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Stealth helicopter

Stealth helicopters are helicopters that incorporate stealth technology to decrease an enemy's detection ability. There are a diverse range of technologies used to achieve this decreased detectability; these have largely involved the reduction of several different signatures typically generated by a rotorcraft, including those of noise, radar, and infrared.

A stealthy RAH-66 Comanche (front) flying in formation with a non-stealthy AH-64 Apache (back)

In many ways, helicopters are less suitable for stealth technology than fixed-wing aircraft are; one such area is their rotor blades, which not only generate copious noise levels but can also give off a strong radar signature. However, blade designs have been developed that can significantly reduce noise, which has traditionally been a major issue for any operation involving the clandestine use of helicopters. Numerous helicopters have incorporated profiled fuselages to reduce their radar cross-section (RCS), constructing elements of the rotorcraft from of certain materials is another means of minimising radar visibility.

It is known that some nations have used such rotorcraft operationally, albeit in a limited scope, since the 1970s; a modified Hughes 500P was used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Vietnam War. Various helicopters have been furnished with infrared exhaust suppressors to reduce their vulnerability to infrared homing weapons. Attack helicopters, such as the HAL Light Combat Helicopter and Eurocopter Tiger, have incorporated numerous presence reduction technologies into their design to increase their survivability. The raid on the compound of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 utilized what appeared to be two Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks, heavily modified for quieter operations and employing stealth technology to be less visible to radar. Furthermore, various nations have stated their ambitions to introduce their own stealth helicopters.

Contents

An OH-6 Cayuse, similar to the Hughes 500P

Efforts to develop helicopters which possessed low observability characteristics commenced during the Cold War period. It was during this time that several different stealth helicopters would first emerge. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was one such party seeking such rotorcraft, during the early 1970s, a single modified Hughes 500P was produced for the agency; it had a reduced noise operation capability, leading to its nickname of "The Quiet One". It was reportedly used in at least one operation by the CIA, to deploy a wiretap during the Vietnam War.

Such helicopters were considered advantageous by several military planners. The United States Army sought to develop a stealth helicopter for aerial reconnaissance missions; between 1996 and 2004, work on the Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche entered the prototype stage with an eye towards production. However, the Comanche programme was ultimately cancelled, both due to rising costs and the considerable technical issues which had been experienced. However, other efforts continued. It is known that a number of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks have been outfitted with stealth technologies; these features reportedly include the use of specialized materials, along with numerous harsh angles and flat surfaces across the exterior fuselage, techniques that had previously been employed upon other stealth aircraft.

It is believed that one or multiple of the UH-60 Black Hawks used in the raid upon Osama bin Laden's compound on 1 May 2011 featured stealth technologies. Prior to the raid, the existence of such helicopters had been unknown. One of the UH-60s had crashed during the raid, leading to the remains being recovered and studied by various authorities, revealing the existence of this type to the public. According to F. Michael Maloof, a former Pentagon senior policy analyst, identical stealthy UH-60s have been supplied to Israel and used for intelligence gathering missions inside Iran. Maloof’s claim, however, is not supported by any evidence.

Various other nations have worked on stealth helicopter technology. During the 1980s, British company Westland Helicopters undertook a top secret research programme towards developing a stealth attack helicopter. Being based on the Westland Lynx, the proposed design was internally designated WG 47; its configuration included a faceted fuselage with internally stored weapons, twin canted tail rotors and the routing of engine, environmental and cooling system exhausts into a side-exiting infrared suppressor. It featured a tandem cockpit, the glazing of which was specifically angled outward to eliminate optical glint towards the horizon. The programme was concluded during 1987.

A French Army NHIndustries NH90

Westland's stealth helicopter research subsequently influenced its other programmes; the NHIndustries NH90 was one such beneficiary via the application of stealth profiling techniques into its fuselage design. The AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat, an advanced development of the Westland Lynx, also incorporated several stealth features, such as infrared exhaust suppressors; such devices have been installed on other platforms by the company, including the AgustaWestland Apache. Such measures augment the effectiveness of its defensive aids suite, which includes missile warning sensors and countermeasures dispensers.

