USAF cancels Global Hawks in favour of extended U-2 service.

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Stratofreighter
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USAF cancels Global Hawks in favour of extended U-2 service.

Post by Stratofreighter »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/ ... EM20120124
Exclusive: U.S. Air Force terminating Northrop unmanned plane
http://defense.aol.com/2012/01/24/penta ... lobal-hawk
WASHINGTON: The Air Force's RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft appears to be the latest big-ticket program to fall victim to the Pentagon's budget axe.

The venerable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drone will be nixed as part of the Air Force's upcoming fiscal 2013 budget proposal, according to Loren Thompson, a consultant and defense analyst. Specifically, the Air Force will retire the Block 30 variants of the drone already in the service's fleet and end production of the platform entirely, he wrote.

The decision comes as Global Hawk-manufacturer Northrop Grumman is developing a new Block 40 version of the drone for the Air Force and a maritime version -- known as the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance system -- for the Navy. The cancellation also comes at a time when company officials have been aggressively pushing the Global Hawk into foreign markets. Deals with NATO, South Korea, Japan and Australia were potentially on the table until today's announcement.
Taken from
:arrow: http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/what- ... a=1&c=1171 :idea:
The U-2 has similar features, including sophisticated sensors that in some circumstances can outperform those on the Global Hawk.
But it lacks the "legs" of Global Hawk, a feature that had been thought critical as the joint force shifts its focus to the Asia-Pacific region.
U-2 is now expected to remain active in the joint fleet until at least 2023
:roll: :loud: :|
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Re: USAF cancels Global Hawks in favour of extended U-2 service.

Post by SquAdmin »

Hmm, remarkable decision because I think the operating costs of the U-2 are rather high and Obama has recently announced an expension of the UAV fleet. You might wonder if the crash of the RQ-170 over Iran has something to do with this...
Greetz,

Patrick
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Re: USAF cancels Global Hawks in favour of extended U-2 service.

Post by Flyboy »

The advantage of the U-2 is that the local control cannot be taken over remotely. <speculation mode>This may also affect the MQ series, and the entire concept of future warfare. This may than also have effect on the F-35 being a stealth striker. I would consider designing a steath tanker...</speculation mode>
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Re: USAF cancels Global Hawks in favour of extended U-2 service.

Post by Basman »

SquAdmin wrote:You might wonder if the crash of the RQ-170 over Iran has something to do with this...
- Guessing mode on-
And maybe the high number of losses in general of UAV's? I don't have any figures at hand but it always seems to me that, when reading the 'dustpan and brush' section in Scramble, the number of crashed UAV's is very high compared to crashes of manned aircraft.
:?:
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Re: USAF cancels Global Hawks in favour of extended U-2 service.

Post by tomcat604 »

What about another theory? What if the big Hawk doesn’t work nearly as well as advertised? There have been a few reports/comments critical about the mission package maturity and reliability. You can sit at 60k feet all day but if the recce package doesn’t work what is it worth?
Then again this may be smoke and mirrors for an even more advanced platform coming on line.
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