Chinese naval logistics vessel Taihu participates in a joint naval exercise on the sea off Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on April 26, 2019. China conducted a joint naval exercise with Southeast Asian countries in Qingdao, with focus on jointly handling pirate threats and maritime emergency rescues. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng)
The Taihu, a military supply ship, conducted a replenishment docking with civilian container ship Fuzhou in an offshore area in mid-November amid the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) exploration of new ways to replenish ships at sea, the PLA Daily reported Monday.
This was the first time for Taihu to receive supplies from a civilian vessel, according to the report.
The success of the replenishment laid a foundation for mutual replenishment of various kinds of materials between military and civilian ships, it read.
The naval fleet is usually accompanied by supply ships. When supply ships start to deplete their cargo, they need to return to port for replenishment to restore their original capacity.
"It would save a lot of time if other ships could replenish these ships at sea," Yu Yongyue, chief of staff of the detachment under the Northern Theater Command which Taihu serves, was quoted as saying.
Yu noted that mutual supply at sea between military and civilian ships is common in the navies of world powers.