The operation that killed Osama bin Laden on 2 May inadvertently revealed a modification kit that reduces the radar profile of a small number of Sikorsky MH-60Ks operated by US special operations forces, according to sources familiar with the equipment.
A reduced-signature tail rotor shroud, low-observable treatments and faceted stabilators are visible in news photos of the helicopter that was destroyed at the scene.
The images led to speculation about the possible existence of an all-new stealth helicopter. But in reality, they reveal one of several mission-specific kits developed internally by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, sources said.
The regiment is renowned for the flying skills of its helicopter pilots, but has also developed advanced engineering capabilities.