Military Review

Gone in 67 hours. Operation Mount Hope III

64

Unloading the C-5 transporter in N'Djamena


Foreign weapons and military equipment are best studied in real terms. They can be obtained in various ways - to take as a trophy, to buy from a third country or to pick up abandoned property corny. It was the third method that formed the basis of the American operation Mount Hope III. She was held in 1987-88 gg. To get the Mi-25 combat helicopter, previously owned by the Libyan Air Force.

Gone and left


At the very beginning of 1987, the prolonged conflict between Libya and Chad entered a new stage. The famous Toyot War began, during which the Chadian army was able to force the enemy out of the disputed area. In April, the advance of the Chadian army reached the Wadi Dum air base, and the Libyans had to leave it in a hurry. A lot of different assets were thrown at the base - and even a Mi-25 combat helicopter (export version of the Soviet Mi-24).

Information about the abandoned helicopter quickly got to Washington and interested the American command. In 1985, American specialists were able to study two Mi-24D helicopters hijacked by Afghan pilots to Pakistan. An export modification combat vehicle was also of great interest for study.


MH-47 helicopter in the cargo compartment C-5

Quite quickly, a proposal came up to organize an operation to remove the “ownerless” helicopter for research. This began one of the most interesting special operations of recent decades.

Organizational matters


The military and political leadership of the United States approved the proposal, after which preparations began. The desired helicopter was located in a foreign country, and near the zones of activity of the probable enemy. All this imposed certain limitations and required the adoption of appropriate measures.

The helicopter removal operation was codenamed Mount Hope III. It was necessary to involve various units of the Air Force, intelligence, and even diplomats in its preparation and implementation.

The US Department of State was the first to do its job. This agency held talks with the Chadian leadership and agreed to conduct the operation. The African state agreed to provide airfields and air corridors, but refused direct military assistance. All US work had to be done independently or with the participation of third countries.


Flight map

Direct on-site work was assigned to the 160 Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) or 160th SOAR, also known as Night Stalkers. This part was formed to solve special transport problems and perfectly corresponded to the future mission.

Also managed to negotiate with France. It was represented by a small land contingent and several Air Force fighter-bombers. The French military was supposed to help American colleagues on the ground and in the air.

Preparing for an operation


At that time, everyone remembered the failure of the Eagle Claw operation to remove the hostages from Tehran, and no one wanted a repeat of such events. For this reason, Mount Hope III was approached with the utmost responsibility. At the same time, the situation made it possible to dispense with haste and carefully work out all the plans.

In the last months of 1987, the command of the 160 Air Regiment formed a plan for a future operation and began training. The exercises were held at the White Sands training ground using all the necessary equipment and involving many military personnel.


C-130 transport carrier with fuel at Faya-Largio airfield

All elements of the operation were worked out at the training ground. Pilots of military transport planes and helicopters honed their flight skills at night, trained to carry large loads (soft water tanks) on an external sling, etc. Operated with intermediate landings for refueling. Ground units and specialists were preparing to work with a captured helicopter. During the preparation of the operation, it was possible to identify the shortcomings of the existing plans and correct them in a timely manner.

According to the Mount Hope III operation plan, several C-25 Galaxy and C-5 Hercules military transport aircraft were to be used in the evacuation of the Mi-130. The main tasks were assigned to two MH-47 Chinook helicopters. Several French Mirage F.1 were to cover from the air, and the ground group included several dozen fighters.

Preparation for the operation was completed in the spring of 1988. People and equipment were ready to be sent to Chad and were waiting for the corresponding order.

Take away in Xnumx hours


The operation began on June 10 1988. Three American aircraft arrived at the international airport of the Chadian capital N'Djamena. The heavy transporter C-5 brought two MH-47 helicopters and personnel. Two C-130 aircraft carried refueling equipment and fuel supplies. The Hercules soon went to the aerodromes of Mussoro and Faya-Largeau to ensure further work.


American helicopter raises trophy

For several hours, the Americans unloaded the helicopters and prepared them for departure. At night, two Chinook with additional tanks and fighters on board went to the location of the desired Mi-25. The flight lasted several hours, and during this time the helicopters covered almost 500 miles over the desert terrain. By morning, they were at Wadi Doom base.

