Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) has joined USS Pinckney (DDG 91) in the search efforts of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, March 10.
Kidd brings the same Arleigh-Burke Class capabilities as Pinckney with its two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters which are designed for search and rescue, as well as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, naval gunfire support and logistics support.
The helicopters can fly a maximum of 180 knots with a ceiling of 13,000 ft., have a maximum range of 245 nautical miles and the capability to conduct searches at night using its Forward Looking Infra-red (FLIR) camera. Kidd, like Pinckney, was conducting training and maritime security operations in international waters in the South China Sea before being sent to assist in the search efforts.
Both ships have crews of more than 300 Sailors each and are multi-mission ships designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.
The US Navy still has one maritime patrol aircraft, a P-3C Orion from the Grey Knights of Patrol Squadron 46 (VP-46), on station flying from Subang Jaya, Malaysia.
The two destroyers departed Naval Base San Diego Jan. 7 on independent deployments to the Western Pacific Ocean.
Press Release, March 11, 2014, 2014; Image: US Navy