Several production helicopters, including the HAL Light Combat Helicopter and Eurocopter Tiger, reportedly feature presence-reduction measures or "stealth". The use of advanced composite materials on the airframe has commonly resulted in reductions in an aircraft's radar cross-section (RCS). In the case of the Eurocopter Tiger, numerous measures were incorporated in its design so that it would possess minimal visual, radar, infra-red and acoustic signatures, which enhances the Tiger's battlefield survivability. HAL's Light Combat Helicopter is reported to feature a digital camouflage system.

During October 2018, leaked images of a future as-of-yet unnamed Kamov helicopter that possessed stealth features appeared online. The footage was displayed in a meeting chaired by Sergei Mikheyev, General Designer of the Kamov Design Bureau, in front of Russian officials. The stealth technology used to decrease the RCS of this helicopter and to avoid its detection includes infrared heat suppressing systems and various stealthy fuselage contour constructions, in addition to an internal weapons bays.[citation needed] Alternative design proposals have since emerged, one harnessing an unorthodox canard configuration that was allegedly capable of great manoeuvrability and a high top speed along with its stealth features.

During the 2010s, China has been working on developing stealth helicopters. The Harbin Z-19 attack helicopter, which was derived from the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, had reportedly integrated several stealth features to enhance its survivability. In 2013, rumours circulated that China had reverse engineered its own stealth helicopter using knowledge gained from the Osama bin Laden raid; China has issued strong denials that it has ever had access to the stealth helicopter's wreckage. During late 2015, reports emerged that a new Chinese attack helicopter with stealthy characteristics was being actively developed.

Citations

  1. Richardson 2001, p. 49.
  2. Nusca, Andrew. "Silent rotor blades could lead to true stealth helicopters." SmartPlanet, 2 March 2010. Retrieved: 6 May 2011.
  3. Axe, David "Aviation Geeks Scramble to ID bin Laden Raid’s Mystery Copter." Wired, 4 May 2011. Retrieved: 9 May 2011. Note: Axe quotes a military blog by Bill Tuttle, aviation technician and consultant.
  4. Geoghegan, Tom and Sarah Shenker. "Stealth helicopters used in Bin Laden raid." BBC News, 5 May 2011. Retrieved: 7 May 2011.
  5. Than, Ker. "Top Secret Copter Used in Osama bin Laden Raid, Experts Say." TechNewsDaily, 6 May 2011. Retrieved: 7 May 2011.
  6. Dartford 2004, p. 26.
  7. Singer 2009, p. 206.
  8. Chiles, James R. "Air America's Black Helicopter." Air & Space Smithsonian, February–March 2008, pp. 62–70. ISSN 0886-2257. Retrieved: 6 May 2011.
  9. Ross, Brian, Rhonda Schwartz, Lee Ferran and Avni Patel. "Top Secret Stealth Helicopter Program Revealed in Osama Bin Laden Raid: Experts." ABC World News. 4 May 2011.
  10. Naylor, Sean D. and Marcus Weisgerber. "Army mission helicopter was secret, stealth Black Hawk." Army Times, 4 May 2011. Retrieved: 7 May 2011.[dead link]
  11. Gunner, Jerry. "Just what was the mystery US stealth-copter?" Key Publishing, 5 May 2011. Archived 14 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Sweetman, Bill. "Bin Laden Raid Crash Helo Reveals Stealth". Aviation Week, 6 May 2011. Retrieved: 8 May 2011.[dead link]
  13. Trimble, Stephen. "Pakistan raid reveals US Army’s helicopter secret". Flight International, 6 May 2011. Retrieved: 8 May 2011.Archived 9 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. Cenciotti, David (29 November 2019). "The Story Of The "Famous" Renderings Of The Secretive Stealth Black Hawk revealed by the Osama Bin Laden raid". theaviationist.com.
  15. Graham, Jeremy (16 January 2018). "EXCLUSIVE – 1980s UK secret stealth attack helicopter project revealed". aerosociety.com.
  16. Drwiega, Andrew. "Is the AW159 Lynx Wildcat Wild Enough?." Archived 8 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Aviation Today, 1 April 2012.
  17. Hoyle, Craig. "Pictures: UK's Future Lynx programme moves into manufacturing phase" Archived 1 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Flight International, 9 October 2007.
  18. "Aero India | Event Coverage From Flightglobal | flightglobal.com". flightglobal.com. Retrieved7 September 2016.
  19. Moxon 1995, p. 103.
  20. "Tiger – Technology." Eurocopter, Retrieved: 17 February 2013. Archived 9 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  21. "Indian Light Combat Helicopter TD-2 successfully tested by HAL | - Defence Aviation". defenceaviation.com. 28 June 2011. Retrieved7 September 2016.
  22. Huber, Mark. "Russia Working On 378-knot Compound Helicopter". Aviation International News.
  23. Larson, Caleb (24 April 2020). "Could This Be Russia's New Stealth Helicopter?". nationalinterest.org.
  24. Roblin, Sebastien (3 August 2019). "China's Z-19 'Black Whirlwind' Helicopter is China's Comanche (But it Might Have a Fatal Flaw)". nationalinterest.org.
  25. Cenciotti, David (3 September 2013). "Mysterious Chinese Helicopter Emerges That Resembles The One Used In Bin Laden Raid". businessinsider.com.
  26. "China Denies Stealth Access". thediplomat.com. 18 August 2011.
  27. "China developing new attack helicopter with stealth abilities". Reuters. 11 September 2015.

