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

WHO WILL BE U-2 PILOT NUMBER 1,000 ?

U-2 pilots are a select breed. It’s a volunteer assignment, and to be accepted, candidates must pass two weeks of interviews at the 9th Recon Wing, Beale AFB, and fly three times in a U-2ST trainer commanded by one of the instructor pilots of the 1st Recon Squadron. I describe what it’s like to become … Continue reading WHO WILL BE U-2 PILOT NUMBER 1,000 ?

THE U-2 – HOBBLED BY HISTORY?

This has been a big year for U-2 history. The 60th anniversary of the first flight was celebrated in three well-attended reunions, and the aircraft was featured in the Hollywood movie “Bridge of Spies”, which is now on general release. I’ve just seen Stephen Spielberg’s version of how American lawyer James Donovan secured the release … Continue reading THE U-2 – HOBBLED BY HISTORY?

THE HIGH ALTITUDE TRANSITION

This is Washington-speak for the plan to replace the U-2 with the Global Hawk. I wrote plenty on that perennial topic in DRAGON LADY TODAY. But here’s the latest. The Air Force finally sent the High Altitude ISR Transition Plan to the US Congress last month. I hear it doesn’t read well. That’s probably because … Continue reading THE HIGH ALTITUDE TRANSITION