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Thursday, May 5, 2011

UH-60s in Raid Feature Classified Mods

By Rotor & Wing staff

An elite team of Navy SEALs and CIA operatives used two militarized Sikorsky UH-60s to storm a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan Sunday and kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But the exact variant has come into question following the release of photos Tuesday in the UK’s Daily Mail Online showing wreckage of the helicopter that experienced a “hard landing” and was thought destroyed by the U.S. personnel. Reports have surfaced that the military employed a top-secret “stealth-configuration” of a Black Hawk. The White House will not confirm or deny which type of helicopter or military unit was used, with initial accounts pointing to the MH-60 Sea Hawk. According to reports, the special ops team planned to rappel down from the two H-60s, but one experienced a mechanical failure and suffered a hard landing. Other sources have noted that two Boeing CH-47 Chinooks served in a backup role. Considering the nature of the mission, if true this would point to the involvement of the Army’s 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment, which flies both rotorcraft types (Black Hawks and Chinooks).
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