Australia, Japan and the U.S. participated in the sinking exercise (SINKEX). 

This is the first time a land-based unit has participated in the live-fire event during RIMPAC, and it is also the first time a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft has participated in a SINKEX exercise.

25 nations, 46 ships, five submarines and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC 2018 which is being held from June 27 to August 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise, and RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The multinational activity involves Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is Capable, Adaptive, Partners.