U-2 RADAR IMAGING COULD BE EVEN BETTER

As I noted in DRAGON LADY TODAY, the already-super performance of the radar imaging system on the U-2 could be significantly enhanced by upgrading it with an Active Electronically-Scanned Antenna (AESA). In fact, a test program to do just that is underway. But it has been slowed by budgetary restrictions. And because the U-2 is … Continue reading U-2 RADAR IMAGING COULD BE EVEN BETTER

REPRIEVE LIKELY FOR U-2 DRAGON LADY

I heard some good news - unofficially - and wrote this story for Aviation International News, where I am the Defense Editor: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2017-03-20/reprieve-likely-u-2-dragon-lady Nothing is confirmed until the full President's Budget for defense in Fiscal Year 2018 is published in a few weeks' time. That budget will also include (as usual), a forecast for spending … Continue reading REPRIEVE LIKELY FOR U-2 DRAGON LADY

U-2 CRASH SHOULD NOT INFLUENCE RETIREMENT DEBATE

This week’s tragic accident at Beale AFB should not be allowed to influence the debate, about whether the U-2 should remain in service. That debate continues, and will come to a head in the spring of next year, after the DoD’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request is published. As things stand, the Dragon Lady fleet … Continue reading U-2 CRASH SHOULD NOT INFLUENCE RETIREMENT DEBATE

40 YEARS OF THE BLACK CAT SQUADRON (v2)

Next Friday 6th May, the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron will celebrate its 40th Anniversary, with a crew chief competition and an open house. The Blackcat squadron keeps three U-2s at Osan airbase in Korea, from where one of them takes off most days to monitor the reclusive but aggressive North Korean regime, and other situations in … Continue reading 40 YEARS OF THE BLACK CAT SQUADRON (v2)

GLOBAL HAWK: $3.5 BILLION OF IMPROVEMENTS AWAITED

The Global Hawk is still under-performing, and formal testing of the extensive improvements that have been ordered, won’t take place until Fiscal Year 2018. This information comes from the 2015 annual report by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), Michael Gilmore. He notes that the multi-year upgrade and modernization program for the … Continue reading GLOBAL HAWK: $3.5 BILLION OF IMPROVEMENTS AWAITED