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Thread: Was A Stealth Helicopter Used In The Op To Get Bin Laden?

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    Exclamation Was A Stealth Helicopter Used In The Op To Get Bin Laden?

    Need some expertise - please canvas resources if available.

    Are these 4 pics of the same helicopter:








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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Here's a link Peterle posted to a larger version of that last photo - http://cryptome.org/eyeball/obl-kill/pict5.jpg

    If pic 2 is what I think I'm looking at, that is a tail rotor I don't believe I've seen before. Off hand, the design looks to be of a stealthy design. The hub of a rotor throws off a lot of radar return and that cover would diffuse that. Blades are likely carbon fiber and have minimal radar return.

    ETA: The only US stealth helo I've seen is the cancelled Comanche and that is not the tail rotor nor even main rotor of a Comanche.

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    I'm 90% certain the last pic is the tail boom of a Black Hawk/Pave Hawk/Sea Hawk.

    There is something about pic 2 I swear I've seen somewhere before...

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    Here's a link Peterle posted to a larger version of that last photo - http://cryptome.org/eyeball/obl-kill/pict5.jpg

    If pic 2 is what I think I'm looking at, that is a tail rotor I don't believe I've seen before. Off hand, the design looks to be of a stealthy design. The hub of a rotor throws off a lot of radar return and that cover would diffuse that. Blades are likely carbon fiber and have minimal radar return.

    ETA: The only US stealth helo I've seen is the cancelled Comanche and that is not the tail rotor nor even main rotor of a Comanche.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing/...AH-66_Comanche
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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    I'm 90% certain the last pic is the tail boom of a Black Hawk/Pave Hawk/Sea Hawk.

    There is something about pic 2 I swear I've seen somewhere before...
    Ryan.... I have seen that rotor before, but I can't place it either.

    The image is even familiar in some way....
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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Another pic...


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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    I may have to revise my post about my 90% certainty of that being a -60 tail. The -60 has a one piece stabilitor, not 2 as that picture shows.



    Curiouser and curiouser...

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    This looks like quite the topic around the web!

    Someone over at militaryphotos.net made a 3D artist's rendition:

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    A photo of the main wreckage:


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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    H-92?

    Has a similar cover on the main rotor but, the main is 4 blade not 5. Tail rotor is also only 4 blade.

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Oh... I have seen this chopper... (the artist's picture).
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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Sorry to be more specific, the top one in the artist's picture.
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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Hmmm... Reposting entire article because Yahoo pulls them after a while. Relevant section in red.

    Phone call by Kuwaiti courier led to bin Laden
    May 3, 2011

    When one of Osama bin Laden's most trusted aides picked up the phone last year, he unknowingly led U.S. pursuers to the doorstep of his boss, the world's most wanted terrorist.

    That monitored phone call, recounted Monday by a U.S. official, ended a years-long search for bin Laden's personal courier, the key break in a worldwide manhunt. The courier, in turn, led U.S. intelligence to a walled compound in northeast Pakistan, where a team of Navy SEALs shot bin Laden to death.

    [Related: Timeline: Key dates in the hunt for bin Laden]

    The violent final minutes were the culmination of years of intelligence work. Inside the CIA team hunting bin Laden, it always was clear that bin Laden's vulnerability was his couriers. He was too smart to let al-Qaida foot soldiers, or even his senior commanders, know his hideout. But if he wanted to get his messages out, somebody had to carry them, someone bin Laden trusted with his life.

    Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA's secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden. After the CIA captured al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.

    Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

    "Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.

    Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

    If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they'd find bin Laden.

    The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

    "We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

    Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

    It took years of work before the CIA identified the courier's real name: Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani man born in Kuwait. When they did identify him, he was nowhere to be found. The CIA's sources didn't know where he was hiding. Bin Laden was famously insistent that no phones or computers be used near him, so the eavesdroppers at the National Security Agency kept coming up cold.

    Ahmed was identified by detainees as a mid-level operative who helped al-Qaida members and their families find safe havens. But his whereabouts were such a mystery to U.S. intelligence that, according to Guantanamo Bay documents, one detainee said Ahmed was wounded while fleeing U.S. forces during the invasion of Afghanistan and later died in the arms of the detainee.

