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U-2 Spy Plane Evades the Day of Retirement

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  • U-2 Spy Plane Evades the Day of Retirement

    Nice to see this old Cold Warrior still around. Too bad the SR-71 wasn't so lucky . Robert

    U-2 Spy Plane Evades the Day of Retirement

    Source: NYT (3-22-10)

    The U-2 spy plane, the high-flying aircraft that was often at the heart of cold war suspense, is enjoying an encore.

    Four years ago, the Pentagon was ready to start retiring the plane, which took its first test flight in 1955. But Congress blocked that, saying the plane was still useful.

    And so it is. Because of updates in the use of its powerful sensors, it has become the most sought-after spy craft in a very different war in Afghanistan.

    As it shifts from hunting for nuclear missiles to detecting roadside bombs, it is outshining even the unmanned drones in gathering a rich array of intelligence used to fight the Taliban.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/bu...X8CwsTz0Fgt5CQ
    Last edited by JCFalkenbergIII; 27 Mar 10, 13:35.
    For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

  • #2
    Still useful, sure, I can believe that. The Taliban dont fly, after all!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
      Still useful, sure, I can believe that. The Taliban dont fly, after all!
      One example of "If it aint broke.Don't fix it". Robert
      For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

      Comment


      • #4
        The U-2 is useful in that it can fly at sub sonic speed at extreme altitudes for a long period of time. Out of sight, out of range of anything the Terrorist might have to try to shoot it down. Also, unlike the SR-71, the U-2 is far more economical to fly as well as far more capable of loitering over a target area for hours without refueling. As it is flying very near its stall speed in the thin air of 70,000 feet and is easily bounced around by the wind at low altitude, with no power assisted controls at lower altitude, it is a very demanding aircraft to fly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_U-2
        “Breaking News,”

        “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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        • #5
          This is quite impressive too. Robert

          "Marine officers say they relied on photographs from the U-2’s old film cameras, which take panoramic images at such a high resolution they can see insurgent footpaths, while the U-2’s newer digital cameras beamed back frequent updates on 25 spots where the Marines thought they could be vulnerable.

          In addition, the U-2’s altitude, once a defense against antiaircraft missiles, enables it to scoop up signals from insurgent phone conversations that mountains would otherwise block. "
          For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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          • #6
            Nostalgia. Its not what it used to be.
            Go on the old girl.

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            • #7
              Glad to see that we still have an aircraft with those capabilities on active duty. Now I can just hope that one day soon the scram jet program gets back off the ground .
              If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in english, thank a soldier.

              "CRY,'HAVOC' AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR." ~Julius Caesar

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Computre View Post
                Glad to see that we still have an aircraft with those capabilities on active duty. Now I can just hope that one day soon the scram jet program gets back off the ground .
                These days you never know. IIRC the SR-71 was pushed into retirement due to some higher ups pushing for the use of satellites. Robert
                For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

                Comment

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