Everyone wants to know exactly how the take-out-bin-Laden-operation went down. Part of what we know for sure is that badass Navy SEALs did the shooting, and were carried to the site by another elite team – the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or SOAR (aka the “Night Stalkers”).
The Night Stalkers are called upon for missions that involve direct assault, reconnaissance, or the insertion/extraction of special forces. They predominantly fly four helicopters: The MH-47E/G Chinook, MH-60L DAP, A/MH-6 Little Bird, and the MH-60K/L/M Black Hawk.
The MH-60K Black Hawk is a beast. It carries 11 fully equipped soldiers (or up to 10,000kg), travels at 300km/h and, thanks to its 870-litre fuel tanks, can fly over 1200km without refuelling – and it’s able to do so in all weather conditions. As if all that wasn’t enough, the MH-60K is also capable of refuelling in the air.
Aside from its muscle, the Black Hawk has plenty of other amenities to make it an attractive fighting machine. With an ALQ-144 infra-red jammer, many missiles won’t be (at least as much of) a problem. And the Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) sensor helps guide the helicopter’s AGM-114 missiles to their targets. The main takeaway point is: In a fight, this thing would probably kick your arse. [National Journal, americanspecialops]
Monster Machines is all about the most exceptional machines in the world, from massive gadgets of destruction to tiny machines of precision, and everything in between.