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Stealth UH60(?) used in OBL raid...

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Stealth UH60(?) used in OBL raid...

Old 5th May 2011, 07:31
  #61 (permalink)  
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Have a look at a Blackhawk, and answer your own question
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Old 5th May 2011, 09:07
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Unless I am reading incorrect

Global Aircraft -- UH-60 Blackhawk

Crew: Two pilots, one flight engineer and one gunner (able to carry up to 11 fully equipped troops

On the way in is clear, not clear how 25 people (plus crew of downed chopper) squeezed into one for the way out.

Unfortunately i do not have the luck to physically access or see one of these so just checking with those that are lucky enough to do so.
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Old 5th May 2011, 09:33
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So in answer to Q1 Very No
In answer to Q2 Even more No
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Old 5th May 2011, 09:47
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Various reports tell of 40+ troops were involved.

25 (two helicopters) were the compound assault force. The rest presumably provided perimeter security. Local residents came in contact with some and were told back inside their homes.
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Old 5th May 2011, 09:47
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@ Tourist.

Thank you for clarification therefore there must have been more than 2 choppers on the ground as is being reported.
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Old 5th May 2011, 09:57
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O ye of little faith

In 2002, a Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk winched up 26 crew off the deck of the SS Sea Breeze some 230 nm east of Norfolk. With 30 POB (some 4,500 lbs of people and possessions) and a 60 knot headwinds, she made it back to terra firma with 800lbs of fuel still on board having burnt around 5,600 lbs.

If it’s numbers you want, then in 2009 a Turkish UH-60L rescued 44 persons, so that’s 48 POB.

Now I don’t know what really happened out there, but there can be no doubting the BlackHawks incredible pedigree when the going gets tough, just ask the Swedes.

And to think we turned down the chance of 56 UH-60M’s for a bloody SA.330E upgrade.
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:01
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Jayhawk is not a blackhawk, and that 60kt headwind will have been a godsend for the pickup. I'd like to see it do that still wind in Pakistan at 4000ft!

ps Have you got a link to the Turkish story? Where did they put them? Underslung? Seems unlikely at a first glance.....
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:31
  #68 (permalink)  
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For what it is worth (ok,ok!) initial early news coverage on UK TV showed a graphic of FOUR helis flying from a 'US base' to the west of the site, I would estimate around 80km? Wonder where that graphic came from?
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:35
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Calvin Woodward of AP writing in Army Times refers to some of the troops being extricated by one of two "standby" Chinooks.

Inside bin Laden’s lair with SEAL Team Six - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

"Inside Bin Laden’s lair with SEAL Team Six

By Calvin Woodward - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday May 4, 2011 21:15:24 EDT

WASHINGTON — So much could have gone wrong as SEAL Team Six swept over Pakistan’s dark landscape, dropped down ropes into a compound lined by wall after wall, exchanged gunfire and confronted “Geronimo” face to face. The vital things went right.
Just about every contingency the 25 commandos trained for came at them, rapidly, chaotically and dangerously, in their lunge for Osama bin Laden.

They had acted on the best intelligence the U.S. had ever had on bin Laden’s whereabouts since he slipped away in the mountains of Tora Bora just under a decade ago. But it was guesswork, too, with the commandos’ lives, a president’s reputation and a nation’s prestige riding on the outcome.

Was the man once seen pacing the compound’s courtyard really bin Laden, as it appeared to American eyes? That was just one unknown.
In short, the U.S. had no direct evidence that bin Laden would be there during the assault — or indeed had ever been there. Obama put the raiders in motion on the “pretty good chance” they would find their man, as CIA Director Leon Panetta, who was overseeing the operation back in Washington, put it.

Days after the attack, the administration has fleshed out a reconstruction that is probably more accurate than its initial, flawed telling. More information has been gleaned from the commandos themselves, now back at their home base outside Virginia Beach, Va. Some dust has settled.

But there remains no independent or competing account to the administration’s story as yet. The reconstruction comes largely from Panetta, White House spokesman Jay Carney and Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan. Some of their early details proved unreliable.

The only other direct witnesses are the compound’s occupants, now in Pakistani custody and, for now, out of reach to everyone else.
Information gaps exist in the official account. Among them: how many armed defenders the raiders encountered, who shot at whom, why none of the compound’s survivors was taken away by the Americans, and how many commandos stormed bin Laden’s room. It may never be known which commando, or two, killed bin Laden with shots to his head and chest.

