The wreckage of the U.S. military helicopter that crashed during Sunday's Osama bin Laden raid is now in Pakistani hands.
Aviation experts said a helicopter used in the raid appeared to be a stealthier, top secret and never-before-seen version of a routinely used special ops helicopter. The helicopter made a hard landing and was destroyed by the military team at the site, leaving behind wreckage for experts to analyze.
The London Daily Telegraph reported the commandos lobbed thermite grenades to destroy its main body. The rear section was, however, was left intact and carted away by the Pakistani military. The newspaper identified the helicopter as a modified Blackhawk.
"This is the first time that we've seen an operational stealth helicopter," noted Bill Sweetman, an aviation analyst.
"One of the things that really stands out is they have a little disk over the motors which is meant to baffle the sound and deny radar signature," explained Dr. Daniel Goure, the vice president of the Lexington Institute, a nonprofit public-policy research organization.
It's unclear what Pakistan plans to do with the pieces of the helicopter. But there are concerns that China's military will try to get its hands on the technology.
"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," said Peter Felstead, the editor of Jane's Defence Weekly. "This kind of technology would be extremely useful to them at this point."
Pakistan has a close relationship with China and the two counties are together developing the JF17 Thunder fighter jet.