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US Navy's destroyer USS Benfold conducts naval drills near Paracel Islands.

| 2022

According to information published by the U.S. DoD on January 21, 2022, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Dewey (DDG 105), and MH-60R helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 participate in drills near Paracel Islands.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 MH-60R helicopter, USS Benfold, and USS Dewey near Paracel Islands (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

The MH-60R is a naval version of the American-made UH-60 Black Hawk designed and manufactured by the Sikorsky company which is now part of Lockheed Martin.

The MH-60R can be armed can be equipped with a range of weapons on the four weapons stations, including Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-surface missiles. For anti-submarine warfare, the MH-60R can carry up to three ATK mk50 or mk46 active/passive lightweight torpedoes. The side of the helicopter can be fitted with a pintle-mounted weapon station armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.

The MH-60R is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines rated at 1,425kW. It can fly at a maximum speed of 267 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 834 km.

The Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands and the Hoang Sa Archipelago, are disputed archipelago in the South China Sea.

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