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OSD & Air Force to rethink U-2 retirement plan

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posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Air Force are going to rethink the U-2 retirement plan, because of concerns a SIGINT- collection gap may occur.
The original plan was to retire three U-2's next year, and have all U-2's in the boneyard by 2011.



USAF Aim Points

...

"If [the review] proves, that we, in fact, perhaps have acted too quickly in this beginning of the U-2 drawdown, we may, in fact, be back in front of you to request an adjustment," Long told the panel. She did not specify for how much longer the U-2s might fly or how much money would be necessary to sustain them for that period.

As part of the retirement plan, the Air Force's budget proposal removes about $1 billion from U-2 accounts through FY '11 compared to the multiyear funding profile that it presented for the aircraft last year, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Stanley Gorenc, director of operational capability requirements on the Air Staff. He testified at the same hearing. This reduction would include $106 million in FY '07, he said.

The Air Force has always maintained that it would adjust the schedule of the U-2's retirement as necessary to prevent any degradation of capability. "U-2 ramp-down provides for delay if Global Hawk encounters any unexpected difficulties," reads a fact sheet on the FY '07 budget proposal that the service issued in early February. There will be "no compromise in support to combatant commands," it noted of the drawdown.


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posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 05:58 AM
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Originally posted by Zion Mainframe
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Air Force are going to rethink the U-2 retirement plan, because of concerns a SIGINT- collection gap may occur.


Strange! A gap in the SIGINT collection, how would that work? It's a known fact that the U-2 doesn't do that much SIGINT. Most of the airborne SIGINT Mission is flown by the RC-135 Rivit Joint.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to push the U-2 out of the fleet, I think the plane is a valuable and important national intelligence asset. I'm just surprized that the big concern is over SIGINT intead of IMAGINT, which is the big peice of the U-2's mission!

Tim



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