Home » Around the Globe » What About The MH-47s Used In the Bin Laden Raid?

What About The MH-47s Used In the Bin Laden Raid?

This video seems like run of the mill CNN reporting on the possibility that Pakistan may give the remnants of the stealth helicopter used in the raid to kill Osama bin Laden last week to China. I’m pretty sure we all thought that the second we saw photos of the tail lying inside Pakistan. However, the very end of the report offers up a very interesting snip of info on Pakistan’s initial response to the incident. Go to 2:45 on the tape and you’ll see the reporter mention how Pakistani officials say they originally thought that one of their own choppers had crashed. He goes on to make it sound as though the crash of the helo (or more likely the sound of the SEALs blowing it up) is what gave the Pakistani military its first hint that something was wrong in Abbottabad that night.

If true, this means that the Pakistani military likely didn’t scramble until the very end of the 40-minute raid. It also means that local units in Abbottabad responded to what they thought was a PAF helicopter crash not a combat op. By the time the Pakistanis figured out what had happened at bin Laden’s compound the U.S. was long gone. This seems to reinforce the notion that Pakistani officials had no clue the SEALs were coming that night and that they may not have tracked any of their aircraft on radar after they left.

This leaves the following questions:

The first two helicopters into Abbottabad were stealth-modified MH-60s carrying 24 Navy SEALS; what about the two MH-47s that followed them in carrying dozens of support troops, how did those two birds penetrate Pakistani airspace undetected? Were Pakistan’s radars jammed while the MH-47s flew extremely at low altitude or were the Chinooks modified to be stealthy as well? I mean, why use two stealth helicopters (and maybe a stealth drone) when the other half of your assault fleet is unstealthy?

Or maybe senior Pakistani air force officials ordered to simply look the other way if the Chinooks appeared on radar.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Morty May 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

I think we might actually be worried about this


Kevin May 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

So we give them over 2 billion a year and they send our shit to China? One more reason for us to cut the umbilical cord.


Jacob May 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Even if Pakistan weren't sending stuff to China, there's pieces of helicopter scattered all over….there's' nothing stopping a bunch of civilians from just picking them up and then selling them when "someone" suddenly makes them an offer.


blight May 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Maybe that's why we hate Serbia so much.


China Man May 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

What if that particular wreckage was left there, on the guise that it blew up, but actually there are 2 very deadly SEAL Team 6 guys in there hiding, and once they get to China they'll activate, engage and carry-out another mission in China.

SEAL Team 6 is known for this type of operation.


LCpl Ramirez May 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

kinda like the Insideman, by Spike Lee?


Aliens May 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Did you guys know that the Nazis were the source of all this Alien technology? I saw it on History channel. Apparently, they got it from both the Aliens and from ancient Indian (from India) text.


@ohfuckinreally May 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I didn't realize aliens would need to rely on a cheap coating of stealth paint for their UFOs.


Randall Combs May 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Yeah, they'll most likely give the remains to Chinese officials, or at the very least allow an observation of the wreckage. However as regrettable as losing a stealth helicopter is I highly doubt foreign government haven't already assumed we have this sort of capability. Know matter how limited this capability was to begin with. My point is this was more a secret to civilians then to aviation industry professionals and intel professionals as well. IMHO.


Die Glocke May 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8e6wUfueBo (Die Glocke, "the Bell")

Nazi Bell, UFO, Alien technology.


ew-3 May 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

The fact it took the Pakis that long to respond tends to diminish the likelihood that they were aware of Bin Laden being at that compound.
Would tend to think that if they had such a high profile "guest" that they would at least have someone, even a cop. in the neighborhood to keep an eye on things.


Victor Ray May 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I find it hard to believe that a paranoid terrorist mastermind decides to settle in Pakistan surrounded by US forces, buys a mansion with minimal security and decides that he is safe. My theory is that he has picked a successor who is 5x smarter, charismatic, idealistic and richer. He decided that it was time to retire by having US forces kill him and making them believe that he is dead. The man is pulling a Keyser Soze on the whole world. The real, new mastermind is out there tucked away and safe from prying eyes. He will be a young man, rich, have a high education and more paranoid than Osama ever was.


