20 Jun '16, 11pm

via @BreakingDefense

via @BreakingDefense

WASHINGTON: Either Lockheed Martin’s legendary U-2 spy plane does things that Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk drone can’t, or it doesn’t. If the U-2 doesn’t, then, the Air Force argues, it should be retired by 2019. After several flip flops in recent years, that is the service’s current position: We need to retire the U-2 because we’re upgrading the sensors for Global Hawk and it can fly for much longer periods than can the U-2. Even the very respected Charlie Allen, formerly of CIA, predicts the coming end of manned aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. But Lockheed’s Skunk Works folks have been very clever in using the Air Force’s Open Mission System work to demonstrate new sensors and thus boost the U-2 apparent flexibility and longevity. (Northrop Grumman has also done OMS work on Global Hawk.) Today, Lockheed was rewarded for its in...

Full article: http://breakingdefense.com/2016/06/dont-retire-u-2-again-...

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