The helicopters landed and unloaded the landing, after which one of them took off and began to observe the terrain. In the area of ​​the operation, Libyan troops were active, and the pilots should have noticed the danger in time. Also in the area were on duty French aircraft. In the meantime, the crew of the second helicopter and the equipment attached to it began preparing the trophy for export.

Mi-25 removed the rotor blades and fixed individual units. Then a helicopter of 7,5 t mass was draped around with cables and taken onto the external suspension. The MH-47, with a special load, took off and headed towards Faye Largio. After that, the second Chinook took the ground detachment and flew after it.


On the way to the target, the helicopters managed to generate most of the fuel, including additional tanks. In addition, they carried a considerable load, affecting fuel consumption. Because of this, helicopters had to make two intermediate landings at Chadian airfields, where C-130 with fuel was waiting for them. During the return to N'Djamena a sandstorm arose on the route, but it was possible to overcome it even with a special load on the suspension.

At N'Djamena Airport, the MH-47 gently lowered its load and landed. After that, the captured Mi-25 was again partially disassembled, loaded into a C-5 transport aircraft and sent to the United States. Soon, other 160th SOAR planes and helicopters and personnel went home.

Mount Hope III was particularly difficult and risky. Despite this, everything went almost perfectly. The pilots dealt with a uniquely difficult flight and bad weather. The Libyan army was indeed located in the area of ​​the Wadi Dum base, but did not notice the activity of a third country. It took only 67 hours to carry out the entire operation - from landing in N'Djamena to the removal of the trophy.

Operation results


Operation Mount Hope III was a complete success. The United States got the desired foreign helicopter and did not suffer any losses. Long and thorough preparation fully paid off. Soon after the operation was completed, the results were summed up.

Gone in 67 hours. Operation Mount Hope III
Loading Mi-25 in a transport plane

Participants in the operation received awards, commendations and other incentives. For the 160 Special Forces Regiment, the success of Mount Hope III was of particular importance, as this was the first operation of its kind in its stories. In addition, she looked like the successful rehabilitation of the US Air Force after the failure of the Eagle Claw.

Pentagon and aviation US industry received a great gift in the form of a real Mi-25. The US military has already managed to study the Mi-24 modification “D”, and now they have managed to get an export version of such a helicopter. The study of the resulting machine allowed us to draw new conclusions and adjust our plans for the development of weapons and equipment.

Subsequently, under certain circumstances, the US Army was able to get several other Mi-24 helicopters of various modifications. However, it was in the case of the Libyan Mi-25 that a whole operation was needed with the participation of a special aviation regiment and foreign allies. Other samples got much easier.
Author:
Photos used:
US Army, Sobchak.wordpress.com
64 comments
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 24 November 2019 06: 10
    +21
    Little known fact. Very, very interesting. I think after the films "Operation Argo" and "Operation Finale" Hollywood could make a film about this episode as well. Thanks to the author!)
    1. Comrade
      Comrade 24 November 2019 06: 15
      +39
      Mount Hope III was approached with the utmost responsibility.

      Immediately obvious, the Yankees did not rebuild, they thought the old fashioned way.
      What was the strain? They would ask Gorbachev, he would have drove the helicopter to them, right from the factory.
      1. Gerneton
        Gerneton 24 November 2019 07: 03
        +15
        Quote: Comrade
        What was the strain? They would ask Gorbachev, he would have drove the helicopter to them, right from the factory.

        this once again proves that they did not fully believe in the collapse of the USSR, if they had known this, if this circus would not exist ... lol lol
      2. Professor
        Professor 24 November 2019 08: 21
        -16
        Quote: Comrade
        They would ask Gorbachev, he would have drove the helicopter to them, right from the factory.

        Putin offered the Americans a top secret hypersonic weapon, and you're talking about a helicopter ...
        https://www.gazeta.ru/army/2019/09/05/12628573.shtml
        1. Golovan Jack
          Golovan Jack 24 November 2019 08: 30
          +17
          Quote: Professor
          Putin offered Americans top secret hypersonic weapons

          It was subtle trolling.

