Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold transits Taiwan straits

According to information published by the U.S. DoD on July 19, 2022, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit through international waters in accordance with international law. This is the second Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sent by the U.S. Navy this year to transit the Taiwan Strait.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold, July 2022. (Picture source: US Navy)

The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer (110 mi; 97 nmi)-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north. The narrowest part is 130 km (81 mi; 70 nmi) wide.

Historically both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan espoused a One-China Policy that considered the strait part of the exclusive economic zone of a single "China".

About the USS Benfold

USS Benfold (DDG-65) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was commissioned by the U.S. Pacific Fleet on 30 March 1996.

The warship has a length of 505 ft (154 m), a beam of 59 ft (18 m), and a draft of 31 ft (9.4 m). She can reach a top speed of 29 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).

Benfold is a multi-mission platform capable of AAW (Anti-Aircraft Warfare) with the powerful AEGIS combat systems suite and anti-aircraft missiles, ASW (Anti-submarine warfare), with towed sonar array, anti-submarine rockets, ASUW (Anti-surface warfare) with a Harpoon missile launcher, and strategic land strike using Tomahawk missiles.

Benfold was one of the first ships fitted with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System and during the 2010 Stellar Daggers exercise was the first ship to simultaneously engage a ballistic missile and a cruise missile.

She also carries anti-submarine torpedoes, and two Phalanx anti-missile guns. She has a flight deck for MH-60R/S Seahawk Helicopters and is capable of refueling and re-arming these helicopters, but she does not have a hangar for storing and maintaining helicopters.