(ISLAMABAD) -- In what may be the latest evidence of the breakdown in its relationship with the U.S., Pakistan reportedly gave China access to a secret stealth American helicopter that went down during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.
The Financial Times reports that Pakistani intelligence gave the Chinese military access to the modified U.S. Black Hawk helicopter that crashed into the wall of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad during the mission. Navy SEALs destroyed part of it after it went down but the tail section was left intact.
According to the newspaper, the Chinese -- who supply weapons and equipment to Pakistan's military -- were allowed to survey and photograph the wreckage, even though the U.S. had asked Pakistan to secure it.
Eventually, a visit from Sen. John Kerry convinced Pakistan to return what was left of the damaged craft -- but that was after the Chinese studied it.
Pictures of the secret helicopter have appeared online and it's not immediately clear how useful to the Chinese their own survey would be; that being said, the Chinese military has become adept at reverse-engineering military hardware from other countries, including the U.S.
One critical element of the chopper is its radar-absorbing "skin;" the Pakistanis reportedly allowed the Chinese to snatch samples of the top-secret coating.
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