Re: U-2 retirement

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Message posted by Smythers (Member since 04/27/2023) on August 10, 2023 at 12:15:56 PST:

Wonderful post again, and I am going to have to put some pointer thoughts forwards for you to consider.

The U2 isn't at the end of her physical life-span (As you rightly pointed out regarding her maintenance overhaul and inspections). What she is at, is the end of her penetration days.

No longer is height and stand-off distance going to protect her. Others can reach out and snatch her from the skies the moment the cool war goes hot. And that is why her hours are coming to an end.

i) Her presence cannot be hidden despite the plethora of defensive abilities.

ii) Her uplink/downlink are vulnerable. Those who wish to ferret out, will be able to place other airframes into the region that can hoover up the raw signals. See point (i) for why.

iii) She cannot be upgraded with the latest laser optical up/down links. As much as it would be amazing to do so, there just is not enough real estate left to shoehorn it all in.

iiii) As she has to creep further and further away from the frontline, the enemy's ability to camouflage themselves from her sensors grows.

Sadly then, and I truly mean sadly, as 2026 draws ever towards us, the U2 looks very much as she is in her final days after decades of sterling service. Height alone just isn't enough to save her any more (and China's ability to reach out and hurt grows ever stronger every passing day).

That is why P-ISR had billions upon billions thrown at it. That is why NG designed an exquisite platform. She needs to be able to go where the DoD want,when they want it, and with the enemy not even having a clue as to where she is, or who she is talking to.

In Reply to: U-2 retirement posted by Pinyon72 on August 10, 2023 at 4:48:32 PST:


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