The United States has added yet another ship from its naval fleet to help Malaysian authorities in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer joins USS Pinckney in looking for the missing aircraft today.
Kidd brings the same 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 feet, have a maximum range of 245 nautical miles and the capability to conduct searches at night using its Forward Looking Infra-red (FLIR) camera.
Both vessles were conducting training and maritime security operations in international waters in the South China Sea before being sent to assist in the search efforts.
With about 300 sailors each, the Kidd and Pinckney are multi-mission ships designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.
The US Navy also has a maritime patrol aircraft, a P-3C Orion from the Grey Knights of Patrol Squadron 46, which is flying out from Subang in Selangor, to support the search efforts.
The two destroyers departed the naval base in San Diego on January 7 on independent deployments to the Western Pacific Ocean. – March 10, 2014.