The question of exactly what the unarmed bin Laden did to prompt the SEALs to kill rather than capture him has not been settled. However, officials speaking anonymously told The Associated Press that bin Laden appeared to be lunging for a weapon in a room that contained his trademark AK-47 assault rifle and side arms. Still, to some in government and intelligence circles, the operation bore the hallmarks of a pure kill mission despite statements from officials that bin Laden would have been taken alive if he had surrendered.

On one point, however, there has been no inconsistency, revision or challenge: The raiders of Team Six made good on their “pretty good chance” and got safely away in a bold mission accomplished.

Late last week, Panetta got the word from the White House that Obama was giving the green light for the raid. Other options, including the idea of “just blowing the place up” from a B-2 bomber, had been discarded, he said. The president’s order soon followed. Obama directed Panetta to proceed under Title 50, meaning this would be a covert operation.

Operational control fell to Adm. William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Operations Command, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Panetta said: “My instructions to Admiral McRaven were, ‘Admiral, go in and get bin Laden. And if he’s not there, get the hell out.’” Team Six was ready.
Its members had rehearsed the assault many times — two or three times a night in Afghanistan, Panetta said. The U.S. had a strong sense for at least several months that bin Laden might be at the compound, which Americans had been monitoring for months longer than that.
Intelligence officials watched so closely that they saw a family’s clothes on the third floor balcony and, at one point, a man resembling bin Laden out in the courtyard, Panetta said. They surmised bin Laden and his “hidden family” lived on the second and third floors, because his trusted courier — who had unwittingly drawn the U.S. to this unlikely hideout — occupied the first floor, with his brother in a guesthouse.
When two Black Hawk helicopters carrying the commandos left Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, stopping in Jalalabad before crossing over into Pakistan on their way to Abbottabad, the operation invited its first risk. Pakistani authorities, kept in the dark about the U.S. mission in their territory, might spot the choppers and engage them.

But the strong Pakistani military presence in Abbottabad, a garrison city with a military academy near the compound, provided a cover of sorts for the Americans. No one would be particularly surprised to hear choppers flying at night.

Reaching their target, the raiders suddenly had to improvise.
Their plan to place a rappelling team on the roof with a second team dropping into the courtyard was jettisoned when one of the helicopters, its blades clawing at hot, too-thin air, had to put down hard. Both choppers landed in the courtyard, behind one ring of walls with more to go.

That was just one of the split-second decisions the SEALs had to make in the lair of al-Qaida’s leader. Gunfire erupted, as the 25 commandos on the ground surely had expected and might even have started.
But the compound was also populated with more than two dozen children and women, according to the U.S. The raiders faced life-and-death calls — their own lives and those of the compound’s inhabitants — about who was lethal and who was just in their way. That line was not obvious. The SEALs went in with the assumption that some of those they encountered might be wearing explosive suicide vests.

Back at the White House and at a CIA command center, officials including Obama had monitored the operation to this point, apparently on TV monitors although the administration won’t say. Special forces are typically outfitted with video.

But when the strike force actually entered the compound, Panetta said, 20 or 25 minutes elapsed when “we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on.”

A violent melee was going on, key details still largely a mystery.
The raiders trying to get into the house breached three or four walls, Panetta said, not specifying whether they scaled them or blew holes.
On the first floor, the SEALs killed the courier and his brother, and the courier’s wife died in crossfire. They shot open some doors.
They then swept upstairs and burst into a third floor room, entering one at a time, said Carney. There all the U.S. intelligence, the surmising and the guesswork paid off.

Bin Laden’s wife charged at the SEALs, crying her husband’s name at one point. They shot her in the calf. Officials told AP that one SEAL grabbed a woman, fearing she might be wearing a suicide vest, and pulled her away from his team. Whether that was bin Laden’s wife has not been confirmed.

Also in the room were bin Laden and a son. The first bullet struck bin Laden in the chest. The second struck above his left eye, blowing away part of his skull. It is not confirmed whether the shots came from one commando, two or in a spray of gunfire.

The son was shot dead in that room, too. After the nerve-wracking, nearly half-hour gap in information from the scene, Washington got word that “Geronimo” was killed in action.

The raiders’ work was not done. They quickly swept the compound, retrieving possibly crucial records on the operations of al-Qaida.

