AMAN-2023 Multinational Naval Exercise was held in Pakistan with the participation of warships, Maritime Patrol aircraft, Special Ops Forces/ EOD Marines teams, and observers of the Naval Forces of more than 50 countries, including the USA, China, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, and Turkiye.
The drill is held on February 10-14, 2023, in Karachi/Pakistan, and the Arabian Sea. The last day of the exercise was reserved for press events. TurDef shares special images from the exercise.
Pakistan Navy has been conducting AMAN (Peace) series of multinational maritime exercises every two years since its beginning in 2007 with the ‘Together for Peace’ motto.
The exercise is divided into two phases: harbor and sea. The harbor phase involves activities such as seminars, operational discussions, professional demonstrations, international get-togethers, and pre-sail planning of evolutions at sea. The sea phase includes tactical maneuvers, exercises related to maritime security such as anti-piracy and counter-terrorism, search and rescue, gunnery firings, and air defense exercises.
The highlight of the sea phase is the International Fleet Review, which national and foreign dignitaries witness. As a maritime nation, Pakistan has substantial stakes in keeping its seas safe and secure. The country focuses on three major factors. Dependence on the seas for trade, operationalization of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and the country’s strategic location astride the global energy highway. Cumulatively, these realities make maritime stability a vital national security interest.
In a Press release, The Pakistan Navy said that it currently faces some threats and challenges in the maritime domain, ranging from piracy, terrorism, and narco-arms trafficking to climate change. The release said, “However, the vastness of the seas makes it extremely difficult for any one nation to deal with these diverse challenges alone. This calls for a collective effort to make sure the seas remain safe and secure for all of us to use and benefit from. Pakistan Navy is, therefore, a firm believer in the concept of Collaborative Maritime Security and has been actively participating in Maritime Security and Counter-Piracy Operations along with other partner navies since 2004.”
The release underlines that Pakistan Navy has been undertaking Regional Maritime Security Patrols since 2018 to keep warships present “in vital sea areas in the Indian Ocean Region, to contribute towards maintaining good order at sea in accordance with our international commitment. Exercise AMAN is thus the manifestation of this acknowledged reality of combating the maritime threats collectively thru cooperation and mutual support and provides enormous opportunities to the participants for shaping and rehearsing the contours of such a collective response.”
Commander Pakistan Fleet emphasized that the principle purpose of this exercise is to provide a forum for understanding each other’s maritime concepts and operational cultures, enhancing interoperability as well as identifying ways and means to combat common threats at sea. The occasion also helps foster friendships, bridging gaps and making it possible for countries from far and wide to operate together in the pursuance of shared objectives.
Pakistan Navy launched the exercise in 2007 with only three participants and Turkish Naval Forces participated in them since its establishment. In its press release on January 13, 2023, the Ministry of National Defence announced that various elements and personnel from the Turkish Naval Forces would participate in the AMAN 2023 Exercise, but this participation was canceled after two earthquakes on February 6th.
Pakistan Navy’s major acquisition in the last years, the Type 054A guided-missile frigate from China, attends the drill. The Type 054A has medium-range air defense capability with its Type 382 radar and vertically launched (VLS) HHQ-16 surface-to-air missiles. Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) sent its guided-missile destroyer Nanning to participate in the AMAN-23 naval Exercise.
International Press followed the drill from PNS Moawin (A39), a fleet replenishment tanker. This ship is designed by the Turkish firm STM. She was built and constructed in Pakistan by the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works in Karachi. In terms of displacement, Moawin is the largest warship ever built in Pakistan.