    But in the middle of last year, Ahmed had a telephone conversation with someone being monitored by U.S. intelligence, according to an American official, who like others interviewed for this story spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation. Ahmed was located somewhere away from bin Laden's hideout when he had the discussion, but it was enough to help intelligence officials locate and watch Ahmed.

    In August 2010, Ahmed unknowingly led authorities to a compound in the northeast Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where al-Libi had once lived. The walls surrounding the property were as high as 18 feet and topped with barbed wire. Intelligence officials had known about the house for years, but they always suspected that bin Laden would be surrounded by heavily armed security guards. Nobody patrolled the compound in Abbottabad.

    In fact, nobody came or went. And no telephone or Internet lines ran from the compound. The CIA soon believed that bin Laden was hiding in plain sight, in a hideout especially built to go unnoticed. But since bin Laden never traveled and nobody could get onto the compound without passing through two security gates, there was no way to be sure.

    Despite that uncertainty, intelligence officials realized this could represent the best chance ever to get to bin Laden. They decided not to share the information with anyone, including staunch counterterrorism allies such as Britain, Canada and Australia.

    By mid-February, the officials were convinced a "high-value target" was hiding in the compound. President Barack Obama wanted to take action.

    "They were confident and their confidence was growing: 'This is different. This intelligence case is different. What we see in this compound is different than anything we've ever seen before,'" John Brennan, the president's top counterterrorism adviser, said Monday. "I was confident that we had the basis to take action."

    Options were limited. The compound was in a residential neighborhood in a sovereign country. If Obama ordered an airstrike and bin Laden was not in the compound, it would be a huge diplomatic problem. Even if Obama was right, obliterating the compound might make it nearly impossible to confirm bin Laden's death.

    Said Brennan, "The president had to evaluate the strength of that information, and then made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory."

    Brennan told CNN Tuesday that "there was no single piece of information that was an 'ah-hah' moment." He said officials took "bits and pieces" of intelligence gathered and analyzed over a long period of time to nail down the leads they needed.

    Obama tapped two dozen members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six to carry out a raid with surgical accuracy.

    Before dawn Monday morning, a pair of helicopters left Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. The choppers entered Pakistani airspace using sophisticated technology intended to evade that country's radar systems, a U.S. official said.

    Officially, it was a kill-or-capture mission, since the U.S. doesn't kill unarmed people trying to surrender. But it was clear from the beginning that whoever was behind those walls had no intention of surrendering, two U.S. officials said.

    The helicopters lowered into the compound, dropping the SEALs behind the walls. No shots were fired, but shortly after the team hit the ground, one of the helicopters came crashing down and rolled onto its side for reasons the government has yet to explain. None of the SEALs was injured, however, and the mission continued uninterrupted.

    With the CIA and White House monitoring the situation in real time — presumably by live satellite feed or video carried by the SEALs — the team stormed the compound.

    Thanks to sophisticated satellite monitoring, U.S. forces knew they'd likely find bin Laden's family on the second and third floors of one of the buildings on the property, officials said. The SEALs secured the rest of the property first, then proceeded to the room where bin Laden was hiding. A firefight ensued, Brennan said.

    Ahmed and his brother were killed, officials said. Then, the SEALs killed bin Laden with a bullet just above his left eye, blowing off part his skull, another official said. Using the call sign for his visual identification, one of the soldiers communicated that "Geronimo" had been killed in action, according to a U.S. official.

    Bin Laden's body was immediately identifiable, but the U.S. also conducted DNA testing that identified him with near 100 percent certainty, senior administration officials said. Photo analysis by the CIA, confirmation on site by a woman believed to be bin Laden's wife, who was wounded, and matching physical features such as bin Laden's height all helped confirm the identification. At the White House, there was no doubt.

    "I think the accomplishment that very brave personnel from the United States government were able to realize yesterday is a defining moment in the war against al-Qaida, the war on terrorism, by decapitating the head of the snake known as al-Qaida," Brennan said.

    U.S. forces searched the compound and flew away with documents, hard drives and DVDs that could provide valuable intelligence about al-Qaida, a U.S. official said. The entire operation took about 40 minutes, officials said.

