Pakistan: I guess we’ll have to show China the wreckage of your secret stealth helicopter
posted at 8:52 pm on May 10, 2011 by Allahpundit
You know what the answer to this is? Have Mike Mullen very loudly and formally invite the head of India’s air force to tour an American air base and check out all the latest projects we’re working on. Maybe, as a bonus, let him sneak a peek at that insanely awesome shipborne laser that the Navy’s perfecting.
Why not? India’s the ultimate bulwark against these fascist and jihadist savages. Let’s make sure they’re prepared. And given their own growing knowledge base in weapons advances, it’d be useful to have a reciprocal relationship with them. It’s time to make this a proper alliance.
The U.S. has already asked the Pakistanis for the helicopter wreckage back, but one Pakistani official told ABC News the Chinese were also “very interested” in seeing the remains. Another official said, “We might let them [the Chinese] take a look.”
A U.S. official said he did not know if the Pakistanis had offered a peak to the Chinese, but said he would be “shocked” if the Chinese hadn’t already been given access to the damaged aircraft…
The potential technological advancements gleaned from the bird could be a “much appreciated gift” to the Chinese, according to former White House counterterrorism advisor and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke…
The Chinese and Pakistani governments are known to have a close relationship. Last month Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif concluded a trip to Beijing, afterwards telling Pakistan’s local press that China was Pakistan’s “best friend.”
Yes, please, let China know the singular joy that comes with being Pakistan’s “best friend.” ABC correctly points out that China is rumored to have jumpstarted its stealth program with pieces of a U.S. bomber that crashed in the Balkans in the late 90s; if that’s so, then that Point A might have led directly to this Point B. And yet, the question lingers: Is a stealth helicopter really all that difficult to figure out? Some experts say no:
[Lexington Institute head Loren Thompson] said that the technology and design features to enable an aircraft to reduce noise and evade radar are not shrouded in secrecy.
Countries that examine the wreckage “will not learn much from the remnants of the exploded helicopter that were not already readily available in open literature,” Thompson told AFP…
The helicopter appears to have at least five blades in its tail rotor, instead of the four associated with the Blackhawk, which analysts said could possibly allow for a slower rotor speed to reduce noise.
A cover on the rotor, akin to a hubcap, can also be seen as well as harder edges in the design, similar to the lines on stealth fighter planes such as the F-117. The cover on the rotor and the design lines would presumably be aimed at circumventing radar, according to analysts.
It’s not completely stealth, either. No doubt it’s radar-proof and quieter than a normal military helicopter in its approach, but remember that guy in Abbottabad who inadvertently tweeted the Bin Laden raid as it happened? His very first tweet was “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 AM.” I don’t know how far he was from the compound, but if it was loud enough for him to hear, the Pakistani military must have heard it too. That’s why the raid was only 40 minutes; they would have showed up sooner or later.
As further reading, I recommend this short piece from Victor Davis Hanson about our very good friends in Islamabad. He’s tired of paying them billions in protection money not to do something crazy involving nukes, mainly because they seem to be getting crazier regardless. Exit quotation: “We’ve tried aid, no aid, sanctions, full diplomatic relations, estrangement,etc. At this point, all have failed, and failure without $3 billion a year is better than failure costing $3 billion a year.”