The Chinese navy unveils the upgraded version of the Type 055 destroyer off Qingdao, eastern China, on April 23, 2019, during a fleet review marking the 70th anniversary of the navy's foundation. (Kyodo via Associated Press)

China's navy commissioned its biggest and most advanced surface warship yet, the Nanchang guided-missile destroyer, on Sunday morning in the port city of Qingdao, state media reported.

Observers say the commissioning of China's first 10,000-ton-class Type 055 destroyer, which is expected to accompany aircraft carriers in battle groups, is a step forward as Beijing seeks to operate farther from its shores and punch farther into the western Pacific.

Launched in June 2017, its commissioning marks the navy's leap from the third generation to the fourth generation of destroyers, the navy said in a statement.

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A Chengdu J-20 during the opening of Airshow China in Zhuhai in October 2016 (Wikimedia Commons/Alert5)

The Chinese military is exploring a potential laser weapon system to mount on various aircraft to give them an extra edge in a dogfight, according to a pair of recent procurement notices.

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Two F/A-18E Super Hornet jets attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 "Rampagers" prepare to take off at Naval Air Station Key West's Boca Chica Field. Oct 9, 2019 (U.S. Navy photo by Danette Baso Silvers)

Something awesome must be happening at Naval Air Station Key West, because four Chinese nationals have been arrested over the past year for illegally taking pictures of the base, including two this past weekend.

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A AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) deployed from a U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019 (U.S. Navy via Naval News)

The newest weapon in the Navy's arsenal is ready for action.

The Navy last week announced that the service's new AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) achieved early operational capability with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in August, a major milestone for the air-launched cruise missile.

The LRASM previously achieved EOC with the B-1B Lancer bomber back in December 2018.

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Iranian Navy ships during the Velayat-90 military exercise in December 2011. (Young Photojournalism Agency/Mohammad Sadegh Heydari via Wikimedia Commons)

BEIJING (Reuters) - China, Iran and Russia will hold joint naval drills starting on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, China's defense ministry said on Thursday, amid heightened tension in the region between Iran and the United States.

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US Air Force airmen watching a C-130J Super Hercules taxi at Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, on August 3. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

As part of a worldwide shift toward potential confrontation with Russia and China, the Pentagon is weighing a drawdown in Africa — including "abandoning" a $110 million base in Niger that only began operating in November, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

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