          Quote: Professor
          and you're talking about a helicopter ...

          But this is trolling. fat... Ashamed, "professor".
          1. The comment was deleted.
            1. Golovan Jack
              Golovan Jack 24 November 2019 08: 48
              +7
              Quote: Professor
              Yeah. He will voice this version in court when they judge him for high treason

              Comrade, do not aggravate. I already told you:

              Quote: Golovan Jack
              it's trolling thick. Ashamed, "professor"

              If necessary - repeat (s) wink
              1. The comment was deleted.
                1. The comment was deleted.
                2. Andrey VOV
                  Andrey VOV 24 November 2019 15: 47
                  +10
                  Your gall bladder has torn and your bile has filled you all ?? well, no article, no matter what it concerns, your professor has only negative comments .. maybe what happened in your life ... maybe that stopped working and get angry because of = of this?
                  1. The comment was deleted.
                  2. The comment was deleted.
            2. Avior
              Avior 24 November 2019 13: 05
              0
              If it comes to trial, they will probably start with the sale of the S-400 to NATO. smile
            3. Slavs
              Slavs 24 November 2019 17: 52
              +8
              Oleg, you would have to figure out with your prime minister, and here you are putting our president on trial ...))
              1. Professor
                Professor 24 November 2019 17: 55
                -7
                Quote: Slavs
                Oleg, you would have to figure out with your prime minister, and here you are putting our president on trial ...))

                With our sorted out. We judge him for what you have in the order of things and does not count as a bribe.
                1. Slavs
                  Slavs 24 November 2019 18: 00
                  +6
                  Has the case been brought to court yet?
                  1. Professor
                    Professor 24 November 2019 20: 25
                    -3
                    Quote: Slavs
                    Has the case been brought to court yet?

                    3 things to do.
                    1. Slavs
                      Slavs 24 November 2019 20: 44
                      +4
                      So I follow the news inattentively ...
                      1. Nikolai Grek
                        Nikolai Grek 24 November 2019 22: 19
                        +5
                        Quote: Slavs
                        So I follow the news inattentively ...

                        better watch .. they’ll hang you here on ears) !!!!!!! nothing depends on this plebs !! they think that they are exceptional ... from another mountain it is better to see how they are bred !!!!! lol lol lol
                    2. sniperino
                      sniperino 24 November 2019 23: 21
                      0
                      Quote: Professor
                      3 things to do.
                      Benny sold himself to the Kremlin ?!
                2. xax
                  xax 24 November 2019 21: 52
                  +4
                  Quote: Professor
                  Judged

                  What side are you doing in the judges? laughing ? What they say to you, you will think.
                3. Nikolai Grek
                  Nikolai Grek 24 November 2019 22: 17
                  +5
                  belay quickly you hand over the !!! and after that you still have to present to the world ??? !!! laughing laughing laughing
                4. Okolotochny
                  Okolotochny 25 November 2019 13: 52
                  0
                  In the West and in your country it is called "competent marketing" and "lobbying interests." Lobbit offices in the USA closed? Did they all lobby pro-Israel questions? Did the money work?
                5. aws4
                  aws4 26 November 2019 23: 25
                  +1
                  Professor, sometimes I’m just ready to kiss you for your comments .. to such an extent, precisely and essentially just sparkle and chic .. and most importantly, this is not just an opinion, but an undeniable truth !!! I mean this one of your separate koment - With our sorted out. We judge him for what you have in the order of things and does not count as a bribe.
            4. Nikolai Grek
              Nikolai Grek 24 November 2019 22: 14
              +9
              Quote: Professor
              Yeah. He will voice this version in court when they judge him for high treason.
              Criminal Code Article 275. High treason

              Well, here, under the norms, brow mow !!!!!! belay laughing laughing laughing it’s easier to pass your entire Israel for treason in favor of America) !!!!
        2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 24 November 2019 11: 41
        +7
        Moreover, from Gorbi they would not receive an export modification, but the latest one.
    2. svp67
      svp67 24 November 2019 10: 41
      +14
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      Thanks to the author!)

      Keep
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      Little known fact. Very, very interesting. I think after the films "Operation Argo" and "Operation Finale" Hollywood could make a film about this episode as well.

