For us hardware afficianados, one of the interesting bits to come out of the raid on Bin Laden’s compound was the disclosure of a new (to us, anyway) stealthy helicopter.
When the SEALs torched the helo that had a hard landing, the tailboom was left sitting on the far side of the compound wall, and it is different from any tailboom we’ve seen in the inventory.
Bill T at the Castle, a very, VERY experienced helo pilot leads a discussion of some of the challenges in trying to make a helicopter stealthy.
Despite all the hoo-hah you see in the movies, while Special Operations Forces can parachute in, they almost always prefer to arrive by helo. But choppers have large radar signatures, usually have fairly large infrared signatures, and the damn things are noisy. In this case, it looks like the Army has taken some steps to reduce those signatures. I can’t say for sure, but the gist of the opinion out there is that the bird was a highly modified version of the MH-60 series Blackhawk helicopter.
Was the raid on Bin Laden worth the risk of compromising a previously unknown asset?