Bibliography

  • Dartford, Mark. Helicopters (Military Hardware in Action). Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publishing Group, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8225-4707-5.
  • Richardson, Doug. Stealth Warplanes. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-7603-1051-9.
  • Singer, P. W. Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. New York: Penguin, 2009. ISBN 0-14-311684-3.

Stealth helicopter
Stealth helicopter Article Talk Language Watch Edit Stealth helicopters are helicopters that incorporate stealth technology to decrease an enemy s detection ability 1 There are a diverse range of technologies used to achieve this decreased detectability these have largely involved the reduction of several different signatures typically generated by a rotorcraft including those of noise radar and infrared A stealthy RAH 66 Comanche front flying in formation with a non stealthy AH 64 Apache back A German Eurocopter Tiger at Grafenwohr Army Airfield Indian HAL Light Combat Helicopter LCH In many ways helicopters are less suitable for stealth technology than fixed wing aircraft are one such area is their rotor blades which not only generate copious noise levels but can also give off a strong radar signature However blade designs have been developed that can significantly reduce noise 2 which has traditionally been a major issue for any operation involving the clandestine use of helicopters 3 Numerous helicopters have incorporated profiled fuselages to reduce their radar cross section RCS constructing elements of the rotorcraft from of certain materials is another means of minimising radar visibility It is known that some nations have used such rotorcraft operationally albeit in a limited scope since the 1970s a modified Hughes 500P was used by the Central Intelligence Agency CIA during the Vietnam War Various helicopters have been furnished with infrared exhaust suppressors to reduce their vulnerability to infrared homing weapons Attack helicopters such as the HAL Light Combat Helicopter and Eurocopter Tiger have incorporated numerous presence reduction technologies into their design to increase their survivability The raid on the compound of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 utilized what appeared to be two Sikorsky UH 60 Black Hawks heavily modified for quieter operations and employing stealth technology to be less visible to radar 4 5 Furthermore various nations have stated their ambitions to introduce their own stealth helicopters Contents 1 History 2 See also 3 References 3 1 Citations 3 2 Bibliography 4 External linksHistory Edit An OH 6 Cayuse similar to the Hughes 500P Efforts to develop helicopters which possessed low observability characteristics commenced during the Cold War period It was during this time that several different stealth helicopters would first emerge 6 7 The Central Intelligence Agency CIA was one such party seeking such rotorcraft during the early 1970s a single modified Hughes 500P was produced for the agency it had a reduced noise operation capability leading to its nickname of The Quiet One It was reportedly used in at least one operation by the CIA to deploy a wiretap during the Vietnam War 8 Such helicopters were considered advantageous by several military planners The United States Army sought to develop a stealth helicopter for aerial reconnaissance missions between 1996 and 2004 work on the Boeing Sikorsky RAH 66 Comanche entered the prototype stage with an eye towards production However the Comanche programme was ultimately cancelled both due to rising costs and the considerable technical issues which had been experienced 4 However other efforts continued It is known that a number of Sikorsky UH 60 Black Hawks have been outfitted with stealth technologies these features reportedly include the use of specialized materials along with numerous harsh angles and flat surfaces across