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Photos Suggest Secret Helicopter Used in bin Laden Raid Photos Suggest Secret Helicopter Used in bin Laden Raid

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National Security / National Security

Photos Suggest Secret Helicopter Used in bin Laden Raid

A crashed military helicopter is seen near the hideout of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden after a ground operation by U.S. Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Sara Sorcher
May 5, 2011

Photographs of the U.S. helicopter that crashed during Sunday's raid on Osama bin Laden's compound shed new light on what may be a top-secret stealth helicopter program.

The U.S. commandos involved in the raid exploded the helicopter that crashed in the compound’s courtyard in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But parts of the helicopter's tail remained intact and were subsequently photographed, prompting a wave of speculation online by military analysts and enthusiasts who noted that the tail “did not resemble any officially acknowledged U.S. military airframe,” Army Times reported.

The helicopter appeared to be a radar-evading variant of the special operations MH-60 Black Hawk, with distinctive hard edges and flat surfaces similar to those in stealth fighter jets, and noise-reducing covering on the rear rotors, among other special distinctions.

 

The weight of the add-on stealth modifications may have helped to cause the helicopter crash, a retired special operations aviator told Army Times.

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