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U-2 to be Retired in Favor of Drones

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posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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It looks like the U-2 is finally being retired. Too bad, as this is a beautiful plane. I got a chance to see the NASA one in flight about ten years ago. Pretty crazy looking bird.

Source


After more than 50 years gathering intelligence 13 miles above the ground, the United States’ U-2 spy planes will be phased out and replaced by unmanned drones by 2015, The New York Times reported this week. Find out more about the long history of the high-altitude aircraft, which first took to the skies during the tense Cold War era and has played a crucial role in recent operations, particularly in Afghanistan.

edit on 8/5/2011 by cmdrkeenkid because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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I'm sure military pilots in the know are getting worried, what with all these remote controlled aircrafts these days.

Though perhaps this is the natural progression of war among mankind - I feel that having a human being push the button may cause less collateral damage than a repressed computer geek sitting in the pentagon.

Time will only tell.

Thanks for the thread.



posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 11:50 PM
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Good job for all the video game players

Now you can blow them op for real and be in no danger ..except corpal tunnel syndrome !



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by granpabobby
...l and be in no danger ..except corpal tunnel syndrome !







posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by ThinkingCap
I'm sure military pilots in the know are getting worried, what with all these remote controlled aircrafts these days.

Wouldn't these military pilots "in the know" be the first to be the pilots of unmanned vehicles? I wouldn't think they'd be worried at all, maybe even glad that they're not on the front line, but controlling aircraft from behind the frontline.



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 12:35 PM
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The best, most reliable tool in the military tool box, is going to be the meat sack in the middle for a long time yet.

I actually kind of pity the first country that tries to go all drone first.



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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There hasn't been a need to have a "meat sack" in a photo-recce aircraft ever.....except that there was no other way to fly it.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


My comment was in regards to the statement about pilots seeing the writting on the wall...all pilots.

It is one thing to have a recce drone or even a strike drone, it is a whole different ball game to have a multi-role or air superiority drone.

I would even state that, at current tech levels, recce and strike drones are only applicable to use in countries with zero air control. I would like to see how they fair in a 'hot' environment.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by peck420
 


Fair enough & I'd agree with that in general.

A lot of it will depend on economics too of course - it might actually be cheaper & easier to contest AS with large numbers of cheap stealth drones (assuming such a thing can be made) & lose plenty of them than doing so with F-22's or hte foreign equivalent (when they appear) vs each other.

Sure you may lose more.....but they are likely to be a LOT cheaper & significantly more stealthy than manned fighters (much smaller, no cockpit to stealth).

I thnik the main problem is going to be keeping the control links secure more than anything else.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul
reply to post by peck420
 


Fair enough & I'd agree with that in general.

A lot of it will depend on economics too of course - it might actually be cheaper & easier to contest AS with large numbers of cheap stealth drones (assuming such a thing can be made) & lose plenty of them than doing so with F-22's or hte foreign equivalent (when they appear) vs each other.


Isn't an A2A missile a 'drone'?

What about a jet powered "missile sled" which is directed by the F22 or F35 30 km back?



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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The benefit of using a drone over the U-2 is the obvious reduced operating cost and zero chance of losing a pilot. Plus the smaller craft is harder to detect.

However, enemy forces have been able to intercept the video footage from the drones by using a $30 software program. So unless the encryption becomes unbreakable, every time you send out a drone you will potentially be compromising the mission.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 06:11 AM
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What software?!



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by allenidaho
However, enemy forces have been able to intercept the video footage from the drones by using a $30 software program. So unless the encryption becomes unbreakable, every time you send out a drone you will potentially be compromising the mission.



Although I am not sure about the $30 software bit, you have hit the nail on the head.

We are a long ways away from autonomous drones. So, until that (AI) becomes a reality, UV's will be limited by communication capacity...an area where, unfortunately, the US is not a clearly dominant force.

Once full autonomy is achieved, than all bets are off, but that is a much more massive technical hurdle than most people realize.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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It is a program called "Skygrabber". It sells for $26 and was discovered being used in Iraq in 2009. It allowed the insurgents to see everything the drone operator sees.

The website can be found here if you want to buy it:
www.skygrabber.com...



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