      There is a more interesting episode, how during the "strange war" in Sinai the Israelis seized and transported our radar station from Egyptian territory by helicopters, this was an "operation". That's about what you can shoot a great action movie or how our special forces captured and hijacked new American helicopters with special equipment ... There is a lot in the history of the Cold War that is still little known to the general public
      1. Greenwood
        Greenwood 24 November 2019 12: 14
        +3
        Quote: svp67
        how our commandos captured and hijacked new American helicopters with special equipment
        And when was this?
        1. 16112014nk
          16112014nk 24 November 2019 14: 37
          +4
          Quote: Greenwood
          And when was this?

          In May 1968, GRU special forces hijacked a Super Cobra helicopter from a CIA base in Cambodia.
          1. Tsoy
            Tsoy 24 November 2019 17: 27
            +4
            Quote: 16112014nk
            In May 1968, GRU special forces hijacked a Super Cobra helicopter from a CIA base in Cambodia.


            Yeah old bike by A. Taras. The book was called Commandos. In the year 97-98 was published. Most people who are not devoid of critical thinking understand that this is bullshit. In particular, he had 12, or 15 helicopters that were destroyed by saboteurs. And then Khramchikhin started talking about 19. There are too many far-fetched things in this story. Starting with the fact that the base "Flying Joe" never appeared in any documents and ending with the fact that under fire people managed to fly away on a two-seater unknown type of aircraft. Under the beer is the very thing for the history in the bath.
            1. svp67
              svp67 25 November 2019 00: 57
              +3
              Quote: Choi
              Yep old bike

              And the removal under the guise of a "refrigerator unit" of the engine of the Chieftain tank, the loss of our new, still experimental sea mines from the landfill water area, too, a bike?
              1. Tsoy
                Tsoy 25 November 2019 07: 48
                +2
                Quote: svp67
                And the removal under the guise of a "refrigerator unit" of the engine of the Chieftain tank, the loss of our new, still experimental sea mines from the landfill water area, too, a bike?


                I don’t know about it. But the Super Cobra from Cambodia is definitely a fairy tale.
          2. Doliva63
            Doliva63 24 November 2019 17: 38
            +3
            Quote: 16112014nk
            Quote: Greenwood
            And when was this?

            In May 1968, GRU special forces hijacked a Super Cobra helicopter from a CIA base in Cambodia.

            So I, while reading, was surprised - why, it was simply impossible to overtake? Chukhnya, in my opinion, not an "operation".
            1. Souchastnik
              Souchastnik 25 November 2019 09: 59
              0
              So I, while reading, was surprised - why, it was simply impossible to overtake? Chukhnya, in my opinion, not an "operation".

              You can simply overtake when in good condition and the presence of a trained pilot. Otherwise, the probability of aircraft loss is high. And this is not desirable if there is a single sample for study. Therefore, such a racket around the helicopter. Well, is it true or not, only documents can give 100% certainty. And here it is unlikely that anyone has access to this level.
              1. vadson
                vadson 25 November 2019 14: 20
                +1
                if before that they had a helicopter mi 24p then the pilots were
                1. Doliva63
                  Doliva63 25 November 2019 20: 36
                  +1
                  Quote: vadson
                  if before that they had a helicopter mi 24p then the pilots were

                  That's about the same. Only if it was non-flying, but not a word about it.
      2. sergo1914
        sergo1914 24 November 2019 12: 28
        +3
        Quote: svp67
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        Thanks to the author!)

        Keep
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        Little known fact. Very, very interesting. I think after the films "Operation Argo" and "Operation Finale" Hollywood could make a film about this episode as well.

