Military Review

65 years in the ranks: the American U-2 spy plane got new features

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The legendary US Air Force U-2 reconnaissance aircraft has received updated equipment and new features. For the first time in stories changes were made to the spy plane software.


Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force for Procurement, Technology and Logistics, told the press what the modernization of the aircraft is. The official noted that the first-ever update includes adding code to help track future changes.

The aircraft software update represents a major milestone in the further development of combat capabilities. aviation and is capable of changing the rules of the game in such important areas as aerial reconnaissance and aerial surveillance, as well as electronic warfare. The second update brought, according to a spokesman for the US Air Force, improved algorithms for automatic target recognition.

Roper posted on his Twitter page the details of the U-2 upgrade. Also, a senior official stressed that he himself recently flew on a training aircraft.

Meanwhile, on October 6, the US Air Force reported that a U-2S aircraft from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, stationed at California Air Force Base, had performed a training flight with the new software.

The successful combination of the legacy U-2 computer system with modern Kubernetes software was a milestone in the development of software for existing Air Force weapons systems.

- emphasized the director of software for the US Air Force, Nicholas Cheyllan.



The commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing U-2, Air Colonel Heather Fox, also praised the changes, stressing that they open the way for new experiments in raising awareness of pilots about the situation during flights. The integration of the new software, according to the colonel, helps to improve observation from a higher altitude, increases the survivability of the aircraft in difficult conditions.

According to the author of the American edition of The Drive, Joseph Trevithick, the ability to remotely update software does not seem to be a significant problem for ordinary people who periodically download fixes to smartphones and personal computers.

But in a combat flight, this is a much more difficult task, the successful solution of which will improve the quality of the tasks performed. Indeed, in modern conditions the ability to continue the flight and perform the mission as a whole largely depends on the software.

Suffice it to give an example: the enemy put into operation a new weapon or a previously unknown radar? The aircraft will not be able to detect them until it receives the update. Now the US Air Force command sees the main task in this area as providing conditions for the transfer of information. This will enable the use of real-time data and enhance the aircraft's capabilities.

Trevithick writes that over time, it will be possible to tune algorithms in systems controlled by artificial intelligence, including unmanned aerial vehicles. This will significantly change the course of military operations in which the US Air Force is involved. At the same time, of course, you should not limit these capabilities solely to the Air Force: they can find their place in the ground forces and in the naval forces, which also increasingly exploit network systems.

For reference: U-2 made its first flight back in 1955 - 65 years in the ranks. And the Pentagon is not going to abandon it. Today, the US Air Force has up to 30 such aerial spies.
Author:
Photos used:
Twitter / US Air Force
24 comments
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  1. Cutter
    Cutter 20 October 2020 10: 31
    +4
    I understood from the article: the Russian electronic warfare service has something to do.
  2. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 20 October 2020 10: 34
    +5
    B2 with F22 are already being prepared for decommissioning, while U2, B52, Tu95 have an unlimited service life. Great planes.
    1. DenZ
      DenZ 20 October 2020 11: 13
      +1
      Meanwhile, the U-2C that was shot down over the Sverdlovsk region and modern modifications (TR-1A / U-2R) There is little in common.
      1. aries2200
        aries2200 21 October 2020 23: 59
        0
        Well, from the missile that was shot down by u2, there is little in common laughing
    2. Ali
      Ali 20 October 2020 15: 26
      -5
      Quote: OgnennyiKotik
      B2 and F22 are already being prepared for decommissioning, while U2, B52, Tu95 have an unlimited service life. Excellent planes.

      OgnennyiKotik. A propagandist, and why are these planes great, having a service life of 65 years? In that they are old?
      1. Nasdaq
        Nasdaq 20 October 2020 21: 14
        -1
        Well, probably not EXCELLENT, but currently uncontested. Replacement is very expensive, and bombers, in principle, do not age much morally.
        1. Ali
          Ali 21 October 2020 07: 43
          -2
          Quote: OgnennyiKotik topic: A video of tests of the American maneuverable air defense system IM-SHORAD Military Review has appeared on the Web * News
          NASAMS great system, there are no questions for her. Everything Else crap useless against the military UAV.

