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Osama raid stealth chopper secrets may reach China: Report

The stealth helicopter is probably a modified Blackhawk.

Updated: May 06, 2011, 15:08 PM IST

London: There are concerns that the secrets of the stealth helicopter used by US commandos to storm al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden`s Pakistan hideout may reach China, a media report said here.

A newspaper reported that the US Navy SEALs had used a previously unseen stealth helicopter for the daring mission in Pakistan`s Abbottabad city so that they could evade Pakistani radar and not be heard while reaching the al Qaeda leader`s sprawling mansion.

After a snag developed in the chopper, the commandos lobbed thermite grenades to destroy its main body. The rear section was, however, left intact and it was carted away by the Pakistani military.

The media report said it is feared that if Pakistan refuses a US request to return the tail section, the issue could turn into a diplomatic rift.

The stealth helicopter is probably a modified Blackhawk.

The chopper`s stealth capabilities become clear from the fact that Osama`s neighbours didn`t hear the helicopters till they were directly overhead.

The shape and design of the chopper is similar to that of the RAH 66 Comanche helicopter, believe experts.

It is possible that the technology was adapted and placed into a Blackhawk. The modified tail boom would have lessened noise and appears to be covered in a hi-tech material used on stealth fighters.

"The Americans will be extremely keen to get the wreckage back but there will also be real concerns about the technology finding its way to China," Peter Felstead, the editor of Jane`s Defence Weekly, was quoted as saying.

"This kind of technology would be extremely useful to them at this point."

Pakistan is working with China on the JF17 Thunder fighter project.

IANS