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 has this:
The exact type of helicopter is unknown but it appears to be a highly modified version of an H-60 Blackhawk. 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.
If this was a SEAL-ified Black Hawk or other “secret” stealth chopper, it’s too bad that cat’s out of the bag. But what a mission for the beans to get spilled on!
Murdoc will take it.