Sjff May 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

He was the former Dread Pirate Osama.


anon May 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Time to pass weapons to some Hindu Kashmiri separatists to learn these punks a lesson. The great game never ends! Or drop some information to separatists in NWFP or Swat and turn the foes of Pakistan and America into temporary allies, or at least passive-aggressive proxies for American displeasure.

We should've dropped a couple of SDBs on the tail. At least they didn't get the full helicopter. Or drop a MOAB, then jokingly suggest that OBL had stockpiled explosives in the complex.


Jeff May 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm

The quality of the posts here are going down.

Abbottabad is about 70 miles from the Afghanistan boarder. A MH47's top speed is about 200mph. The battle was 40 minutes; given that the crash occured at the start of the battle these helicopters only needed 20 minutes to get there. Our well prepared Air Force took 26 minutes to scramble jets on 9/11… even if we assume the Pakistani air force were as good… the nearest Pakistani airbase was 120 miles away… they would have been flying either F-7s, Mirage 5s, or JF-17s…. with the JF-17s, being the fastest at 750 mph top speed it would have taken them 10 minutes to reach Abbottabad or 16 minutes to intercept the fleeing helicopters. That means the American forces had a minimum of 2 minutes of time to spare… more if we assume our pilots flew low to minimize detection and more if we assume the Pakistani are slower to scramble.


Jeff May 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

This does assume the MH47's left at the 20 minute mark or later and no detection preceeded the MH47's entry into Pakistan. Needless to say they didn't need to be stealthy.


blight May 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm

The fact that Pakistans air defense infrastructure is pointed at India might also play a role in delays. Or plain misinformation, such as telling Pakistan they are raiding place X and using the MH47s to go there, then when called for the Chinooks break off and do pickup before Pakistan can react. There is a lot that has remained unsaid about the operational planning that went into this.

Now if we say pretty please can we have helicopter pieces back? Granted China will probably still get a few shards regardless of what we say…


Jeff May 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

My point though, is that the Chinooks didn't need to be stealthy to be sucessful, even with Pakistan tacking a strong military posture against our encroachment.


blight May 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Probably true, but is the Chinook's top speed that of an aircraft carrying as much fuel and troops as possible?

If this operation was a CIA one, the best means of delaying Pakistan would have been to use aerial drones to act as decoys, pulling available interceptors off the line while helicopters make the initial insertion. Or mimic Predators (or shadow them) such that Pakistani radar operators think they are Predators.

I suspect Obama wanted to ensure a clean kill without alerting Pakistan; and thus was willing to risk exposure of stealth helicopters. At the same time, he promulgated a ROE that put American troops ahead of preserving relations with the Pakistanis.

In the ideal world the stealth helicopters would insert, terminate OBL and make off with HVTs (suggesting these helicopters might be more powerful than they appear?). What happened forced them to sub in a Chinook, as the Chinooks did not fly in with the initial force.

jamesb May 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Ok….First of all….I'm gonna say one side of the Pak military didn't know anything…
I'm gonna say SOMEONE in their Mil DID know…Probably on high….
I 'm gonna repeat…We won't know for sure HOW many US assets where used….
The people above and author talk about jamming….Helo's don't do that sort of stuff….
F-16's and F-18's do…..
Now we know somewhere in this thing there had to be a AWACS or a Hawkeye right?
Or maybe even a J-Stars?

You see?
The footprint could get bigger by the minute…..


Praetorian May 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I think the author was referring to the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel. They have mentioned it on this thread before as the possible jamming culprit.


Juststop May 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

lol what is JSTAR going to do? Beam the compound with its laser?


Lance May 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm

From the looks of this theirs too little left of the new MH-60 left for China to get any real technology from more of a political move by embattled Pakistani politicians form some help from anywhere.


Cog May 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Of course the Pak Air defense was jammed or evaded, or spoofed (false radar readings). We know where all their EM assets are, and how to bypass it. Getting in is easy, getting out on the other hand is where problems could and almost did arise.

No doubt any tech recovered will be sent to China. China is Pak's real ally and they pay more than we do.