        There is a more interesting episode, how during the "strange war" in Sinai the Israelis seized and transported our radar station from Egyptian territory by helicopters, this was an "operation". That's about what you can shoot a great action movie or how our special forces captured and hijacked new American helicopters with special equipment ... There is a lot in the history of the Cold War that is still little known to the general public


        There was an interesting story with Abrams. Cinema is resting.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 24 November 2019 14: 12
          +4
          Sergei, what is the story with "Abrams", in a nutshell, at least, if not difficult. Interesting after all. smile
          1. The comment was deleted.
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 24 November 2019 17: 58
              0
              It's funny, but at what time it was and in what country the tank was "attached". I know how the Office at one time famously coped with the purchase in Japan of a CNC machine for the production of low-noise propellers for nuclear submarines through some third country, then in the west, too, many shoulder straps flew. smile
              1. Most kind
                Most kind 24 November 2019 18: 43
                +1
                In Vietnam, ours and the locals also stole a phantom, as it happened, it was also abandoned, it was pulled out of a swamp and overtaken in a cargo alliance
              2. sergo1914
                sergo1914 24 November 2019 20: 19
                +2
                Quote: Sea Cat
                It's funny, but at what time it was and in what country the tank was "attached". I know how the Office at one time famously coped with the purchase in Japan of a CNC machine for the production of low-noise propellers for nuclear submarines through some third country, then in the west, too, many shoulder straps flew. smile



                Great Britain. We wanted to test in European conditions.
    3. knn54
      knn54 24 November 2019 11: 06
      +8
      Only "hijacking" does not fit, no one has moved. Yes, and a year to prepare for "hijacking" ??? I think you can make a good parody.
  2. Professor
    Professor 24 November 2019 08: 19
    +7
    At the very beginning of 1987, the prolonged conflict between Libya and Chad moved to a new stage

    ...
    The operation began on June 10, 1988.

    A year and a half to prepare? Hm.
    It is surprising that for a year and a half the helicopter was not pulled away for scrap.
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 24 November 2019 11: 45
      +2
      It is surprising that for a year and a half the helicopter was not pulled away for scrap.

      They didn’t have metal delivery points there in Africa, so they’ve been looking for them for so many years.
      1. Professor
        Professor 24 November 2019 12: 13
        +1
        Quote: Aviator_
        It is surprising that for a year and a half the helicopter was not pulled away for scrap.

        They didn’t have metal delivery points there in Africa, so they’ve been looking for them for so many years.

        And in the household? wink In ZakVO, we made beam beams to cover garages ...
        1. Aviator_
          Aviator_ 24 November 2019 12: 17
          +7
          Well, it’s clear how far the Caucasus was more advanced than Africa. Probably, the Negroes didn’t have garages there, and there weren’t enough blades for elephants.
          1. Professor
            Professor 24 November 2019 13: 39
            +1
            Quote: Aviator_
            Well, it’s clear how far the Caucasus was more advanced than Africa. Probably, the Negroes didn’t have garages there, and there weren’t enough blades for elephants.

            good
          2. The comment was deleted.
        2. The comment was deleted.
      2. garri-lin
        garri-lin 24 November 2019 14: 26
        +1
        It is more surprising that ours did not bother to destroy the equipment that fell into the territory of the pro-American forces. It was clear that it was leaking. Either they did not consider it possible and what was more likely they did not consider it necessary.
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 24 November 2019 14: 08
      +2
      Exactly! This was the first thing I thought about when I started reading the article. It could not be that the black ones did not steal something for themselves "on the farm". laughing
    3. Tsoy
      Tsoy 24 November 2019 17: 14
      +4
      Quote: Professor
      It is surprising that for a year and a half the helicopter was not pulled away for scrap.


  3. Igorpl
    Igorpl 24 November 2019 08: 53
    0
    Interesting thanks
  4. dokusib
    dokusib 24 November 2019 09: 23
    +8
    Have you been preparing to take out the ownerless helicopter for a year? My friends put the tractor to a friend's base. The territory is kind of guarded. Three months later, it became clear that there was nothing to take. And the last one was not found. I think Africans are not new to this sport either. Question. Was there any point in this operation? Or is the real goal of publicity after the failure of Eagle Claw?
  5. bubalik
    bubalik 24 November 2019 10: 20
    +18
    a sandstorm arose on the route


    Or is the real goal of publicity after the failure of Eagle Claw?

