Updated May 15th, 2024 at 14:45 IST

German Navy Amplifies European Presence in Asia Amid Mounting Regional Threats

The German combat vessel Frankfurt am Main, accompanied by the frigate Baden-Wuerttemberg, has set sail from Europe to Asia.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
German Combat Vessels | Image:AP
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Berlin: A German combat vessel, Frankfurt am Main, alongside the frigate Baden-Wuerttemberg, has embarked on a strategic voyage from Europe to Asia, signaling Germany's solidarity with allies against China's assertive actions in the South China Sea. The move comes as part of Germany's proactive stance in international security affairs. 

As part of its itinerary, the fleet will participate in the 29th Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, scheduled for June and July 2024. This multinational naval exercise, held in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands, will witness the convergence of fleets from Canada, the US, Japan, India, France, and now Germany. The highlight of RIMPAC will be the comprehensive manoeuvres led by the US Navy, constituting the world's largest maritime exercise. 

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European Participation and Naval Dynamics  

According to reports, the German Air Force will join the naval fleet during RIMPAC, alongside counterparts from France and Spain, forming a coalition of European fighter planes. Italy intends to contribute its aircraft carrier Cavour, accompanied by F-35 multirole combat aircraft, adding to the collective strength of the exercise. Additionally, France plans to deploy the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the Indo-Pacific region this year, enhancing the European presence in the area.

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The German frigate Baden-Wuerttemberg and supply ship Frankfurt am Main will navigate through the North Atlantic and the Panama Canal en route to Hawaii and Japan, followed by the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea, spanning an eight-month expedition. Against the backdrop of escalating tensions in the Indo-Pacific, Vice Admiral Jan Christian Kaack from Germany underscored China's assertive actions, expressing apprehension about the region's stability. 

European Role in Global Security  

Defense experts have emphasized the strategic imperative for European nations to play a more proactive role in global security, particularly amid mounting geopolitical challenges. James Holmes, a professor at the US Naval War College, highlighted the significance of managing events in the rim lands, where various actors pose threats to stability, as per a report by Nikkei Asia. May-Britt U Stumbaum, a professor of security studies, underscores the German Navy's entry into potentially volatile zones like the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, highlighting the complexities of navigating China's maritime presence. 

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Published May 15th, 2024 at 14:45 IST