Pakistan to return damaged stealth chopper to US: Kerry

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John Kerry
New York, May 17: Taking steps to ensure that its frontline stealth technology does not pass onto hostile hands, the US has drawn assurance from Pakistan to return the tail of one of the helicopters that crashed while landing Navy SEALs in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan has agreed to return the tail of the modified variant of the Sikrosky H -60 Blackhawk helicopter, Senator John Kerry, now on a visit to Pakistan, was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

The Navy SEALs 6 team disabled the stealth chopper during the raid after it developed faults in an apparent bid to ensure that frontline technology did not fall into non-US hands, US media reports said.

The secret choppers have been kept under wraps by Pentagon and their use for the key mission suggests that the American military planners did not want to take any chances in the high-risk raid.

The modified H-60 Blackhawks features extra blades on the tail rotor allowing it to fly significantly less noisily and also has low observable technology similar to that of F-117 stealth fighter which enabled it to evade Pakistan air force detection radars.

But now that one went down and photographs emerged of large sections being taken from the crash site under a tarp, former White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke said US officials may have reason to worry about where those parts end up.

"There are probably people in the Pentagon who are concerned that pieces of the helicopter may be, even now, on their way to China, because we know that China is trying to make stealth aircraft," he said.

The Chinese military is known to have a close relationship with the Pakistani military.

PTI

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