They destroyed the chopper that gave them trouble. This renewed worries that Pakistani authorities would discover the mission prematurely. Neighbors certainly noticed. “We had to blow the helicopter,” Panetta said, “and that probably woke up a lot of people, including the Pakistanis.”

The non-combatants, their hands bound with plastic ties as the operation unfolded, were left for Pakistani officials to round up.

About 10 days before the raid, Obama was briefed on the plan. It included keeping two backup helicopters just outside Pakistani airspace in case something went wrong. But Obama felt that was risky. If the SEALs needed help, they couldn’t afford to wait for backup. He said the operation needed a plan in case the SEALs had to fight their way out. So two Chinooks were sent into Pakistani airspace, loaded with backup teams, just in case. One of those Chinooks landed in the compound after the Black Hawk became inoperable. The raiders scrambled aboard the remaining Black Hawk and a Chinook, bin Laden’s body with them, and flew to the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea. The ground operation had taken about 40 minutes.

Only after the Americans left the area was Pakistan informed of what had happened on its territory.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen called Pakistani Army chief Ashfaq Kayani to tell him that an operation he had not known about was complete, a U.S. official told AP. Panetta called his Pakistani counterpart shortly afterward.

Mere hours after the operation, before most of the world knew bin Laden was found and killed, his body was buried at sea.
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:53
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The Chinese take on the subject. How much of it is guess work?

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Old 5th May 2011, 11:49
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The Chinese take on the subject. How much of it is guess work?
None. They probably built it under licence!
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Old 5th May 2011, 11:55
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The Chinese take on the subject. How much of it is guess work?
None. They probably built it under licence!
And are now selling it back to the USA at a lower price.
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Old 5th May 2011, 11:58
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Bit fancy for a Yum Cha trolley though...
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:44
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Two Chinooks were standing by nearby....want to guess how many folks that birdie will pick up and fly away with at a piddling 4,000 feet MSL? The US Army has flown UH-60's with 26-29 FULLY Equipped Infantry troops aboard in places like Iraq and Afghanistan....know that for a fact as told by some who dunnit! Seating Capacity does not mean Carrying Capacity! In combat, seats usually are removed and cargo straps are used in lieu.....you can carry more folks that way.

Some of ya'll need to put down the Checklists, SOP's, CFS mentality....and accept reality exists and life begins outside the box you build for yourselves with all the artificial constraints you find so comfortable.
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:53
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post

Some of ya'll need to put down the Checklists, SOP's, CFS mentality....and accept reality exists and life begins outside the box you build for yourselves with all the artificial constraints you find so comfortable.

Spot on however for folk that have neither been or worked with SF folk the logic you use is hard to fathom.

Not been SF myself but in a previous role worked with some who were and the corners cut often made me wince but I got the "why" and could see the risk/reward balance as being very valid
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:01
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Some of ya'll need to put down the Checklists, SOP's, CFS mentality....and accept reality exists and life begins outside the box you build for yourselves with all the artificial constraints you find so comfortable.
I wouldn't be one bit surprised to find that the furthest 'outside of the box' machines and crews have gone is not Special Forces but Search and Rescue, civil and Mil. (Even the Saigon roof top 205's were 'civil' )
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:02
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Always a Sapper,

The tail appears to be outside the compound. Obviously they destroyed the main portion of the helo inside the compound. In the heat of the moment, hidden by the wall and in the dark, it is clear that is was overlooked.


Last edited by TEEEJ; 5th May 2011 at 13:15.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:23
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It is not a Blackhawk variant. That tailboom is off the new Huey II, it can hover to the moon, carry 55,000 rounds of 20mm, 7.62mm, 200 rockets, 80 hellfires, and 65 troops. Rearm and refuel in 6 mins as well.

On a serious side, there is some chat on the net that it may be an S92 variant?

The crew was rescued by Blue Thunder

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Old 5th May 2011, 15:03
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Looks like a good match for an H-60 rotor head?

Key Publishing Ltd Aviation Forums - View Single Post - Bin Laden Raid: Stealth Helicopter Mods?

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Old 5th May 2011, 17:05
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Its interesting that given the tail rotor is from a clearly unknown and unidentified helicopter, that there is not a sausage on the "flightglobal" website about it (unless I missed it).

Erecting screens around it kind of implies there is something classified about it. It would surely make more sense to just chuck a tarpaulin over it?
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