the exterior fuselage techniques that had previously been employed upon other stealth aircraft 9 It is believed that one or multiple of the UH 60 Black Hawks used in the raid upon Osama bin Laden s compound on 1 May 2011 featured stealth technologies 9 10 11 Prior to the raid the existence of such helicopters had been unknown One of the UH 60s had crashed during the raid leading to the remains being recovered and studied by various authorities revealing the existence of this type to the public 12 13 According to F Michael Maloof a former Pentagon senior policy analyst identical stealthy UH 60s have been supplied to Israel and used for intelligence gathering missions inside Iran 14 Maloof s claim however is not supported by any evidence Various other nations have worked on stealth helicopter technology During the 1980s British company Westland Helicopters undertook a top secret research programme towards developing a stealth attack helicopter 15 Being based on the Westland Lynx the proposed design was internally designated WG 47 its configuration included a faceted fuselage with internally stored weapons twin canted tail rotors and the routing of engine environmental and cooling system exhausts into a side exiting infrared suppressor 15 It featured a tandem cockpit the glazing of which was specifically angled outward to eliminate optical glint towards the horizon The programme was concluded during 1987 15 A French Army NHIndustries NH90 Westland s stealth helicopter research subsequently influenced its other programmes the NHIndustries NH90 was one such beneficiary via the application of stealth profiling techniques into its fuselage design 15 The AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat an advanced development of the Westland Lynx also incorporated several stealth features such as infrared exhaust suppressors such devices have been installed on other platforms by the company including the AgustaWestland Apache 16 17 Such measures augment the effectiveness of its defensive aids suite which includes missile warning sensors and countermeasures dispensers 17 Several production helicopters including the HAL Light Combat Helicopter and Eurocopter Tiger reportedly feature presence reduction measures or stealth The use of advanced composite materials on the airframe has commonly resulted in reductions in an aircraft s radar cross section RCS 18 In the case of the Eurocopter Tiger numerous measures were incorporated in its design so that it would possess minimal visual radar infra red and acoustic signatures which enhances the Tiger s battlefield survivability 19 20 HAL s Light Combat Helicopter is reported to feature a digital camouflage system 21 During October 2018 leaked images of a future as of yet unnamed Kamov helicopter that possessed stealth features appeared online 22 The footage was displayed in a meeting chaired by Sergei Mikheyev General Designer of the Kamov Design Bureau in front of Russian officials The stealth technology used to decrease the RCS of this helicopter and to avoid its detection includes infrared heat suppressing systems and various stealthy fuselage contour constructions in addition to an internal weapons bays citation needed Alternative design proposals have since emerged one harnessing an unorthodox canard configuration that was allegedly capable of great manoeuvrability and a high top speed along with its stealth features 23 During the 2010s China has been working on developing stealth helicopters The Harbin Z 19 attack helicopter which was derived from the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin had reportedly integrated several stealth features to enhance its survivability 24 In 2013 rumours circulated that China had reverse engineered its own stealth helicopter using knowledge gained from the Osama bin Laden raid 25 China has issued strong denials that it has ever had access to the stealth helicopter s wreckage 26 