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U2 spy plane gets reprieve

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Mikus

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Yay for fighting 3rd-world countries with limited SAM capabilities? :confused2:
 

Fred22

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Yay for fighting 3rd-world countries with limited SAM capabilities? :confused2:
If its doing its job and saving allied lives in afghanistan then I dont care if its steam powerred :)lol
Cheers
fred
 

Peartree

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Translated . . . this means either something's over budget or behind schedule.
The article basically said that just as many have pointed to the Russian Space program as having made continuous upgrades, the U2 has continued to be upgraded with new equipment and new instruments so that, although the airframe is old, the rest is state of the art tech. Its replacement IS late, sort of. They intend to replace it with the remotely piloted Global Hawk but the Hawk doesn't yet have all the instruments that the U2 has so they have to make it bigger, add more toys, etc.
 

AKPilot

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The article basically said that just as many have pointed to the Russian Space program as having made continuous upgrades, the U2 has continued to be upgraded with new equipment and new instruments so that, although the airframe is old, the rest is state of the art tech. Its replacement IS late, sort of. They intend to replace it with the remotely piloted Global Hawk but the Hawk doesn't yet have all the instruments that the U2 has so they have to make it bigger, add more toys, etc.

You got it John - they're behind schedule. ;)
 

tbzep

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One of those things, improbably enough, is that even from 13 miles up its sensors can detect small disturbances in the dirt, providing a new way to find makeshift mines that kill many soldiers.
That's just cool. :cool:
 

AKPilot

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So instead of building a new, bigger Global Hawk, why don't they just slap some servos in the U2 and make it remotely piloted? ;)
Amongst a plethora of reasons, an improved Global Hawk is far cheaper to operate than a U-2 - based on 60 year old technology. It also lights up a radar pretty darned good, versus a UAV whose radar signature is far smaller.

Also keep in mind that a U-2 is only one of the many platforms the DoD operates, at a variety of altitudes. ;)
 

Buzzard

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"Yay for fighting 3rd-world countries with limited SAM capabilities? "

Please keep in mind that a piloted U-2 can orbit over Country Y while looking deeply into Country X with all sorts of neat sensors. While on-orbit resources can look at wide-angle views, the U-2 and UAV assets can revisit and hone the targets... I mean points of interest. They are in friendly airspace without those limited SAM capabilities. Or the really honkin' SA-10/20 SAMs!
As pointed out, there may well be another system on the horizen. An asset in the air is in an "orbit". The demand for more orbits by all military services grows each day. Everyone wants the local view and they want it in their laps - NOW!

Ain't technology cool?

Chas
 

Boosterdude

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Kelly Johnson simply a legend of aircraft design. No doubt he would enjoying seeing his 1955 U-2 still being used today.
 

The EGE

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This is cool. The U-2 was 20 or 30 years ahead of its time. It still flies at an alititude where a lot of third-world SAMs are not going to get it, not to mention these U-2s surely have the latest electronics packages.

When you're at those altitudes, you've got two options: Go really fast like the SR-71, or slow like the U-2. It's old and ungainly, but it does the job well, and it's veyr hard to detect at 60 000+ feet (prolly more like 75 000+ that they're not revealing...).

We've also got them around already. Cheaper than new Global Hawks, and they seem to work. I recall an article in my local paper that they can spot buried IEDs at altitude.
 

ScrapDaddy

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I'd acctually love to see them bring back the SR-71 (but who doesn't "the sled is nice lookin) so thy have enough money to keep coming out with new suface craft? The SR-71 is still ahead of it's time and she's an old bird!
 

Boosterdude

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Agreed, bring back the SR-71. Still nothing out there that can touch it!
 

Fred22

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I like this platform:)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RQ-11_Raven
Wish to heck we would have had one when I was in. One of the biggest problems is disseminating intelligance down to lower levels let alone intraservice. The idea a troop commander or a platoon commander can throw one of these up and get instantaneuos intel for himself is way cool. Its not a replacement for more sophisticated platform but man for a crunchie this thing has got to help:)
Cheers
fred
 
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