It turned out that the US Air Force U-2 aircraft use Beidou and GLONASS navigation systems in addition to GPS


Despite the U.S. relations with China, the U.S. military aviation uses the technological achievements of the Middle Kingdom. This is a Beidou navigation system.


The head of the US Air Force command, General James Holmes, admitted that the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft use the Chinese navigation system Beidou, which is used as a backup copy of GPS.

My guys on U-2 now fly with a watch that is connected to GPS, as well as to Beidu,

- said the American general.

The general also noted that the Russian system GLONASS and the navigation system of European development are also used as an alternative.

Recall that the second generation of the Chinese Beidou system came into operation at the end of 2018. At the end of 2020, the launch of the third generation of the system is expected. The Chinese navigation system is seen as an alternative to the Russian Glonass system, the American GPS system and the European Galileo system. If GPS is not available, then American pilots will be able to use the Chinese system.

U-2R / TR-1 "Dragon Lady" - the main reconnaissance aircraft of the US Air Force, used to perform the functions of strategic aviation intelligence. The first modifications of this aircraft went into operation during the Cold War between the United States and the USSR, in 1957. Since then, the modernized U-2s have played a leading role in providing the U.S. military with aviation intelligence data.

Chinese military expert Zhou Chenming sees no obstacle to the use of Beidou by US military aircraft. After all, the Chinese navigation system was created and developed as a commercial project, so its creators are interested in using it as widely as possible. Unlike GPS, which is used by the US military, the Chinese system does not control signals from its satellites.


Interestingly, the PRC initially developed a new navigation system also for military purposes. In Beijing, they planned to increase the independence of the People's Liberation Army of China in terms of communications and tracking, and transfer the PLA from GPS to Beidou. Then the manufacturer began to develop and commercial direction, intended for free use.

The highlight of the Chinese navigation system is the possibility of short messages between individuals and user groups. This distinguishes Beidou from the American GPS. Interestingly, in China, the transition to a new navigation system was prescribed to all fishing vessels, passenger buses, trucks. Beidou is now servicing tens of millions of Chinese vehicles.

At the same time, it is very unlikely that Beidou chips in the watches of pilots of American reconnaissance aircraft will be identified and tracked by China.

For real-time tracking, special transponders should be installed, similar to those used in AIS on ships. A simple chip doesn't have that,

- notes the Chinese analyst Zhou Chenming.

Naturally, if the Chinese military could track the signals from the chips, then the US command would not allow the use of such a navigation system on their reconnaissance aircraft. On the other hand, the very fact that the Chinese navigation system is now considered by the US military as an alternative to the American navigation system, indicates the great technological progress of China.

There are no comments on the alternative use of the GLONASS system.

China is rapidly developing its high-tech industry, satellite communications, so it is possible that in the foreseeable future, Chinese systems on a global scale will compete with the American GPS system.
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  1. rocket757 9 March 2020 15: 40 New
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    Is this forbidden, or what? We also use it and what is more precisely determined.
    Now is the time of peace, so all the rules.
    1. Shurik70 9 March 2020 15: 54 New
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      Quote: rocket757

      Now is the time of peace, so all the rules.

      In the military all the more will soldier
      If even terrorists put GPS on their drones ...
      1. Aerodrome 9 March 2020 17: 30 New
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        "dragon", buried in VO 6 years ago .... resurrected? and boar too?
        March 12 2014
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        Since 2011, the Pentagon has been regularly reducing its costs. So, 4 March 2014, the public was presented to the draft military budget departments for the 2015 fiscal year. In addition to reducing the number of ground forces, this document contains information on the complete write-off of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and U-2 Dragon Lady strategic reconnaissance aircraft. And if the first one is soon enough replaced by multi-functional F-35 Lightning II fighter jets (at least in the plans), then the whole era will disappear with the latter. The reconnaissance aircraft U-2 is a true symbol of the Cold War, which is well known throughout the world, including in the former Soviet Union.
        1. Grigory_45 9 March 2020 20: 44 New
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          Quote: Aerodrome
          "dragon", buried in VO 6 years ago .... resurrected? and boar too?

          firstly, they didn’t bury, therefore there is no one to resurrect.

          Yes, Americans are attempting to retire the A-10 every tenth time - and so far without success. I think that from the 12th it will turn out when shock UAVs will take its place - provided that they really become an autonomous strike means ..

          But the Yankees really wrote off the U-2 (in mind, upgrades and resource extensions are not planned) - the last cars fly. Their place should be taken by satellites, RTR aircraft and UAVs Global Hawk.
    2. Den717 10 March 2020 06: 16 New
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      Quote: rocket757
      Now is the time of peace, so all the rules.

      In wartime, this is even more profitable. Neither the Chinese nor we will push our system, and it will work correctly.
      1. rocket757 10 March 2020 06: 40 New
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        Quote: Den717
        Neither the Chinese nor we will push our system, and it will work correctly.

        Not a fact, not a fact that protocols, codes will not be changed .... digital systems for the exchange of information, processing and data output, this is a very flexible system, capable of cardinal "mutation" if necessary .... "hardware" is not required , and software settings change easily if such an option is laid.
        1. Den717 10 March 2020 06: 48 New
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          Quote: rocket757
          and software installations change easily if such an option is laid.

