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Sen. Reed Presses Wilson, Goldfein On JSTARS Plans

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Air Force photo

In a hearing this morning, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed, said he’s skeptical about the current plan to retire the JSTARS radar surveillance plane because the Air Force has been inconsistent, not just about JSTARS, but a host of other programs.

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U-2 Expert Says Global Hawk Just Can’t Compare

Posted by Chris Pocock on


Chris Pocock may know more about the U-2 than anyone who doesn’t possess a very high security clearance. He’s written four books about the planes and is passionate about the black beauties. Here’s his take on whether Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk can rival or surpass the capabilities of the U-2. Read on. The Editor. Northrop… Keep reading →

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Northrop Flies, Tests New Sensor, The MS-177 On Global Hawk

Posted by Colin Clark on


ORLANDO: After much rescheduling and years of skepticism, Northrop Grumman took a step toward finally replacing the revered but aging U-2 spy plane with its Global Hawk drone on Feb. 8, when it flew with and tested UTC’s MS-177 multispectral sensor, which is intended to enable the drone to surpass the legendary U-2. The day before the… Keep reading →

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Global Hawk Tests U-2 High Rez Camera; Flight Costs Drop

Posted by Colin Clark on


The battle for ISR primacy continues between the venerable U-2 and the unmanned Global Hawk, but the Northrop Grumman drone took another step forward Oct. 6 in its quest to do what its manned competition does, and more. The aircraft flew with an Optical Bar Camera broad-area synoptic sensor, a tool that has been a key reason for… Keep reading →

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Air Combat Commander Bullish On F-35 IOC

Posted by Colin Clark on


RIAT: No roadblocks stand in the way of approving Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the Air Force’s F-35A, Gen. Hawk Carlisle said here today. The head of Air Combat Command — who is the man charged with ensuring Lockheed Martin meets all the benchmarks for IOC — made clear nothing would happen until Air Force… Keep reading →

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Don’t Retire U-2, Again! Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Schiff Urge Air Force To Postpone

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Either Lockheed Martin’s legendary U-2 spy plane does things that Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk drone can’t, or it doesn’t. If the U-2 doesn’t, then, the Air Force argues, it should be retired by 2019. After several flip flops in recent years, that is the service’s current position: We need to retire the U-2 because we’re upgrading the… Keep reading →

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Lt. Gen. Otto Commits Air Force To More Open Mission Systems

Posted by Richard Whittle on


The Air Force is expanding its Open Mission Systems standard because it is working so well, Lt. Gen. Robert Otto, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, said in a Monday interview with Breaking Defense. “Our acquisition community is looking to — maybe proliferate is too strong a word — but broaden the… Keep reading →

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Bye Bye U-2: CIA Legend Allen Predicts End Of Manned Reconnaissance

Posted by Richard Whittle on


WASHINGTON: “The world of manned reconnaissance is gone, and soon manned reconnaissance itself will be gone.” So says Charles E. Allen, whose opinion on such matters carries more weight than most. Charlie Allen joined the CIA in 1958 and spent the last seven of his 40 years there as assistant director of central intelligence for collection.… Keep reading →

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Will Lockheed Build A Stealthy U-2 Successor?

Posted by Colin Clark on


PALMDALE, CALIF.: Lockheed Martin is exploring building a stealthy successor to the U-2 as an answer to Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and the U-2’s impending retirement. Why a stealthy reconnaissance aircraft? Neither the U-2 nor Global Hawk can operate for long in what the military calls contested airspace. Ever since Gary Powers was shot down… Keep reading →

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U-2 Hits 60; A Glimpse of Where It Was Built

Posted by Colin Clark on


  PALMDALE, CALIF: The mountains are dry. The spaces are vast. The population is small. You wouldn’t think it to look around from the center of town, but this place hosts a remarkable array of the world’s smartest people who design and build America’s weapons. You get a few hints of the history of Palmdale as… Keep reading →

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