    ,,, calmly flew in, took a picture and calmly flew away.
  6. A_2010
    A_2010 24 November 2019 13: 04
    +3
    Thank you so much for the article! here it is on a similar VO!
  7. evgen1221
    evgen1221 24 November 2019 14: 01
    +4
    Well done, of course, But somehow you want to read and watch more on similar successes of our specialists on TV, otherwise you can play the one-wicket game on the field of propaganda for the younger generation (they have nothing to do with their success), but vice versa?
  8. KJIETyc
    KJIETyc 24 November 2019 17: 25
    +3
    Quote: Professor
    Quote: Golovan Jack
    Quote: Professor
    Yeah. He will voice this version in court when they judge him for high treason

    Comrade, do not aggravate. I already told you:

    Quote: Golovan Jack
    it's trolling thick. Ashamed, "professor"

    If necessary - repeat (s) wink

    If you repeat stupidity many times, then it will not cease to be stupidity.

    In my opinion, so far only Netanyahu is trying to judge for treason what
  9. iouris
    iouris 24 November 2019 18: 39
    +1
    What's the catch"? Within a few years, an American could sleep not only in any military unit or organization, but also become advisers to a member of the government and the presidential administration. He could watch how the Russians cut their strategic bombers, blow up ICBM mines, missile defense stations.
  10. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 24 November 2019 20: 39
    0
    I do not think that Mi25 surprised them with anything. At one time in the USSR, Cobras were actively studied during the Vietnam conflict. The most interesting thing there is probably the ATGM.
    1. zyablik.olga
      zyablik.olga 25 November 2019 10: 37
      0
      Quote: Zaurbek
      I do not think that Mi25 surprised them with anything. At one time in the USSR, Cobras were actively studied during the Vietnam conflict. The most interesting thing there is probably ATGM

      Cobras tested in the USSR? No.
      1. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 25 November 2019 11: 48
        0
        Downed, probably ....
        And the half-myth:
        Apart from these special operations is the abduction of the latest American helicopter AN-1G Hugh Cobra. It gave a new impetus to the development of domestic helicopter industry and allowed to successfully upgrade the Strela-2M portable anti-aircraft missile system, which became a real headache for the Americans in Vietnam. Although ... officially nothing like this has happened
        1. zyablik.olga
          zyablik.olga 26 November 2019 00: 12
          0
          Quote: Zaurbek
          Apart from these special operations is the abduction of the latest American helicopter AN-1G Hugh Cobra.

          Nothing but the fantasies of authors with a sick imagination. There are no eyewitnesses to this. It would be impossible to hide this. For example, many wrote about the tests in the USSR F-5 and A-37.
          1. Zaurbek
            Zaurbek 26 November 2019 08: 59
            0
            I do not say .... the article is here. But helicopters shot down and systems fell into the USSR. It was the same when creating the Su25
            1. zyablik.olga
              zyablik.olga 27 November 2019 01: 38
              0
              Quote: Zaurbek
              I do not say .... the article is here.

              This article is frankly delusional and has been heavily criticized.
              Quote: Zaurbek
              But helicopters shot down and systems fell into the USSR.

              A downed helicopter cannot be taken into the air, and the study of individual systems does not give an idea of ​​the machine as a whole and its flight data.
              1. Zaurbek
                Zaurbek 27 November 2019 07: 42
                0
                Individual systems may well be explored. A helicopter is not a plane, it falls from a lower height ...
                1. zyablik.olga
                  zyablik.olga 27 November 2019 07: 48
                  0
                  Quote: Zaurbek
                  Individual systems may well be explored. A helicopter is not a plane, it falls from a lower height ...

                  Do you have information that it was somehow useful when creating similar systems with us?
                  1. Zaurbek
                    Zaurbek 27 November 2019 08: 44
                    0
                    I don’t remember in helicopters .... in Su25, boosters for wing mechanization drives, tank design, etc.
  11. xax
    xax 24 November 2019 21: 48
    0
    And now they could just buy))))
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. rhino
    rhino 25 November 2019 14: 31
    0
    Why did they need him ??? The device is quite primitive. The United States could not learn anything new from it. For the museum ???
  14. Alex_Z10
    Alex_Z10 25 November 2019 16: 45
    0
    Hmm .. In the same Poland, it still seems to be in service with weapons. And along the road in Poland, it definitely stands like a monument. They can also try to steal there in 67 hours
    Oops .. I looked about the year 1987 :(