          So let's see ...
          1. rocket757 10 March 2020 07: 14 New
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            Quote: Den717
            So let's see ...

            OH DO NOT ... let's live peacefully.
      2. vfwfr 11 March 2020 19: 43 New
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        Nuuu .. by signal trimming from neighboring satellites, you can understand that it is not a passenger plane that flies ................................. .
  2. Gray brother 9 March 2020 15: 40 New
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    Well, yes, now in many smartphones all three. What’s interesting for the mobile phone, they have it there)))
    1. Aerodrome 9 March 2020 17: 52 New
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      Quote: Gray Brother
      Well, yes, now in many smartphones all three. What’s interesting for the mobile phone, they have it there)))

      China....
  3. eklmn 9 March 2020 15: 47 New
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    The news is not new.
    U-2 pilots use the Garmin D2 watch, which allows the use of navigation systems from 4 countries.
    https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/garmin-deliver-100-d2-charlie-watch-usafs-u-2-pilots/
    I used Garmin GPS in my car for 15 years, it was very convenient and reliable. I paid $ 20 for a lifetime update and I didn’t know grief ....
  4. Smart 9 March 2020 16: 01 New
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    What is this going on!
    A likely adversary is using our GLONAS. We have groups there with a gulkin nose, and now they are clogging her up, and when the war begins we will again be guided by the moss and the sun.
    Keep your hands off our GLONAS, not for that Rogozin will put satellites into orbit once in a while so that you can navigate them! This is purely for us GLOGON !!!
    1. The Siberian barber 9 March 2020 19: 04 New
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      Do not shout and without tantrums))
      Go sober, hearty))
  5. knn54 9 March 2020 16: 07 New
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    Duplication is ALWAYS good.
  6. Pete mitchell 9 March 2020 16: 07 New
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    alternative application of the system ...
    In my opinion, the wording is incorrect: alternative systems are used to refine the data used by the main system: normal process, there is a possibility - we use it.
    A similar principle has long been used by navigation systems.
    1. Grigory_45 9 March 2020 20: 41 New
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      Quote: Pete Mitchell
      alternative application of the system ...
      In my opinion, the wording is incorrect: alternative systems are used to refine the data used by the main system: normal process, there is a possibility - we use it.
      A similar principle has long been used by navigation systems.

      absolutely right)
      1. Pete mitchell 10 March 2020 02: 09 New
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        In principle, the standard logic for building navigation systems: it’s possible to clarify the coordinates — use it: call it a pot, just don’t put it in the oven: update VOR-VOR, DME-DME, GALILEO- .. doesn’t matter: thinning of coordinates matters, especially for scout walking on a given route
  7. Observer2014 9 March 2020 16: 39 New
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    It turned out that the US Air Force U-2 aircraft use Beidou and GLONASS navigation systems in addition to GPS
    This news will only surprise or excite tanker jackets laughingThe rest of the normal growth of 194 cm is well aware that there is nothing surprising in this. Each of you has gadgets in the GPS electronic devices. Our GPS vayak certainly not bully
  8. Andobor 9 March 2020 16: 58 New
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    Yes. - Putin will press a button, - American planes will packs and sprinkle,
    But America was the same great aviation power.
    And now Putin controls their airplanes, he appoints presidents.
  9. aranzon1913 9 March 2020 17: 38 New
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    It would be foolish. I think the same is true for China.
  10. Grad-Xnumx 9 March 2020 19: 58 New
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    U-2 still flying? Machines ancient for fifty years since the Vietnam War.
    1. Grigory_45 9 March 2020 20: 40 New
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      Quote: Grad-1
      U-2 still flying?

      while flying. Only these are no longer the cars of Vietnam or Powers. Now these are electronic reconnaissance aircraft (with side-view radars, updated avionics and advanced REP equipment) - U-2S and TU-2S
      In general, U-2 is being actively replaced by Global Hawk UAVs
  11. Grigory_45 9 March 2020 20: 33 New
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    It turned out that the US Air Force U-2 aircraft use Beidou and GLONASS navigation systems in addition to GPS
    America was discovered directly, Captain Obviousness))) we (and Europeans and Chinese) also use the same GPS in addition to national systems, and so what?

    It is clear that during the database everything will be different - the military will switch to the national system, and in peacetime, why not ???
  12. avdkrd 9 March 2020 21: 48 New
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    It seems to me that this is more a vulnerability than an achievement. The determination of the coordinates of the aircraft becomes known to the owners of the system, in addition, it becomes possible to present the necessary data to the receiver in hardware, replacing the real signal.
    1. Narak-zempo 10 March 2020 09: 23 New
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      Quote: avdkrd
      The determination of the coordinates of the aircraft becomes known to owners

      How so?
      Quote: avdkrd
      it becomes possible to present the necessary data to the receiver in hardware, replacing the real signal.

      To do this, you must at least identify the receiver. But how to do this if he, the receiver, only receives a signal?
  13. Mikhail Dzyuin 10 March 2020 15: 35 New
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    To be honest, all adequate people understand that when gps stops working, we can say that there is no one navigation system. For obvious reasons. There is no need for navigation. There would be hiding from the damaging factors of a nuclear explosion.