          OgnennyiKotik. Propagandist! No need to deliberately lie here and write nonsense! NASAMS system has a minimum target hitting height H = 30 meters and therefore can not hit UAV.
          NASAMS system uncontested и cannot shoot down a UAV!
          Do not deliberately deceive members of the forum from time to time!
      2. The comment was deleted.
    3. PSih2097
      PSih2097 20 October 2020 16: 46
      0
      F-22 and B-2 for decommissioning ??? belay Are the Americans even aware of it?
  3. Gvardeetz77
    Gvardeetz77 20 October 2020 10: 41
    +5
    And then they will also be converted into drones and extended operation for another 65 years. Damn, Kalashnikov assault rifle with wings
  4. Aleksandre
    Aleksandre 20 October 2020 10: 45
    +3
    Which could be "65 years in the ranks," he charged back in 1989m, called the U-2A. Those 30 pieces, about which indicated at the end - it is apparently U-2S 1994. There and other airframe and engine ....
    1. The comment was deleted.
  5. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 20 October 2020 11: 03
    0
    U-2 got updated hardware and new features
    Opportunity remote update software is good, but modern electronic warfare systems can turn this feature into a big problem. But the Americans, of course, know better, since they can fly and conduct reconnaissance and probably only over territories without air defense and electronic warfare systems, or along the edge of borders. The times of a quiet flight over the territory of another state with a modern army have sunk into oblivion.
    1. Holgerton
      Holgerton 20 October 2020 11: 49
      +1
      You have an overly idealized view of electronic warfare as a phenomenon that suppresses everything and everyone. At a minimum, you attribute non-existent opportunities in terms of exploiting the aircraft vulnerability due to remote software updates.
  6. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 20 October 2020 11: 23
    0
    Why aren't they being converted into drones?
    Without a pilot, it would become lighter, could fly even higher and even further.
  7. rocket757
    rocket757 20 October 2020 11: 44
    +1
    So cool! All, as grit from naphthalene, but back in the ranks!
    Here's how they used to do it!
    1. Mountain shooter
      Mountain shooter 20 October 2020 12: 00
      +1
      Quote: rocket757
      So cool! All, as grit from naphthalene, but back in the ranks!
      Here's how they used to be able to do

      They knew how to do! Although it is not very clear why they were not converted into drones ... Is the function of a pilot in such a reconnaissance aircraft so important?
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 20 October 2020 12: 02
        0
        Yes, this idea also came up. But, as grit, the owner is a gentleman.
      2. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 20 October 2020 12: 36
        -2
        There is no need. There are specialized drones MQ-4 / 4C, they perform unmanned missions, for manned reconnaissance missions. In theory, U2 can transform into a command center for controlling drones.
        In addition, there are no examples of successful conversion of manned aircraft into unmanned aircraft, only as targets and experiments.
        1. Mountain shooter
          Mountain shooter 20 October 2020 12: 52
          0
          Quote: OgnennyiKotik

          0
          There is no need. There are specialized drones MQ-4 / 4C, they perform unmanned tasks, for manned reconnaissance their tasks

          I imagine how "comfortable" the pilot in the narrow cockpit of many hours without any facilities and ... And what has he can, why can not the drone? Manage a flock in such circumstances - it is also very inconvenient.
  8. ZEMCH
    ZEMCH 20 October 2020 13: 28
    +1
    According to the author of the American edition of The Drive, Joseph Trevithick, the ability to remotely update software does not seem to be a significant problem for ordinary people who periodically download fixes to smartphones and personal computers.

    That's just smart phones and computers are not working at the moment))) Yes, and not infrequently receive the "bricks, blocks," after the upgrade curve))) laughing
    But the plane is flying at this moment and the task is being performed, the sysadmin's excuse will not work here
  9. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 20 October 2020 14: 09
    +1
    The legendary US Air Force U-2 reconnaissance aircraft has received updated equipment and new features.
    belay A good plane for its time. Today, it’s not a stinking corpse, or a skeleton with which the United States is sorry to part.
  10. evgen1221
    evgen1221 20 October 2020 14: 53
    -2
    As I understand it, the meaning of the upgrade is that it will be changed on the fly to counteract the RB, quickly replace the input-output frequencies, plus change your someone else's frequencies on the fly.
  11. lvov_aleksey
    lvov_aleksey 20 October 2020 16: 45
    0
    MiG-31 or MiG-41 of the future will show the "fun" in flight))) About our missile defense has not said anything!
  12. lvov_aleksey
    lvov_aleksey 20 October 2020 16: 46
    0
    Quote: evgen1221
    As I understand it, the meaning of the upgrade is that it will be changed on the fly to counteract the RB, quickly replace the input-output frequencies, plus change your someone else's frequencies on the fly.

    do not load, there will be no secrets here)))
  13. Dkuznecov
    Dkuznecov 20 October 2020 19: 57
    -1
    A sort of server with wings, flies and distributes apy.