Stealth: A Modified Boeing-Sikorsky UH-60 Comanche?

Stealth: A Modified Boeing-Sikorsky UH-60 Comanche?
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The willingness to act quickly without associating the Pakistani government, led US services to use all possible means to penetrate discretely the Pakistani airspace to get Bin Laden. One of them seems to be a never known model of a stealth helicopter which tail section remained on site, the main body having been destroyed in situ by US special forces. Photo Credit: Rear Rota of a Stealth Helicopter By Podknox / FlickR

Rear Rota of a Stealth Helicopter?Jane’s Aviation website suggests that Images of the wreckage of the helicopter, and specifically, tail rotor blades and hub, point respectively to possible reduced radar and acoustic signature through the use of composite material and rounded shapes. The crashed helicopter’s tail rotor is similar to one the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche. Acoustic stealth was one of the key design criteria of the Comanche program. Bill Sweetman on Aviation Week’s Ares blog adds that the tail has also a silver-loaded infra-red suppression finish similar to that seen on some Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.

“Less than a month ago Lieutenant General Bill Phillips, principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the US Army – Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, told the Senate that the army is currently leveraging technologies from canceled programs to incorporate into future projects. “Most importantly, we harvested technology from Comanche,” he said.”

Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche

Photo Credit: Aircraft_Helicopter_RAH-66_Comanche By mashleymorgan / FlickR

“The Comanche helicopter design allows a cruise speed of  165 knots. The futuristic propulsion and navigation design also allows the helicopter to execute snap turns in 4.5 seconds and fly sideways or backwards at 70 mph. With a tremendous power output of 1,432 horsepower from each of it’s turboshafts, the Comanche climbs at a rate of 1,418 feet per minute.”

Watch the Video from ABC: Navy SEALs Used Secret Stealth Helicopter in OBL Raid. Note the possible acoustic signature of the stealth helicopter. Locals in Abbottabad reported that they didn’t hear the helicopters coming.

The US Navy’s SEAL Team 6 involved in the mission, destroyed the helicopter after experiencing a undisclosed technical malfunction. The U.S. has reportedly asked Pakistan to return the remaining pieces so that the technology won’t be sold to any other nations or enemies. Interestingly, some sources report that before the attacks, electricity and phones were shutdown in Abbottabad.

Source: http://www.janes.com/products/janes/defence-security-report.aspx?ID=1065929502&channel=defence

Wikipedia Data from Comanche RAH-66, International Directory of Military Aircraft

Comanche RAH-66 General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 46.85 ft (14.28 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 39.04 ft (11.90 m)
  • Height: 11.06 ft (3.37 m)
  • Disc area: 1,197 ft² (111 m²)
  • Empty weight: 8,690 lb (3,942 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 10,597 lb (4,806 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 17,175 lb (7,790 kg)
  • Powerplant:LHTEC T800 turboshaft, 1,432 hp (1,068 kW) each
  • Fuselage length: 43.31 ft (13.20 m)
  • Rotor systems: 5 blades on main rotor

Performance

Armament

  • 1× 20 mm XM301 three-barrel cannon mounted in a Turreted Gun System (500 round capacity)
  • Internal bays: 6 Hellfires or 6 Stingers (ATAS) or 24 Hydra 70 2.75 in (70 mm) air-to-ground rockets
  • Optional stub wings: 8 Hellfire, 16 Stinger or 56 x Hydra 70 air-to-ground rockets

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commanche_helicopter#Specifications_.28RAH-66A.29