May 032011
 

An American helicopter crashed during the takedown of Osama bin Laden. The helicopter was then burned to prevent classified data from falling into enemy hands. Which seemed to me a little odd… what secret info would be on a helicopter during a mission like this? A few photos have been released showing parts of the wreckage… and I can’t identify the helicopter type. Seems that the helicopter was destroyed because it’s either an all new type, or an existing type, heavily modified.

Pure speculation: it’s a stealthy chopper, meant for infiltration into enemy airspace that has reasonably modern air defense systems (i.e. functional radar and such). Which would seem to be needed when invading Pakistan without Pakistans approval… or knowledge.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382859/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-Photo-Obama-watching-Al-Qaeda-leader-die-live-TV.html

     

 Posted by at 6:45 am
  • I think this might be an Osprey (the tilt rotor aircraft).

  • Sean

    Definitely not an osprey, the osprey doesn’t have a tail rotor.

  • James

    Something about that rotor hub reminds me of the Commanche.

  • Sean

    No, Commanche was contained rotor, but that rotor cover is really throwing me, that and the five blades, that should really limit the type of helicopters it could be.

    • Sean

      Just talked to my DO, who used to test Helos… Yeah this a black helicopter you won’t find data on it, though after this they might say that a new helo exists, kind of like the “beast of Kandahaar.”

  • Pat Flannery

    Aviation Week thinks it’s a highly modified stealth Blackhawk:
    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awx/2011/05/03/awx_05_03_2011_p0-318248.xml&headline=Bin%20Laden%20Raid%20May%20Have%20Exposed%20Stealth%20Helicopter
    Although these Daily Mail photos show it pretty thoroughly destroyed, which may show that whatever it was, it may have been primarily made of composites for lower RCS, as it seemed to have burned well:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382859/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-Photo-Obama-watching-Al-Qaeda-leader-die-live-TV.html

  • Sean S

    It was a Black Hawk from the 160th.

  • Russ Mularz

    Heya, all!

    Pretty sure that this is a H-60 variant. Configuration of the tail is pretty much Blackhawk. The MH-60M has more powerful engines than the base-model Blackhawk, 2500shp versus 1900shp (x2!). Two ways to counter all that torque would be a bigger tail rotor or one with more blades.

    The “cover” on the hub could help in help in electro-optical suppression… even just a 4 blade hub whirling around is an impressive beacon to sensors. Conversly, the cover could also help explain the extra blade because of the slight loss of aerodynamic efficiency.

  • My guess: MH-60L Direct Action Penetrator (DAP), Those hub shrouds, etc. don’t lok like factory standard, though; it’s probably a custom job.

  • Siergen

    It was my understanding that it’s standard procedure to destroy anything of military value that might fall into the hands of the enemy, especially vehicles. Don’t forget the destruction of the by Lt Stephen Decatur after it had run aground at Tripoli. Also the attempted destruction of the USS Merrimack when Norfolk was captured by the Confederates.

  • Jim

    They sure whacked it hard if all they wanted to scrub was the crypto.

    Jim

  • s

    It was my understanding that it’s standard procedure to destroy anything of military value that might fall into the hands of the enemy, especially vehicles. Don’t forget the destruction of the

    or the scuttling of the USS Pueblo by Captain Bucher to avoid its capture by North Korea. Or not.

    I know people still mad about that one.

  • admin

    > it’s standard procedure to destroy anything of military value that might fall into the hands of the enemy

    Sure. But the claim was made (in the mainstream media, so it may bear no relationship to reality) that it was trashed in order to keep classified data out of enemy hands. Not much classified about the Blackhawk… unless it’s a stealthified Blackhawk