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AH-6C, MH-6 photos from AH6C-SIP-PICS ARE BACK!


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The current issue of Aviation Week & Space features an article on SOCOM and states that the first Block III MELB will be delivered in September this year.  One details it mentions is "newly machined airframes". Does that mean new-build airframes or existing airframes that will be torn down to the bare frame and rebuilt? Boeing recently acquired the jigs to construct fuselage sections instead of relying on MDHI for the supply of Model 500 fuselages so perhaps they will deliver new airframes as part of the upgrade.

 

LD.    

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I came across this photo yesterday. The aircraft configuration looks pretty clean so it could be a very early Task Force 158 photo. It looks like an MH-6B and might even be a photo from the training towards Honey Badger before that operation was called off. If it is a pre-Honey Badger photo, it is pretty rare! There is a seat in the rear compartment and it looks like they are refuelling from a jerry can so they might be out on a long-range desert navigation exercise. The caption to this photo on the OPSEC forum says it was taken in "Iraq" but I think it might be somewhere in the Nevada Test Range. There is no Omega box on the tailboom but it does look like there is a radio altimeter system fitted to the belly. A serial number is visible on the doghouse but isn't legible.

 

I believe the copyright to this pic is held by Greg Coker. He might have a book coming out soon detailing his time as a Little Bird pilot! 

 

1367762447_GregCoker.jpg.49782ba36fe4dbe499142c6c8118fe65.jpg

 

LD,

Edited by Loach Driver
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This poster is for sale from Heliops. I am not promoting it, but a portion of the purchase price does go to the Nightstalker Foundation. 

 

It does have some interesting types featured. It has the usual collection of Little Birds that we all know and love but among the drawings is one of the EH-6E. It isn't fitted with a FLIR turret but does have a SATCOM antenna on the tailboom.

 

Of equal interest are the drawings of the early Blackhawks and Chinooks, in particular the CH-47C+ and CH-47D+.  Those early Chinooks have received very little attention from us here. I need to break out Floyd's decal sheets to see if they are included. There is the odd photo here and there on the web of the early Hawks and Hooks but it'd be nice to see a few more.

 

https://www.heliopsmag.com/store/160th-SOAR-A-Special-Collectors-Edition-p227470874

 

LD.

Edited by Loach Driver
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Edit: In light of the comments below, it appears this LB might be in Iraq in 2003 or afterwards and is not a Gothic Serpent ship. Thanks to all the contributors below for adding their observations. LD.  

 

This appears to be yet another Gothic Serpent MH-6. "353" appears on the nose bubble frame so that indicates it is 88-25353. I don't know if this bird flew on October 3rd, but given that the rotors are spread and it's sitting out on the ramp, it is likely it flew on operations there at some point. One more GS Little Bird identified but no indication as to its call sign or its employment on the 3rd of October.

 

6lar9bj4bq931.jpg

 

LD.

Edited by Loach Driver
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1 hour ago, Loach Driver said:

This appears to be yet another Gothic Serpent MH-6. "353" appears on the nose bubble frame so that indicates it is 88-25353. I don't know if this bird flew on October 3rd, but given that the rotors are spread and it's sitting out on the ramp, it is likely it flew on operations there at some point. One more GS Little Bird identified but no indication as to its call sign or its employment on the 3rd of October.

 

6lar9bj4bq931.jpg

 

LD.

Nice pic.   Wonder what marking would have warranted being blacked out on the nose?

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If this is Somalia, it would have been after mid-October as the Bradleys in the background would have been from 24 ID and deployed in response to the 3-4 OCT battle.

Edited by HeavyArty
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I wonder did they deploy fresh 160th airframes too post-Oct 3/4? They'd have needed replacement MH-60s but not sure if they would have sent further Little Birds. 

 

LD.

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5 hours ago, Loach Driver said:

Was he able to say where this photo was taken? Iraq 1991 or somewhere else?

 

LD.

Doubt it was 1991, they are wearing DCU's, not the older Desert Storm vintage "chocolate chip" uniforms.   On the flip side, it looks like that MG is an M60, so that kinda rules out early OIF/OEF.   

 

That hangar in the background is massive.   Might be worth checking out images of the Mogadishu Airport to see if something that big was present.  

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My bet is Iraq post '03.  The gun behind the guy in a t-shirt looks like an M249 SAW to me, not an M60.  They are also in DCUs as already stated.  The Brads look like M2A2 ODS Brads w/ the rubber side stowage covers on the front as well.

Edited by HeavyArty
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That's not a SAW, it's definitely an M60E3 or E4.  Given it appears to have some sort of reflex optic (I can't tell if it's an EoTech or not), what looks like a KAC suppressor and PEQ-2 on the M4 behind the guy lying down, and the fact that the guys around the helo are all wearing more modern-styled boots rather than issued kit, I'm leaning towards post '03 Iraq as well.

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On 1/26/2020 at 9:54 AM, Killing Stone said:

I know no one who fired a stinger doesn't mean it didn't happen I know a lot of pilots wanted to fire one me included but I would say most likely we didn't fire one, the G model had provisions to fire a stinger (could carry two on a side) never even saw one mounted (stinger rails and/or stinger), the J model did not have provisions to fire a stinger (most likely cause we didn't need/use them), don't know what provisions are now. 

 

I flew the NOTAR I only remember a AH-6N I don't remember a MH-6N maybe same bird configured each way at different times to test each mission type, just because we were there didn't mean we got a chance to see everything going on we were all busy doing various things, pedals felt like the brakes on a car with air in the brake lines kind of mushy to me. I could see it as a good bird for police operations (lighter mission weights) but for various reasons just didn't work for us enough said.

 

https://theaviationist.com/2020/08/25/exclusive-here-are-the-photos-of-the-mh-6-notar-flown-and-tested-by-the-160th-soar-a-night-stalkers/

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15 minutes ago, Sarathi S. said:

https://www.reddit.com/r/MilitaryPorn/comments/cc0h5v/devgru_gold_sqdn_hangin_around_the_mh6m_little/

 

Per this post and the comments, the picture of 353 looks to be during OIF.  Would explain the M4, the new boots, and what looks like an EoTech on the M60.

Interesting that the SEALs were still using the 60 at that point.   I know they were partial to the cut down version but figured they would have moved on by OIF.   I’d still like to know what was censored on the nose of the helo.  

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In my totally unscientific, wholly subject to user discretion understanding of SMU belt-fed choices, SEALs stuck with the M60 until the Mk. 48 came around, while Delta used the HK21, of all things.  

 

The Mk. 48 wasn't officially fielded until around 2003, so it's not a surprise that guys were still rocking pigs.

 

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14 hours ago, Loach Driver said:

Was he able to say where this photo was taken? Iraq 1991 or somewhere else?

 

LD.

No, just that it wasn't Somalia. 

They had big shipping containers in around the front of the hangar to protect them from mortar attacks. No containers in that pic.

 

Tim

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4 hours ago, Sarathi S. said:

so it's not a surprise that guys were still rocking pigs.

 

Lol... the pig....   my back still hurts thinking about them.   The ones we had were beat to crap and should have been melted down for scrap metal years before.   Long live the 240. 

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Haha fair, but you've gotta remember the cut down M60s were significantly lighter than M240s, and by virtue of being in SOF armories probably had CONSIDERABLE work done to them to ensure they functioned as advertised.

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18 hours ago, Clinstone said:

 

Thanks for that link! Always good to see new photos of the H-6N. The article mentions two converted ships but so far I have only ever seen photos of -25356. 

 

Is that a USMC UH-1N in the background or USAF?

 

LD.

Edited by Loach Driver
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