During late 2015 reports emerged that a new Chinese attack helicopter with stealthy characteristics was being actively developed 27 See also EditBlack helicopter Unmanned aerial vehicleReferences EditCitations Edit Richardson 2001 p 49 Nusca Andrew Silent rotor blades could lead to true stealth helicopters SmartPlanet 2 March 2010 Retrieved 6 May 2011 Axe David Aviation Geeks Scramble to ID bin Laden Raid s Mystery Copter Wired 4 May 2011 Retrieved 9 May 2011 Note Axe quotes a military blog by Bill Tuttle aviation technician and consultant a b Geoghegan Tom and Sarah Shenker Stealth helicopters used in Bin Laden raid BBC News 5 May 2011 Retrieved 7 May 2011 Than Ker Top Secret Copter Used in Osama bin Laden Raid Experts Say TechNewsDaily 6 May 2011 Retrieved 7 May 2011 Dartford 2004 p 26 Singer 2009 p 206 Chiles James R Air America s Black Helicopter Air amp Space Smithsonian February March 2008 pp 62 70 ISSN 0886 2257 Retrieved 6 May 2011 a b Ross Brian Rhonda Schwartz Lee Ferran and Avni Patel Top Secret Stealth Helicopter Program Revealed in Osama Bin Laden Raid Experts ABC World News 4 May 2011 Naylor Sean D and Marcus Weisgerber Army mission helicopter was secret stealth Black Hawk Army Times 4 May 2011 Retrieved 7 May 2011 dead link Gunner Jerry Just what was the mystery US stealth copter Key Publishing 5 May 2011 Archived 14 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Sweetman Bill Bin Laden Raid Crash Helo Reveals Stealth Aviation Week 6 May 2011 Retrieved 8 May 2011 dead link Trimble Stephen Pakistan raid reveals US Army s helicopter secret Flight International 6 May 2011 Retrieved 8 May 2011 Archived 9 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Cenciotti David 29 November 2019 The Story Of The Famous Renderings Of The Secretive Stealth Black Hawk revealed by the Osama Bin Laden raid theaviationist com a b c d Graham Jeremy 16 January 2018 EXCLUSIVE 1980s UK secret stealth attack helicopter project revealed aerosociety com Drwiega Andrew Is the AW159 Lynx Wildcat Wild Enough Archived 8 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Aviation Today 1 April 2012 a b Hoyle Craig Pictures UK s Future Lynx programme moves into manufacturing phase Archived 1 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine Flight International 9 October 2007 Aero India Event Coverage From Flightglobal flightglobal com flightglobal com Retrieved 7 September 2016 Moxon 1995 p 103 Tiger Technology Eurocopter Retrieved 17 February 2013 Archived 9 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine Indian Light Combat Helicopter TD 2 successfully tested by HAL Defence Aviation defenceaviation com 28 June 2011 Retrieved 7 September 2016 Huber Mark Russia Working On 378 knot Compound Helicopter Aviation International News Larson Caleb 24 April 2020 Could This Be Russia s New Stealth Helicopter nationalinterest org Roblin Sebastien 3 August 2019 China s Z 19 Black Whirlwind Helicopter is China s Comanche But it Might Have a Fatal Flaw nationalinterest org Cenciotti David 3 September 2013 Mysterious Chinese Helicopter Emerges That Resembles The One Used In Bin Laden Raid businessinsider com China Denies Stealth Access thediplomat com 18 August 2011 China developing new attack helicopter with stealth abilities Reuters 11 September 2015 Bibliography Edit Dartford Mark Helicopters Military Hardware in Action Minneapolis MN Lerner Publishing Group 2004 ISBN 978 0 8225 4707 5 Richardson Doug Stealth Warplanes Minneapolis MN Zenith Press 2001 ISBN 978 0 7603 1051 9 Singer P W Wired for War The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century New York Penguin 2009 ISBN 0 14 311684 3 External links EditStealth helicopter design speculation via theaviationist com Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Stealth helicopter amp oldid 1058627474, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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