Assault on Bin Laden: mystery of the downed chopper

Silencer1

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Mostly the other Black Hawk variants are discussed here to explain why the pictures people saw are probably not Stealth Hawks.
I understand you point.
Curiously, the thread is started 10 years ago :cool:
Still no new/reliable images or sources of "downed chopper" and some helicopters, equipped with more or less features to provide sthealth.
 

Fluff

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Looks, like there were a lot of Black Hawk' versions currently in service by various customers and services. But, with all due respect, why they are discussed in this thread? Perhaps, they deserve their own place in SPF?

Mostly the other Black Hawk variants are discussed here to explain why the pictures people saw are probably not Stealth Hawks.
And given the speed of change in Afghanistan, there’s a slim chance of the stealth hawks being flushed out or actually used.

and posible sightings will need to be posted and discussed, if we must wait for official pics, this site would be very quiet….
 

Dynoman

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Surveillance blimp tethered to the NATO HQ in Kabul. Its equipped with cameras and other surveillance equipment that has helped prevent at least one attack in the past. I've read that every time they recover the blimp its filled with bullet holes. The local residents see the blimp as an intrusive prying overseer and not a friendly 'neighborhood watch.'
 

RavenOne

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Worth watching this documentary...

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14574560/

Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden

Lead Planner and Captain, US Navy SEAL.

"As the briefs went through the chain of command there was a sensitivity expressed on exposure to radars and discovery of the helicopters as the force was infiltrating. That shifted the conversation to using the Black Hawks that had some of the capabilities to defeat radar."


Command Master Chief, US Navy SEAL Team Six

"Very early on when we got out and saw them fly they were unstable, particularly when they came into hover and I said with all due respect I don't think that we should use these helicopters. The time to try something new is not on the most important raid arguably since WW2."


Lead Planner and Captain, US Navy SEAL.

"Another one of the factors that we had to take into account was that the aircrews flying the Black Hawks had been separate programme and didn't have a lot of time flying overseas."


Admiral McCraven, Commander Joint Special Operations Command

"..... those particular crews had been taken out of the fight for quite a while and really had just been part of research."
 

rooster

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Worth watching this documentary...

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14574560/

Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden

Lead Planner and Captain, US Navy SEAL.

"As the briefs went through the chain of command there was a sensitivity expressed on exposure to radars and discovery of the helicopters as the force was infiltrating. That shifted the conversation to using the Black Hawks that had some of the capabilities to defeat radar."


Command Master Chief, US Navy SEAL Team Six

"Very early on when we got out and saw them fly they were unstable, particularly when they came into hover and I said with all due respect I don't think that we should use these helicopters. The time to try something new is not on the most important raid arguably since WW2."


Lead Planner and Captain, US Navy SEAL.

"Another one of the factors that we had to take into account was that the aircrews flying the Black Hawks had been separate programme and didn't have a lot of time flying overseas."


Admiral McCraven, Commander Joint Special Operations Command

"..... those particular crews had been taken out of the fight for quite a while and really had just been part of research."
Respectfully, I believe very little that I read in a book. I have been fooled before when decades after the fact, oh hey we actually built and flew the a12 years before the SR-71. That sort of changes the story a wee little bit.
 

publiusr

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Could they not have had a stealth Huey that didn’t have a mile long tail? Kamovs would be my choice for a confined area…no way to quiet contra rotating props for a smaller landing footprint?
 

yasotay

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I think the comments are very telling, and believable. It may be that the aircraft used were in fact little more than test articles for researching means to reduce helicopter radar signatures. No real intent to use them operationally, but some smart wag thought otherwise and foisted them on the operational community.
 

Hood

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Well even if they were testbeds, the research programme must have been launched with this sort of mission scenario in mind. It would seem silly not to test them in an operational environment if it was feasible to do so if that is what they were designed for.
 

yasotay

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Operational testing of unproven technology in a mission of national/international level focus, were failure becomes a national embarrassment, is never looked on well by "special" communities who prefer that very few know what has occurred with their actions.
 

quellish

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If you are familiar with the cartoon "Scooby Doo", imagine UBL's last words being:
"I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you kids and that dog Cairo!"