    Bin Laden's body was flown to the USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian sea, a senior defense official said. There, aboard a U.S. warship, officials conducted a traditional Islamic burial ritual. Bin Laden's body was washed and placed in a white sheet. He was placed in a weighted bag that, after religious remarks by a military officer, was slipped into the sea about 2 a.m. EDT Monday.

    Said the president, "I think we can all agree this is a good day for America."

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Stealth Helos Used In Osama Raid
    May 3, 2011

    Well, now we know why all of us had trouble ID'ing the helicopter that crashed, or was brought down, in the Osama raid.



    It was a secretly developed stealth helicopter, probably a highly modified version of an H-60 Blackhawk. (This is the conclusion I have been slowly coming to) Photos published in the Daily Mail and on the Secret Projects board show that the helicopter's tail features stealth-configured shapes on the boom and tip fairings, swept stabilizers and a "dishpan" cover over a non-standard five-or-six-blade tail rotor. It has a silver-loaded infra-red suppression finish similar to that seen on some V-22s.

    No wonder the team tried to destroy it. The photos show that they did a thorough job - except for the end of the tailboom, which ended up outside the compound wall. (It almost looks as if the helo's tail hit the wall on landing.)

    Stealth helicopter technology in itself is not new and was applied extensively to the RAH-66 Comanche. Priorities are usually different versus fixed-wing aircraft. Reducing noise and making it less conspicuous is the first job (more main and tail blades reduce the classic whop-whop signature). Listen here.

    Noise can also be reduced by aerodynamic modifications and flight control changes that make it possible to slow the rotor down, particularly in forward flight below maximum speed. Infra-red reduction measures are crucial -- the Comanche had an elaborate system of exhaust ducts and fresh-air mixers in its tailboom.



    Radar cross-section reduction is also possible - you can't make a helo as radar-stealthy as a fixed-wing airplane, because of all its moving parts, but on the other hand it is generally operating at low altitude in ground clutter, and is not an easy target. Reducing RCS also makes jamming more effective, whether from the aircraft itself or from a standoff jammer.

    The willingness to compromise this technology shows the importance of the mission in the eyes of US commanders -- and what we're seeing here also explains why Pakistani defenses didn't see the first wave (at least) coming in.

    Update:
    Quellish at Secret Projects mentions an ancestor system.

    Read the Aviation Week article: Bin Laden Raid May Have Exposed Stealth Helicopter.

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Whatever it is, I'm sure the wreckage is already on its way to China. Just like that crashed Apache in Iraq likely ended up in Russia.

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    NASA SELECTS ACTIVE SENSORS RVDT’S FOR LATEST BLACKHAWK STEALTH PROJECT
    April 1, 2010



    A team of NASA engineers are looking into methods of increasing the militery stealth of the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter through noise reduction tests being carried out this year (2010) at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC), Moffet Field, California. To reduce noise from the rotor blades, engineers are developing motion-control technology by inputing low-frequency variations of rotor blade pitch-angle into the control system.



    The control instrumentation required for the tests are mounted in a ‘hat’ at the root of the rotor blades. Active Sensors XRT RVDT’s with integral signal electronics are attached to the ‘crab arms’,which inturn control and measure blade motion, pitch, flap and lag of each blade. Jiawei Toh of Jacobs Technology commented,“Active Sensors DC/DC RVDT’s with built-in signal electronics are specified to minimise the electrical hardware required, and to reduce electrical noise propagation in the control-wiring loom. Our tests will be on-going in 2010".

    The objective of the NASA program is to measure blade-vortex interaction noise from the UH-60 rotor. These measurements will be compared with previous wind-tunnel tests in order to better understand the noise created with the ultimate goal of reducing it.

    Active Sensors is proud to provide credible measurement solutions for prestigious aerospace research projects like those being carried out by NASA at Moffet Field, " said Chris Smith, Active Sensors Chief Executive. “Supplying position measurement products that survive the extremes of vibration experienced during these stealth experiments is testament to the quality of the products designed and manufacture by Active Sensors,” added Smith.

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Oh... I have seen this chopper... (the artist's picture).
    ?

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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread


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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Another from mp.net


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    Default Re: Backstop’s Eclectic Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    ?

    I can't... Sorry. I'll say it "exists" somewhere. Or did.
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