Stealth helicopters are helicopters that incorporate stealth technology to avoid detection. Helicopters are in many ways less suitable for stealth technology than airplanes are, because of the noise generated by their rotor blades, which also give off a strong radar signature. In recent years, designs for blades have emerged that can significantly reduce noise, which is a major issue for clandestine use of helicopters. A 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.
- A modified Hughes 500P (1972), nicknamed "The Quiet One" had reduced noise operation capability and was used once by the CIA during the Vietnam War to deploy a wiretap.
- The Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche (1996–2004) was a stealth helicopter project; the type was intended to be used for reconnaissance missions by the US Army, however the development project was cancelled during the prototype stage due to rising costs and considerable technical issues experienced.
- One or multiple of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks used in the raid upon Osama bin Laden's compound on 1 May 2011 are believed to have featured stealth technologies. These features are said to include specialized materials, and the use of harsh angles and flat surfaces across the exterior fuselage, techniques previously employed upon other stealth aircraft.
- In October 2018, leaked images of a future stealthy unnamed Kamov helicopter have 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. This new stealth helicopter is expected to reach speeds of more than 700 km/h (435 mph). Testing or delivery dates are still unknown.
- Several helicopters, such as the HAL Light Combat Helicopter and Eurocopter Tiger, are said to 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, measures were taken to produce minimal visual, radar, infra-red and acoustic signatures to improve battlefield survivability. HAL's Light Combat Helicopter is reported to feature a digital camouflage system.
- Richardson 2001, p. 49.
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- Dartford 2004, p. 26.
- Singer 2009, p. 206.
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- Sweetman, Bill. "Bin Laden Raid Crash Helo Reveals Stealth". Aviation Week, 6 May 2011. Retrieved: 8 May 2011.[dead link]
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- Moxon 1995, p. 103.
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- "Indian Light Combat Helicopter TD-2 successfully tested by HAL | - Defence Aviation". defenceaviation.com. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
- 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.