Thus, within the special operations community the nickname for the helicopter is "The Mystery Machine"
 

publiusr

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This might be bonkers...suppose you rotate the blades faster than normal...but with little bite if there is a thermal over a target. Glide in and auto-rotate down with a somewhat longer fast rope cable winched up at almost the rate of descent...so as to deposit a squad of men at nearly zero speed and little prop wash...as if the squad were a zeps cloud car of old. The chopper cranks back up but still loses its tail..the second chopper in under power. Doors open and the squad slips by...makes the sanction and kills the guards going out...not coming in. They hop on the second chopper and are out. I would like to think that if I were a nearby Al Queda...I could get an RPG or two out pretty fast. But in the scenario here...I don't have the chance. Thoughts?
 

RavenOne

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Could they not have had a stealth Huey that didn’t have a mile long tail? Kamovs would be my choice for a confined area…no way to quiet contra rotating props for a smaller landing footprint?
Not the range and the skids …unless its the old ISTAR EH-1H Quick Fix I or in this case JuH-1H with retractable skid.

But Huey would not be ideal in long range intense SF work

Cheers
 

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RavenOne

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Has anything surfaced lately? It is a wild wild shot but wondering with regard to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, have seen an increase in United States Army Aviation assets between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia on FR24 or adsb exchange such as:

- Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawks (either locally 12th Combat Aviation Brigade based in Germany or the forward deployed likes of 82nd Abn Div 18th Aviation Brigade et al )

- Fixed wing RC-12 (ELINT / SIGINT) Guardrail or ISR Super King Air 200

But the piece de la resistance 3 weeks ago a local enthusiast and professional photographer Dalibor Ankovic (owner of DA Photography) outside Ramstein AFB snapped pair of Nightstalker MH-47G (without AAR) probe landing at the base.


Cheers
 

yasotay

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Has anything surfaced lately? It is a wild wild shot but wondering with regard to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, have seen an increase in United States Army Aviation assets between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia on FR24 or adsb exchange such as:

- Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawks (either locally 12th Combat Aviation Brigade based in Germany or the forward deployed likes of 82nd Abn Div 18th Aviation Brigade et al )

- Fixed wing RC-12 (ELINT / SIGINT) Guardrail or ISR Super King Air 200

But the piece de la resistance 3 weeks ago a local enthusiast and professional photographer Dalibor Ankovic (owner of DA Photography) outside Ramstein AFB snapped pair of Nightstalker MH-47G (without AAR) probe landing at the base.


Cheers

*Jedi hand wave* These aren't the helicopters your looking for."
 

RavenOne

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Has anything surfaced lately? It is a wild wild shot but wondering with regard to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, have seen an increase in United States Army Aviation assets between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia on FR24 or adsb exchange such as:

- Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawks (either locally 12th Combat Aviation Brigade based in Germany or the forward deployed likes of 82nd Abn Div 18th Aviation Brigade et al )

- Fixed wing RC-12 (ELINT / SIGINT) Guardrail or ISR Super King Air 200

But the piece de la resistance 3 weeks ago a local enthusiast and professional photographer Dalibor Ankovic (owner of DA Photography) outside Ramstein AFB snapped pair of Nightstalker MH-47G (without AAR) probe landing at the base.


Cheers

*Jedi hand wave* These aren't the helicopters your looking for."
i know lol was referring to the unit's presence in Europe at this particular point in time ...

Last time officially the Nightstalkers were in Europe was for the Csar exercise Jaded Thunder which laughingly was held for the first time outside CONUS here in UK, albeit oop north at RAF Leeming. Their presence was a pair of MH-6 Little Birds ...ferried in back of a C-17A to the base. From what my memory serves me.... the list of participants include.

-352nd SOW from here at Mildenhall with CV-22B and MC-130J
-AFSoC AC-130H or W gunship
-442nd Fighter Wing Oa-10A Warthogs
-resident 100 Sqn BAe Hawk T1
-160th SOAR MH-6E

And going back quarter of Century - elements of 160th deployed to Brindisi AB in Italy for ops over the Balkans. Led to believe they were MH-60A/L.

