Incinerated Black Hawk was specially adapted from experience gained during cancelled Pentagon spy project.
In amongst the Bin Laden Raid gore pictures, there may have been an absence of Bin Ladens (that’s the new collective term) but both there and elsewhere there are lots of pictures of Black Hawk helicopter bits. There are three keys elements to these:
1. The charred remains detonated outside the compound (although they seem to me to be inside).
2. The uncharred tailplane bits hanging over a wall.
3. The fact that the uncharred bits now seem to be in Pakistani hands. (See above)
Taking each of the above in turn, at 1 and 2 there we seem to have strong evidence of what we specialist weaponry experts call Copter Hit Wall Syndrome….as in, the copter flew in, clipped a wall (after being hit?) and force-landed inside the compound.
At 2., some real weapons experts interviewed by MSNBC say they detect refinements to the rear blade system consistent with ‘stealth’ characteristics.
That is to say, this was a Black Hawk tailor-made to be invisible to local radar: the very thing if you don’t trust your allies.
As for 3., the link to njr.com in that line points out that ‘One of the helicopters was blown apart during the assault, but photographs of the tail section that remained in Pakistan show modifications to quiet noise, and reduce chances of radar detection…’.
The New York Times also has reports of people in the helicopter industry saying the rear section looked ‘nothing like the tail of a regular Black Hawk helicopter’. They said it looked like the Black Hawk had added some of the features of the proposed stealth helicopter Comanche, which was cancelled by the Pentagon in 2004.
This afternoon, a UK MP with a long military assault background told The Slog, “This now begins to make more sense. They flew in under Stealth cover, clipped a wall and landed safely. What it doesn’t explain is why an experienced pilot would [hit a wall], and why they didn’t also detonate the tail. They may well have been hit outside the compound.”
Specifically, Daniel Goure, a defense specialist at the Lexington Institute think tank, said the helicopter crash may itself have been caused by the unusual aerodynamics which came from the aircraft’s modifications.
Quite so. But what began life as ‘a malfunction’ just five days ago is beginning to look increasingly like a collision caused by being hit in some form or another. There are growing murmurs in the background of this case suggesting that, stealth equipment or not, perhaps the same ISI Pakistani who betrayed Bin Laden also tipped off his employers about what was likely to happen.
Either way, the details of the tailplane stealth adaptations are now held by an organisation with a track record of ‘data sharing’ with Beijing. In which case, this could turn out to be the most expensive trophy-killing in US history.
This was clearly a tough raid to undertake – and as I’ve written before, took bottle by those engaged at the sharp end. But the ‘flawless success against ruthless professionals’ White House line is equally clearly pumped-up hyperbollocks. I have no sympathy with witless and image-obsessed political leaders who do such things to help get reelected, and to Hell with what AOL or anyone else thinks. What you see at The Slog is what you get.
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