Part of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet in charge of the Asia-Pacific region, the USS Benfold destroyer is one of 68 destroyers built by the US under the Arleigh Burke class
USS Benfold has a full load displacement of 8,900 long tons. She has a length of 154 meters, the beam is 18 meters and the draft is 9.4 meters. The ship is equipped with 3 Rolls Royce AG9130F engines, driving 2 Shafts, allowing it to move at a maximum speed of 30 knots – equivalent to about 56 km/h.
The crew on the USS Benfold includes 33 commissioned officers, 38 chief petty officers, 210 enlisted personnel. Like other Arleigh Burke-class warships of the US Navy, the USS Benfold has a very diverse and dangerous weapon system. The centerpiece of the entire weapon system on this warship is the 90 cells Mk41 vertical missile launchers, for RIM-156 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-ASROC missiles.
In addition, the ship also has 2 anti-ship Harpoon missile launchers. And yet, the USS Benfold possesses a 127mm Mk 45 cannon, 2 x 25 mm chain guns, 4 x 12.7 mm guns, and 2 x 20 mm Phalanx CIWS. The ship is also equipped with a helipad, allowing take-off and landing of a CH-53 helicopter, for transport and reconnaissance purposes. With the AEGIS air defense system and powerful weapons, Benfold is capable of performing defensive and offensive operations against fighter aircraft, anti-ship missiles, surface ships, submarines and shore targets.
During her latest patrol in the South China Sea, Benfold sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea to commemorate an international ruling condemning Beijing’s attempt to seize the waterways. She took American sailors in the vicinity of Woody Island, the Paracel outpost where Chinese forces have built an air base, deployed surface-to-air missiles, and at least “test-fired” an anti-ship cruise missile.