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More U-2 whiplash

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posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:38 AM
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The Pentagon is causing more cases of whiplash over the U-2. The most recent plan had the U-2 being retired, and the high altitude mission being turned over to the RQ-4 family. This was after several years of "No we're not" "Yes we are" back and forth over the plan, as well as attempts to retire the Global Hawks straight to the Boneyard.

Well, it's time for more whiplash. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has ordered the Air Force to restore budget to the U-2 to keep it flying through 2018. Not only will they keep flying it through then, but they will upgrade it to keep it relevant. Upgrades include improvements to defensive systems, as well as potential upgrades to Syers, Asars, the Dragon Fly video system.

And meanwhile, to make the debate even more interesting, the RQ-180 is expected to reach FOC as early as this year.


The Pentagon is, once again, reversing its own position on which platform to use for its high-altitude reconnaissance mission – the venerable U-2 or Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has directed the U.S. Air Force to restart modest funding not only for operations of the high-flying U-2, but also to invest some funding in research and development and procurement, according to industry sources. The funding is coming from a topline increase for the service, meaning OSD has provided the cash to pay for it, and is slated for inclusion in the fiscal 2016 budget request going to Congress next month.

aviationweek.com...




posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I wonder if the on again, off again argue with the U-2 is due to the success or lack of success of a more black project craft, or is it all political BS as usual?

So when are we going to actually get to see the RQ-180?



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:52 AM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

I suspect it's a little bit of both.

I suspect we'll see the -180 when someone sneaks a pic out.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

I also wonder if they aren't keeping a few around to field test new equipment that will be going on the new platforms. Kinda like when the "Companion" was seen flying around a while ago and it was speculated that they were testing out new gear on a old reliable platform before putting it in the new platforms.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

why do they keep these manned missions around? i see no real benefit to it. Or will this be their new unmanned version of the u-2?


hopefully there are no more indecent like in Needles for the 180. falling out of the sky and blowing its self up that is.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

Are you referring to the crash in needles where the witnesses said they saw a blue glowing object being pulled out of the brush near the river by helicopters. Said it was glowing that color when it went down and it was still glowing that color 20 minutes later when they hoisted it out. Thats interesting if thats the 180. And if that was the 180 and it was glowing blue then I suspect zaphod is right and we ain't going to see a picture of that bird for a long time, unless someone sneaks a photo out.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

The U-2 carries almost twice the payload of an RQ-4, at higher altitudes. For a Global Hawk to fly the Dragon Fly system, it requires two aircraft, to the U-2s one. They have to fly the collection system on one, and the transmission system on another.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

yeah but then why build the 180 if the U-2 can just be upgraded and presumably hold a equal or grater payload? and why keep a manned platform around if you have a nice new drone to show off? I HIGHLY doubt they aren't already flying missions with the 180 and the project behind that. so there not hiding it....


BASSPLYER

i assume the blue flames were a high temp self destruct charge to destroy the electronics and maybe burn away the skin in case anyone found it.

the DOE teams that were there are good at 'recovery' operations and i think people read WAYYYYY to much in to something they didnt understand.

who knows what color those composites burn with...

makes one wonder why the 170 that crashed/landed in iran didnt pull the same self destruct...maybe we wanted them to hook all there computers into it.....

and i never said it was the 180 that crashed in needles


eta:iran
edit on 15-1-2015 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

The -180 has a different mission profile than the U-2, just like the -170 does. The U-2 and Global Hawk are high altitude, look over the border type platforms, using side scan systems. The -180 is a stealthy platform designed to cross the border and overfly areas. You get the best coverage by having multiple platforms performing similar missions.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


hmm interesting, will the 180 be high speed? i guess i just assumed with the wing shape/size like the b2 it would be subsonic. But if its going to be doing over flight missions you would think high speed high flying would be key. i have no real reason to believe its subsonic other then my own mind.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

It has other tricks up its sleeve than speed.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

ohh man, always leaving a few bread crums, but its never enough....i want the whole loaf



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

Didn't think what crashed in Needles was the 180 either shape was different. But your right I didn't think about the self destruct or what colors the composites could burn...another duh moment for Bassplyr. According to the witnesses the recovery crew was very good. In and out in a matter of minutes and left nothing behind. One thing though was that they found no real evidence of fire related to the crash which is odd



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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u-2 Sucks. Worst band ever.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: Vaedur

I agree. Not the worst band ever - O Town might take that title but close. Over hyped, un creative, annoying. Not my thing either.



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

As the shuttles were kept in the line far past the point they should have become museum pieces, so must other programs long past the age of retirement be spoon-fed as cover for the far more exotic platforms that have been observed. Need I suggest those hidden convenances that provide motion without the use of air or brute thrust?



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I thought we had established it's a stealth drone that kind of looks like a mini B-2 stealth bomber:



Isn't it also capable of landing on a carrier?

EDIT: I seem to have the 170 confused with the 180. Still, doesn't the 180 look like what I said?
edit on 15-1-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:04 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

No. It can't land on the carrier.

And planform while being built is a lot different from a built platform. A lot of changes happen after completion. It's a flying wing from everything that's been leaked. But a lot of details haven't made it out.
edit on 1/15/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: Aliensun

You'd think eventually after all the decades of secrecy some of that technology would slowly bleed into the mainstream. As I understand it, we won't be seeing anything exotic or "shocking" until the conventional stuff we're using isn't up to par anymore.

I mean, why tip your hand when what everyone knows is flying around still can do the job?



posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Well, we're never going to know what the electronics on it do for 50+ years. The best can get at this point are shape and some of the flight characteristics.

I'm pretty sure just about anything can be done EW-wise. Be invisible to radar, jam radar, confuse radar. Just from the few flukes we saw over Europe and California make me go "hmmm".

So, to me the electronic stuff (while interesting) will probably never be publicly released in my lifetime, so I don't bother. I do, however, want to be able to identify one if I got lucky enough to see it.

When people mention "tricks", they better be shape-shifting like Odo, throwing 3-d optical illusions around, morphing into a transformer, real-life A.I, or the like. Playing games with an enemy's radar is probably old hat these days. I'm not easily impressed.

Real life Iron Man, now that would be impressive...

edit on 15-1-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



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