Reports: Secret Stealth Black Hawk Helicopters Used In Bin Laden Raid

May 5, 2011

As experts have gotten a look at photos of the pieces of a U.S. helicopter left behind at the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, they've come to the conclusion that commandos were using a stealth version of the famous Black Hawk, Army Times and IHS Jane's report.

Jane's says that:

"Following the raid on 1 May only the tail section of the helicopter remained — the main body having been destroyed in situ by US special forces — but aspects of its design do not tally with the generally held belief that Sikorsky MH/UH-60 Black Hawk-type helicopters were used in the mission.

"Specifically, the tail rotor of the crashed helicopter has a five-bladed assembly, whereas the Black Hawk tail rotor has four blades. Also, where the Black Hawk's vertical tail section tapers towards the top, the helicopter lost in the raid has a vertical tailplane than has an even chord from top to bottom capped off with what appears to be a large aerodynamic surface."

And Army Times reports that:

"The helicopters that flew the Navy SEALs on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden were a radar-evading variant of the special operations MH-60 Black Hawk, according to a retired special operations aviator.

"The helicopter's low-observable technology is similar to that of the F-117 Stealth Fighter the retired special operations aviator said. 'It really didn't look like a traditional Black Hawk,' he said. It had 'hard edges, sort of like an ... F-117, you know how they have those distinctive edges and angles — that's what they had on this one.' "

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit