U-2 Dragon Lady U.S. high-altitude reconnaissance will undergo modernization

U-2 Dragon Lady U.S. high-altitude reconnaissance will undergo modernization

U-2 Dragon Lady U.S. strategic reconnaissance aircraft will undergo modernization, during which they will receive new avionics, a flight control computer and a dashboard. This was reported by the press service of Lockheed Martin.


The work will be carried out as part of the OMS (Open Mission Systems) program, which involves equipping military equipment with open architecture equipment. In March last year, it was reported that Raytheon had completed the development of a new synthetic aperture ASARS-2B radar station for the high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft U-2 Dragon Lady.

According to the plans of the US Air Force, the first modernized U-2 Dragon Lady will begin to arrive in mid-2021, and the full modernization will end by early 2022.

The U-2 reconnaissance aircraft were in service with the United States Air Force, and in the period from 1956 to 1960, the 24 conducted reconnaissance flights over the USSR territory during the year, until in May 1960-1 U-2 was not shot down, after which the reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union stopped , although continued along the borders of the country.

Created at the beginning of the 50 of the last century, the reconnaissance aircraft could reach speeds of up to 805 kilometers per hour and fly at altitudes over 21,3 thousands of meters over 12 hours. In this case, the combat radius of the aircraft was 10,3 thousands of kilometers.

In 2014, the US Congress adopted a new budget, in which it envisaged to write off all reconnaissance aircraft in service before 2019, replacing them with strategic drone RQ-4 Global Hawk. The main reason was the obsolescence of the aircraft and the significant cost per flight hour (36 thousand dollars for U-2 versus 24 thousand for RQ-4 Global Hawk) as compared to UAVs. However, in 2017, the plans for canceling the aircraft were abandoned, declaring the need for developing for U-2 a new surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

Currently in service with the US Air Force are 30 U-2S aircraft. The average age of aircraft is 36 and a half years.
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  1. svp67 April 14 2020 14: 52 New
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    U-2 Dragon Lady U.S. high-altitude reconnaissance will undergo modernization
    It is strange that no one in America calls them "mothballs."
    It’s a pity, it’s a pity that the Myasischevsky M-17 and M-55 did not go into the series
  2. Mitroha April 14 2020 14: 55 New
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    Production and development have been hit hard in all countries over the past 30 years. Everyone is trying to make maximum use of the reserve left in the "golden" age of development. Therefore, they mainly upgrade, developing something new only in exceptional cases.
    The flight of thought and fantasy that scientists of the 20th century were famous for was lost
  3. Bare April 14 2020 15: 02 New
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    Good target. lol
    1. askort154 April 14 2020 15: 13 New
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      Bare Good target.

      In the 21st century, yes! And in the middle of the 20th century, it was a big problem and a headache for us until 1960. After that, they continued to fly, but only along the “sidelines” of the USSR and the countries of the Warsaw Pact.
      1. Blondy April 14 2020 16: 13 New
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        Oh, what a cut in the American way it turns out: after all, they will be beaten over the places of interest, but expensive over uninteresting places. So, even after modernization, their fate is rusting in hangars.
  4. Reserve buildbat April 14 2020 15: 06 New
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    Beautiful plane. Especially in the exposition of the TsMVS and our House of Officers. Yekaterinburg.
    1. Vladimir_2U April 14 2020 16: 10 New
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      Quote: stock buildbat
      Beautiful plane. Especially in the exposure center

      There it is presented in the form of a mosaic, if I am not mistaken? )))
      1. Reserve buildbat April 14 2020 16: 34 New
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        You are not mistaken))) I wouldn’t undertake to collect such)))
    2. Grandfather April 14 2020 18: 58 New
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      Quote: stock buildbat
      Beautiful plane. Especially in the exposition of the TsMVS and our House of Officers. Yekaterinburg.

      in the museum at the military unit on the "FAN" there is also a fragment.
      1. Reserve buildbat April 14 2020 18: 59 New
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        I don’t know))) I haven’t been there)))
  5. dirk182 April 14 2020 15: 11 New
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    reconnaissance equipment and at one time it was unique ...
    The main device was a camera developed by Perkin-Elmer, which had 1800 m of film, and it was able to take a strip of 150 km wide and 3000 km long from the height of the flight, and objects smaller than a meter were distinguishable in the image. The camera resolution was 0,76 m when shooting from a height of 18000 m. In one of the flights, a section of Eisenhower himself was photographed; in the pictures that showed him, it was possible to count the cows on the site.
  6. abrakadabre April 14 2020 16: 55 New
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    reconnaissance aircraft could reach speeds of up to 805 kilometers per hour and fly at altitudes of more than 21,3 thousand meters for 12 hours.
    805 km / h * 12 h = 9660 km. However, further ...
    At the same time, the combat radius of the aircraft was 10,3 thousand kilometers.
    The author of the article does not feel the difference between the combat radius and the maximum flight range (range). Especially for the author I explain on the fingers:
    The combat radius is the maximum distance (in fuel) that a plane can fly away if it wants to return back to the point of departure.
    Flight range (ferry) is the maximum distance that the aircraft will fly in a straight line (or conventionally in a straight line).
    Of course, for the U-2R version, the ferry range of 17700 km is indicated, but the combat radius (aka flight range) for this version is indicated as 5600 km.
    1. The comment was deleted.
  7. APASUS April 14 2020 17: 59 New
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    Now air defense systems reach the lower borders of outer space. Such aircraft are only used somewhere in Africa, and then not over the entire territory
  8. grandfather_Kostya April 15 2020 09: 32 New
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    12 hours in a tight shell ass sit, I can not imagine!