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Pentagon to retire U-2 spy plane

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posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 10:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A classified budget document approved by the Pentagon Dec. 23 calls for the termination by 2011 of one of the most heavily relied-upon reconnaissance planes in the Iraq war.

The storied U-2 spy plane would commence retirement in 2007 under the strictures of Program Budget Decision, or PBD, 720, according to Pentagon, defense industry and congressional officials familiar with the document. PBD 720 would retire three U-2s in 2007, six in 2008, seven in both 2009 and 2010 and the final 10 in 2011.

The U-2, built by Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, would likely be supplanted by the Northrop Grumman's high-altitude Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle.


Full Article >>

2011 is a long time from now, but i doubt if the Global Hawk can replace the U-2. Range and scale are against it IMHO.

[edit on 4-1-2006 by Stealth Spy]




posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 06:53 AM
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Originally posted by Stealth Spy
... but i doubt if the Global Hawk can replace the U-2. Range and scale are against it IMHO.

[edit on 4-1-2006 by Stealth Spy]

Huh? The Global hawk's range is around 16,000 NM, the U2's range is only around 3,000. Although the U2 is an awesome aircraft, I think it's best to replace them with Global Hawks.
Why risk the life of a pilot, especially over North Korea; the US conducts around 200 spy flights over North Korea every month.



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 05:58 AM
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The U-2 is a Cold War classic but i agree it should be replaced becouse the U-2 Pilot operates totally on his own, has no weapons and travels at a slow speed so he would be an easy target. This happened before in the early 1960s when CIA Pilot Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union during a spying mission.

The only manned recce planes should be fast things like the SR-71 or this 'Aurora' otherwise the Spyplane would be a nice target.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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I agree the U2 is obselete. Its still a very nice aircraft though.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:21 PM
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well, since we're developing autonomous systems able to take over most of the flying duties, and wireless links able to drive commands to an aircraft, basicly a pilot is there as a decision maker. In a planned recce mission, though decisions don't need to be made onboard, so the pilot is 180 pounds or so of dead weight. why drag him along if he can do his job from Nevada?



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by Browno
The U-2 is a Cold War classic but i agree it should be replaced becouse the U-2 Pilot operates totally on his own, has no weapons and travels at a slow speed so he would be an easy target. This happened before in the early 1960s when CIA Pilot Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union during a spying mission.

The only manned recce planes should be fast things like the SR-71 or this 'Aurora' otherwise the Spyplane would be a nice target.

www.abovetopsecret.com...


Yes this came to mind when reading this thread's first post. I would have thought it would have been obsolete technology as soon as someone invented the technology to shoot it down.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 03:39 AM
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Not only Global Hawk, also Predator is capable to replace U-2. And let's face it - in such type of plane the pilot is useless.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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i agree...its outdated.

The Global Hawk does its job...and then some. Hopefully the FAA gets a little more friendly to UAS' in the future.





posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 08:12 PM
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I agree, it's time the old girl be set to retirement, she's been flying longer than the Blackbird and has served her uses for as long as she could, time always gets the best of them.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:45 AM
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Very reluctant to display my ignorance about aerial reconnaissance, but is there anything a spy plane, manned or otherwise, can do that a spy satellite can't? Besides get shot down or run out of fuel?





[edit on 9-1-2006 by SurfDiveSail]



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 09:39 AM
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Spy planes are more dynamic. I'm not too familiar with spy satellites, but the U2 and other spy planes can pierce through clouds, with their radar imaging systems. I think in some cases planes are still better than satellites. Planes are much cheaper than satellites, and can be upgraded much easier and cheaper.

Even though the US has many spy satellites, they still conduct 200 spy flgiths each month over North Korea, I'm sure there's a reason for that.


[edit on 1-9-2006 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 09:47 AM
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With Satalites, you pretty much "get what you get", when the sattalite passes over.

With Aircraft, you can fly over when you want, and if neccisary, loiter in the area for a while. I believe the Boing Darkstar project was a stealth UAV with it's stealth aspects primarily to the sides so it could circle a target area indefinately. (Or I may be thinking of another project)

Also, the whole tactic of knowing your enemies sattalite schedual and hiding all the good stuff for thier flyover goes out the window when they're using aircraft.



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 09:48 AM
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Well i doubt the predator can replace the U2. The U2 can carry much more equipment i think. The global hawk is the only viable option.



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by SurfDiveSail
Very reluctant to display my ignorance about aerial reconnaissance, but is there anything a spy plane, manned or otherwise, can do that a spy satellite can't? Besides get shot down or run out of fuel?


Flexibility. Anyone who can track a sattelite, and that includes the guy down the street, knows EXACTLY when to hide the things you want to take pics of. With a manned airplane, or UAV you can go in whenever you want to, from wherever you want to.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 05:48 PM
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and I suppose it's more morally acceptable to rig an unmanned aircraft to blow itself out of the sky... should something go wrong. Come to think of it, it's a lot more trustworthy to get rid of itself than human beings with that annoyin g little "self preservation" instinct.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 06:00 PM
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Alright two quick ones. Do any modern aerial recon planes (SR-71, Global Hawk, U2, etc) carry aerial or surface munitions? I know the predator does, however that's not really long range recon specific.

Second question is, how long have UAV's been researched/produced for? I know there is a delay of when air craft go into service or begin production and the date when they are made public.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 06:09 PM
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The only version of the SR to carry weapons was the YF-12 which was nenveer produced. None of the others did.

Some of the earliest UAVs were used to help battleships target. They'd fly them over as they were shooting, and adjust targetting based on the return from the UAV.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by UnMature
Alright two quick ones. Do any modern aerial recon planes (SR-71, Global Hawk, U2, etc) carry aerial or surface munitions? I know the predator does, however that's not really long range recon specific.

Second question is, how long have UAV's been researched/produced for? I know there is a delay of when air craft go into service or begin production and the date when they are made public.


A version of the Firebee drone was tested with missiles and bombs.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by UnMature
how long have UAV's been researched/produced for?


Off the top of my head...I think the first UAV was the D-21 frone, which piggybacked on the Blackbird.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:23 PM
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a number of WW2 fighters were converted into remote controled flying bombs during the Korean war. That makes them a fairly good example of both early UAV and Cruise missile. (although I think the first cruise missile was a German design during WW2)







 
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