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Pak may let China 'examine' wrecked US helicopter

Last updated on: May 11, 2011 10:55 IST

Pak may let China 'examine' wrecked US helicopter

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China may soon get its hands on the wreckage of the United States' secret stealth-modified helicopter, which was abandoned by its troops during a raid on Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbotabad, according to Pakistani officials.

The US has already asked the Pakistanis to return the helicopter wreckage, but one Pakistani official told ABC News that the Chinese were also 'very interested' in seeing the remains.

Another official said: 'We might let them [the Chinese] take a look.'

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According to the report, a US official said he did not know if the Pakistanis had offered a peek of the chopper's remains to China, but added that he would be "shocked" if the Chinese had not already been given access to the damaged aircraft.

The chopper, which aviation experts believe to be a highly classified modified version of a Blackhawk helicopter, clipped a wall during 'Operation Geronimo', the White House said.

The US Navy SEALs, who rode in on the bird, attempted to destroy it after abandoning it on the ground, but a significant portion of the tail section survived the explosion, the report said.



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In the days after the raid, the tail section and other pieces of debris -- including a mysterious cloth -- like covering that the local children found entertaining to play with- were photographed being hauled away from the crash site by tractor, it added.

According to the report, aviation experts said the unusual configuration of the rear rotor, the curious hub-cap like housing around it and the general shape of the bird are all clues the helicopter was highly modified to not only be quiet, but to have as small a radar signature as possible.

The helicopter's remains have apparently become another chip in a tense, high-stakes game of diplomacy between the US and Pakistan following the unilateral military raid of bin Laden''s compound inside Pakistan.



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According to former White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke, the potential technological advancements gleaned from the bird could be a "much appreciated gift" to the Chinese.

"Because Pakistan gets access to Chinese missile technology and other advanced systems, Islamabad is always looking for ways to give China something in return," Clarke said.

If the Chinese are allowed to see the wreckage, it may not be the first time the Chinese military was given an opportunity to benefit technologically from America''s misfortune, the report said.

In 1999, an American stealth F-117 Nighthawk bomber was shot down in Serbia, the wreckage of which was reportedly passed along to the Chinese.



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Source: ANI