• Multinational warships during Aman-13.

Multinational warships during Aman-13. (Photo : Pakistan Navy)

Pakistan will host what will perhaps be the year's largest multinational naval exercise -- Aman-17 -- in which over 30 navies are expected to take part, including China and the United States.

Aman-17 will be held off Karachi, Pakistan's largest city that lies along the shore of the Arabian Sea, from February 10 to 14. The Pakistan Navy said more than 35 countries so far have confirmed their participation in this major naval exercise. "Aman" is the Urdu word for peace.

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With the theme "Together for Peace," Aman-17 has been planned by the Pakistan Navy and will be conducted in the North Arabian Sea.

The "Aman" exercises have been held every other year since 2007. It aims to boost inter-operability and to demonstrate the allied nation's capabilities to fight terrorism and other maritime threats.

Participating naval units will witness a variety of activities including Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations, gunnery drills, anti-piracy exercises, replenishment at Sea (RAS) and maritime counter-terrorism.

It will involves warships, aircraft, helicopters, Special Operations Forces (SOF), Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD), marine teams and observers from regional and extra-regional navies.

This exercise is a platform for the navies involved -- some of which don't work together very often -- to hone their skills and build cooperation and friendship to promote peace and stability.

AMAN-17 will feature a harbor phase and a sea phase. The joint drill will bring together navies from 12 countries: Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In addition, observers from 31 countries will also attend the event.

It's the fifth time China has participated in the joint drill. A squadron from the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) will include the CNS Harbin (112) a Type-052 Luhu-class guided-missile destroyer; CNS Handan (579), a Type-054A multi-purpose frigate and Dongpinghu (960), a Type 903 replenishment ship.