A picture of the tail rotor of the chopper that the Navy SEALs’ Team Six detonated revealed unfamiliar features. Reports say it could be a new, secret helicopter.
Part of a damaged helicopter is seen lying near the compound after U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer
When the Team Six members reached Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, one of the choppers made a "controlled but hard landing," according to reports, probably due to higher than expected temperatures.
Temperature affects the density of the air, and low density makes it harder for the rotor to sustain the weight of the chopper, especially if it was near its maximum weight (being packed with soldiers and fuel to fly in from Afghanistan). Abbottabad is about 1200 meters above the sea level, and altitude also affects air density.
So what machine exactly experienced the hard landing described above? Short answer: we don’t know for sure. Long answer: It seems that the tail rotor visible in the picture belongs to a highly modified version of the H-60, the chopper of choice of the special forces for more than 30 years. Aviation Week doesn’t beat around the bush, claiming:
A previously undisclosed, classified stealth helicopter apparently was part of the U.S. task force that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 1.
Stealth technology on helicopters is not itself new, but the fact that a previously unknown machine was used in this raid is yet another proof of the degree of importance that this mission had for U.S. commanders.
Aviation Week then goes techie, explaining what we can see from that picture:
Photos disseminated via the European PressPhoto agency and attributed to an anonymous stringer show that the helicopter’s tail features stealth-configured shapes on the boom and the tail rotor hub fairings, swept stabilizers and a “dishpan” cover over a five-or-six-blade tail rotor. It has a silver-loaded infrared suppression finish similar to that seen on V-22s.
Low radar visibility was essential, for the Pakistani air force would have either scrambled its jets if an unknown threat to its airspace (and near the country’s best military academy!) was detected, or fired its surface to air missiles. It’s possibly more proof of the fact that Pakistan really knew nothing about the mission — or at least its first wave of attack — until it ended.
This would explain why the SEALs wasted critically precious time to blow up up the mysterious helicopter and why many experts had problems identifying its remains. It’s unclear what Pakistan could have made of the downed chopper, but growing ties between Pakistani and Chinese armed forces could have made the destruction of such new machine a must. China and Pakistan, over the past two decades, have developed a multi-role combat aircraft called JF-17 and an advanced trainer, the JL-8.
"This would explain why..."
No it wouldn’t. This part of the recent bin Laden narrative raises more questions than it answers. And the most common denominator of this whole affair has been unanswered questions and shifting stories.
Thousands of migrants dumped on Britain as French wriggle out of border promise 2015-03-30 19:56
Thousands of migrants could be dumped on Britainâ€™s doorstep if France tears up a historic border agreement, it was claimed last night.
Officials have vowed to do â€śeverything in their powerâ€ť to wriggle out of a treaty moving the UK border to Calais.
The besieged townâ€™s mayor Natacha Bouchart is prepared to spark a major diplomatic row by opening the frontier ...
Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral 2015-03-30 18:36
King Richard III was today laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral - more than 500 years after his death in battle.
The monarch, who reigned from 1483 to 1485, was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy during the service. Also in attendance was Robert Lindsay, who played Richard III in a version ...
Sweden - A new paradise for Romani beggars 2015-03-30 17:33
Thanks to the European Union and freedom of movement that follows with membership Sweden has been flooded with gypsies from Eastern Europe.
Most member states have cracked down hard on the phenomenon of organized begging with legislation and forceful evictions so the Romani (colloquially known as Gypsies) who are engaged in this venture have moved their business to the country where ...
Increased tax subsidies for politically correct media 2015-03-29 22:08
On Dec 9 last year I translated a random snapshot of the biggest newspaper in Sweden. The headlines alone spoke for themselves. It was, simply put, an orgy of political correctness, obvious attempts at emotional manipulation and general national self-loathing. In other words, a typical Swedish newspaper on any given day.
As more and more readers are waking up to the ...
When obeying the law and supporting yourself is racist 2015-03-29 22:56
There is a huge scandal in the municipality of Ă„lmhult in Sweden. It has been revealed that there is a letter that may have been sent from the municipality offices to newly arrived immigrants informing them that the law applies to them and that theyâ€™re expected to eventually go off the dole and start pulling their own weight in society.