Kev S May 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm


Nobody seems to remember they can use (and used) MV-22 Ospreys.
The MH-47s may have been in reserve at the FRAP with the fuel bladders for the hop over the hump to Bagram.
Rumours are that a dam site was used on or near the Pakistan Border.
Used both ways for a "Splash & Dash".
The FA-18`s I feel were ready to be used should anything else fail or any trouble kicks off.
Maybe growlers were used to jam because there were reports of TV`s / Cell phones being jammed just prior to the mission.
This could have been done by one of the MV-22`s equipped with the kit … it aint that big.
The tales of HC-130`s being used as refullers I doubt is true as that would give the game away.
The raid used 2 X MH-XX and 3 or 4 MV-22, (IMHO)
The MH-XX dropped the spooks and snatch team off and when the firing started the heavies came in bringing the teams to secure the area,
I think data - Link comms were run either from a P3 linked up to the new UAV (aka Beast of Bagram).
There would have been no point in deploying two MH-XX to do a stealth mission and then have 2-4 MH60`s making their presence known to all behind them.

Anyway … my 2p worth


tomatojuice May 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Your forgetting the RQ-170, Growlers are too loud to not be noticed by Pak, just my .02.


Kev S May 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm


I meant "2-4 MH47`s making their presence known to all behind them"
Sorry for the confusion


Kev S May 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm

They (Growlers / Hornets) stayed on the far side of bandit territory as has been posted. I dont think their jamming toys would reach that far in. So the RQ-170 or pimped kit on the Ospreys are more likely



jamesb May 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

From Aviation Week…more on Sikorsky 'Scunk Works'…. http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/05/12/18.xml&headline=Indications%20Of%20Hawk%20Works%20In%” rel=”nofollow”>.http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/05/12/18.xml&headline=Indications%20Of%20Hawk%20Works%20In%


jamesb May 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm

He, he, he…I know the footprint was larger than reported….


@ohfuckinreally May 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Finders keepers…


ikm May 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm

MH-47 probably parked nearby during the operation


LIberal Idiot May 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

I think the whole thing is a fake and Bush is still in control.


Another Kook Liberal May 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Bush was really a Reptilian shape shifter. He is now taking the form of the one we call "Barak Obama". He will use his shape shifting abilities to trick the voting public and maintain power until the world ends in 2012.


Rob May 14, 2011 at 3:04 am

Free masons control it all. If any presidents attempt to disobey, clones are used.

No helos were used in this raid at all. It was the luminati in their UFO's taken from Area 52.

On a serious note. I believe that the raid was video'd and there was a 2- way communication between Obama and Osama.
Obama " Did you kill Americans"
Osama "But of course, your people been trying to kill me for ages"
Obama "Agent. Terminate target "


Rajarata May 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Great raid…this one to make up for Desert one failure ! Great equipment & coordination small & tight op…makes for success ! I think this raid raid will be copied by Chinese & Russian now ! I really worry abt the tail rotor falling into PLA hands since they’ll pay millions to Pakistan for it ! But, still USA Says ” Dont Tread On Me ” My kudos to the brass for having the guts to op it ! I bet Iranians must be crapping right now ! ha ha Ha !


Rob May 14, 2011 at 2:50 am

America is missing its chance at ending this war now. Obama needs to start by ending many of the futile sanctions all over globe…

Make a public announcement of primary victories in ending Sadaam and binladen leadership. Mission accomplished. Withdrawal all non-mobile forces.

Offer apologies for our mistakes. Of recent & in past. Many of which were decisions by our former governments. Noone can disprove it. Offer to leave the respected land of the muslims as our primary goals have been completed.

We got majority of those we claim to were responsible for 9/11 & gave final justice for Kuwait. It's time to end this smart. The American way.

With China AND Russia on our side. .. North Korea folds. Iran folds. AQ becomes outnumbered billion to 1. Even without them, bringing our valued troops home would be smart. Sadr & Taliban lose their primary reasons to fight.

It allows us to regroup & watch what happens. If outraged dictators appear again. We can go back. Smarter,stealthier & more mobile.


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