Added by Gary Dunn on May 6, 2011
Aviation experts are speculating over the existence of an up until now unknown stealth helicopter following the release of a photo of the chopper destroyed in the attack that killed Osama bin Laden.
It is reported that the photo, and others, was taken by a Pakistani security official soon after the secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the al-Qaeda leader was hiding, was stormed by US special forces.
Only the tail section of the helicopter was left intact after the attack and aviation experts were unable to identify the chopper.
It has since been speculated that the attack was carried out by a “secretly developed stealth helicopter, probably a highly modified version of a H-60 Blackhawk,” according to the Aviation Week website.
Stealth choppers have been specially modified to appear inconspicuous and to emit a minimal level of noise, and Mr Sweetman, writing on the Aviation Week website, said the helicopter used in the attack included infra-red measures to keep it hidden.
“What we’re seeing here also explains why Pakistani defenses didn’t see the first wave (at least) coming in,” he added.
Mr Sweetman also argued that “The willingness to compromise this technology shows the importance of the mission in the eyes of US commanders.”
The body of bin Laden was buried at sea so to prevent the grave from becoming a shrine for extremists.