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USAF Considers U-2 UAV

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posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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An interview featuring Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne aired on CSPAN, October15th, 2006. In that interview Wynne said that the program to enable the Global Hawk to replace the U-2 Dragonlady has been delayed by Congress.

Among the main concerns facing the USAF concerning the U-2 is persistence and loiter time over the area of interest. The extreme conditions of flying at 70-90,000 feet limits how long a pilot can fly the aircraft.

"One of the things that we find is... the airplane can outlast the pilot." said Wynne, he then noted that the USAF is looking into ways of extending the flight time of the U-2, and one option being considered is to "automate the U-2", or make it an unmanned vehicle.

More here: USAF Considers U-2 UAV

Natalie~




posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:10 PM
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Intel,
didn't lockheed develope the 'dark star +' to avoid such a conflict with the manned U-2?? and now the powers that be want to have an unmanned U-2 as the plane out lasts the pilot......


Damn if i was Lockheed i'd be a tad bit more than annoyed at the moment - I bet they could make a killer U-2 replacement UAV.... oh the images running around my head already are making me giddy!



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:24 PM
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Yeah but why go through all that trouble to develop a new system, when making the U-2 pilot-less will be much more cost effective? You already have a proven system, no need to reinvent the wheel. Especially if the Global Hawk can in the near future replaced the U-2 altogether, and it probably will happen at some point.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:39 PM
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?? Why reinvent the wheel??

They took the time and effort NOT to make the dark star ++ the same size and payload as a U-2 so the airforce could keep the manned U-2 system.... In other words, they could of made it a little BIGGER and had a stealthy U-2 replacement...

So its not reinventing any wheel, its about being so short sighted as to order one sized wheel and a year down the line find you do after all need a bigger wheel....

The Global Hawk though is for non-contested airspace only though is it not? as it can be seen for miles and easily shot down... where as a stealthy UAV stands to living a hell of a lot longer than a non stealthy one.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 07:34 PM
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The Dark Star did not offer the same performance and endurance capabilities of either the Global Hawk or U-2, yes it was stealthy but so is the Global Hawk, don't know it's RCS range but I'd wager it is very small. Also, haven't you heard, we have the Aurora for deep intelligence missions in highly contested airspace.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 06:53 AM
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No westpoint, not the darkstar, but the bigger / higher / faster / stealthier version that was tested out in the Gulf war II - Lockheed deliberatly kept it below U-2 payload / sensor loads so as not to threaten the manned U-2 programm in the airforce...... and now they want to get rid of the manned part....lmao they could of done it 4 years ago when they got lockheed to make the bigger / badder version of the dark star.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 01:36 PM
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Can I see some sources for this Super Dark Star, yeah I've read the rumors too but nothing solid, intelgurl have you heard anything about this?



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Can I see some sources for this Super Dark Star, yeah I've read the rumors too but nothing solid, intelgurl have you heard anything about this?

I've heard discussions regarding a Lockheed "Son of Darkstar" that is much larger than the original and is a VLO airframe.

If it exists there are probably no more than 2 working models, rumors have them being based out of Tonopah or Eglin and they would probably be used in hot zones where less stealthy Global Hawks and U-2's would be in extreme peril.

There were apparently witnesses that spoke to the media regarding this aircraft during the first days of Gulf War 2.

[edit on 10-24-2006 by intelgurl]



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