Home MILITARY MH-60 Stealth Black Hawk: The “Secret” of Operation Neptune Spear

MH-60 Stealth Black Hawk: The “Secret” of Operation Neptune Spear

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MH-60 Stealth Black Hawk: The
Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph M. Clark

Before you can read about the MH-60 Stealth Black Hawk, which was used in the US final operation against Bin Landen, you should first learn a bit more about the Black Hawk helicopters.

The UH-60 Black Hawk is a medium-sized assault helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky and currently It is in the service of many armies and serves as the main helicopter for the United States Army. 

Even before the Vietnam War was over, in 1971, the U.S. military put out a request for a tactical transport helicopter, putting a lot of weight on how well it could survive and how many troops it could carry.

A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter from Charlie Company, 227th, flies through the sunset Oct. 9, Baghdad, Iraq.

The helicopter was developed in 1972 in accordance with the U.S. Military’s demand for an advanced assault helicopter to replace the Bell 205 following the Vietnam War.

The first prototype (YUH-60) flew in October 17, 1974 and faced a Boeing prototype (YUH-61) in a competition. The Black Hawk (UH-60A) was elected as the winner and entered service in 1979.

PHOTO By U.S. Army , Public Domain

A short time later, different models of the helicopter, including ones that could land on water, started to get produced. The Black Hawk has a large capacity, allowing the carrying of up to 14 troops.

The Black Hawk allows the rapid loading and unloading of troops on the battlefield. In different configurations, the trunk can be modified easily to be used as a flying ambulance as well as for logistic or intelligence purposes.

A UH-60 Black Hawk departs from Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Diyala province, Iraq, July 21. UH-60 Black Hawks were used to transport U.S. Army troops home after serving in Iraq in support of Operating Iraqi Freedom.

The structure of the helicopter gives it a high survival rate on the battlefield as the main rotor blades are resistant to damage from bullets up to 23 mm in diameter.

The propulsion systems can still be used for up to 30 minutes after all the oil has been used up, has a dual turbine system, fuel tanks that can withstand a crash, and seats for the pilot and co-pilot that are bulletproof.

Since the late 1980s, an improved model, the UH-60L, had been created with new engines with the new UH-60M model entered service in 2008.

Over the years, many different models of the UH-60 helicopter have been manufactured, one of them is the MH-60 version which can fly at longer distances as it has higher fuel capacity.

What helicopter was deployed in Operation Neptune Spear?

The MH-60 Stealth Black Hawk

The MH-60 Stealth Black Hawk helicopter is an upgraded and secret helicopter model that participated in Operation Neptune Spear to eliminate Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in Pakistan.

It is thought that this special model has been changed so that it makes very little noise and has stealthy features, although its existence has not been officially acknowledged by the US.

The helicopter flew through Pakistani Airspace undetectable and reached the compound where Osama Bin Laden was living.

One of the two helicopters of this model that participated in the operation was damaged during the landing, and the SEAL’s blew it up so that it would not fall into the hands of foreigners.

Among the changes in question, which apparently add a few hundred kilograms to the weight of the helicopter, are the addition of special panels for aligning the angles at the edges and a special coating that reduces radar cross section (RCS).

Another change is the tail rotor structure, which was found by locals at the blast site and presents a unique design, implying a low noise signature and the uncommon design of the helicopter.

According to some media reports, Pakistan sold the remains of the helicopter to China and China is currently trying to build a copy of the stealth helicopter.

Sikorsky built a number of similar prototype stealth helicopters, known as the RAH-66 Comanche, for the US Army but due to rising costs, the program was canceled in 2004, before the helicopter could ever become operation.

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