NSDQ

cheers
 

Q-nimbus

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Has anything surfaced lately? It is a wild wild shot but wondering with regard to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, have seen an increase in United States Army Aviation assets between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia on FR24 or adsb exchange such as:

- Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawks (either locally 12th Combat Aviation Brigade based in Germany or the forward deployed likes of 82nd Abn Div 18th Aviation Brigade et al )

- Fixed wing RC-12 (ELINT / SIGINT) Guardrail or ISR Super King Air 200

But the piece de la resistance 3 weeks ago a local enthusiast and professional photographer Dalibor Ankovic (owner of DA Photography) outside Ramstein AFB snapped pair of Nightstalker MH-47G (without AAR) probe landing at the base.


Cheers
I would be suprised if the SSSSHHH-Hawks are in Europe as I’m pretty sure there are no American boots on the ground in Ukraine, apart from military advisors and intelligence liasons (who are doing an incredible job by the way).

It wouldn’t be impossible if some are kept on standby, but still unlikely I believe. You might as well keep ‘m ready for immediate loading stateside as it’s much, much more secure.

Also, unless they want to drop some guys into Moscow, there’s not really an operational need for the SSSSHH-Hawks as the ‘regular’ Black Hawks can probably do the same job with much lower risk. The fact that Ukraine can penetrate into Russia with their drones proves you don’t really need something very exotic.

The most important thing to consider are the political consequences; if US soldiers were caught operating against the Russians that would be seen as an act of war, and rightfully so. The risk/reward ratio probably isn’t worth it.

Regardless of the above: at this point I’m very skeptical whether they are still operational or not. Actually, they never really were operational. We know with relative certainty that the SSSSHHHH-Hawks were taken out of storage specifically for the Bin Laden operation, and while the mission was a succes, we all know what happened to one of the helicopters… so I wouldn’t be surprised if they put them back into storage or maybe even buried them around Groom Lake (apart from the surviving helo from Operation Geronimo to hopefully be put on display one day).

I’ve also said that I believe the SSHHHH-Hawks weren’t very stealthy, but mostly very quiet. I would be surprised if there aren’t some upgrades/conversions available today for normal Black Hawks which more or less have the same effect.

So, no Stealth Hawks in Europe I believe (but I hope I’m wrong!)

Now, if someone would photograph an RQ-170 or maybe even a RQ-180 flying around Europe that would be very, very interesting indeed…
 

yasotay

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I also doubt that the "special" MH-60 is still in service. At least not the one that survived the OBL Raid. The technology associated with that platform is now very old. Some considerations though. I do not think that the aircraft in question were drastically different from a conventional Blackhawk. No doubt there was some "clean up" with major radar reflecting components, but I am not inclined to think there was an entirely new fuselage to go with the platform. Perhaps a new tail boom and some special adaptation bolted to the nose. I think that the tail rotor itself was more of a noise reduction effort than specifically designed to overcome radar returns. The tail rotor is the largest noise producing component on the H-60, which is otherwise fairly quiet in forward flight. One also should remember that MH-60 are significantly heavier than stock UH-60 with all of the extra equipment they carry. So a suboptimal tail rotor in association with high weight likely makes the platform somewhat unwieldy in higher altitudes. There was likely some unique electronics on the platform as well.
 

RavenOne

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Has anything surfaced lately? It is a wild wild shot but wondering with regard to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, have seen an increase in United States Army Aviation assets between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia on FR24 or adsb exchange such as:

- Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawks (either locally 12th Combat Aviation Brigade based in Germany or the forward deployed likes of 82nd Abn Div 18th Aviation Brigade et al )

- Fixed wing RC-12 (ELINT / SIGINT) Guardrail or ISR Super King Air 200

But the piece de la resistance 3 weeks ago a local enthusiast and professional photographer Dalibor Ankovic (owner of DA Photography) outside Ramstein AFB snapped pair of Nightstalker MH-47G (without AAR) probe landing at the base.


Cheers
I would be suprised if the SSSSHHH-Hawks are in Europe as I’m pretty sure there are no American boots on the ground in Ukraine, apart from military advisors and intelligence liasons (who are doing an incredible job by the way).

It wouldn’t be impossible if some are kept on standby, but still unlikely I believe. You might as well keep ‘m ready for immediate loading stateside as it’s much, much more secure.

Also, unless they want to drop some guys into Moscow, there’s not really an operational need for the SSSSHH-Hawks as the ‘regular’ Black Hawks can probably do the same job with much lower risk. The fact that Ukraine can penetrate into Russia with their drones proves you don’t really need something very exotic.

The most important thing to consider are the political consequences; if US soldiers were caught operating against the Russians that would be seen as an act of war, and rightfully so. The risk/reward ratio probably isn’t worth it.

Regardless of the above: at this point I’m very skeptical whether they are still operational or not. Actually, they never really were operational. We know with relative certainty that the SSSSHHHH-Hawks were taken out of storage specifically for the Bin Laden operation, and while the mission was a succes, we all know what happened to one of the helicopters… so I wouldn’t be surprised if they put them back into storage or maybe even buried them around Groom Lake (apart from the surviving helo from Operation Geronimo to hopefully be put on display one day).

I’ve also said that I believe the SSHHHH-Hawks weren’t very stealthy, but mostly very quiet. I would be surprised if there aren’t some upgrades/conversions available today for normal Black Hawks which more or less have the same effect.

So, no Stealth Hawks in Europe I believe (but I hope I’m wrong!)

Now, if someone would photograph an RQ-170 or maybe even a RQ-180 flying around Europe that would be very, very interesting indeed…

Interesting what do you mean by taken out of storage For the OBL mission?
was not aware they were.

cheers
 

yasotay

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It is claimed (not officially confirmed) that the platforms were actually test vehicles, used at Groom Lake for analysis. Equally rumored is that they were not popular with aircrews who flew them. Popular account has it that they were maintained at a.certain level of airworthiness for missions such as OBL Raid, but not flown frequently.
 

rooster

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It is claimed (not officially confirmed) that the platforms were actually test vehicles, used at Groom Lake for analysis. Equally rumored is that they were not popular with aircrews who flew them. Popular account has it that they were maintained at a.certain level of airworthiness for missions such as OBL Raid, but not flown frequently.
All rumors
 

publiusr

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Sometimes scuttlebutt is all you get. Even with above board civilian circles people fight like cats and dogs—a la real space.
 

RavenOne

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It is claimed (not officially confirmed) that the platforms were actually test vehicles, used at Groom Lake for analysis. Equally rumored is that they were not popular with aircrews who flew them. Popular account has it that they were maintained at a.certain level of airworthiness for missions such as OBL Raid, but not flown frequently.

Not popular due to the handling ?? I guess the likes of the CofG would be affected.and wondered any excess loading on the airframe with the mods.

cheers
 

yasotay

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@rooster - Correct

@RavenOne - The SOAR aircraft do have a lot more "equipment" at the front of the aircraft than standard versions of the aircraft. If there was "extra, extra" equipment on those particular aircraft, then the even more overweight special blackhawk would be a challenge in the hot high conditions that existed. The new tail rotor seems suboptimal for yaw control, perhaps on the very edge of controllability even in lower atmospheric conditions. Loss of tail rotor effectiveness is a very known phenomena with helicopters. This could explain the dislike of the aviators who flew them as they certainly prefer to have optimally maneuverable aircraft for missions (who wouldn't). As to the completely new stabilator on the rear of the aircraft, someone with more aero-engineering background will have to venture a guess.
 

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I just came across an interesting bit in the book ‘American Cipher’ by Matt Farwell and Micheal Ames. It’s about Bowe Bergdahl’s ordeal in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

According to David Sedney, Deputy Assistent Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan at the time, there were two options drawn up to save Bergdahl: the ‘high’ option called for 8 MH47 Chinook’s carrying upward of 200 special operators and the ‘low’ option involved sending over a small team of Seal Team 6 into Pakistan in… stealth helicopters!

Not a single mission order was ever given though.

This was in 2009 and according to David Sedney, the plan was ‘updated, adapted and re-drafted’ in 2011 for Operation Neptune Spear.

While no definitive proof, it would seem the SSSSHH-Hawks were available in 2009 already.

Makes one wonder how long JSOC had the Stealth Hawks at their disposal prior to 2009…
 

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