Feb 20, 2015
USAF May be Forced to retire U-2 and Global Hawk In 2016 Due to sequestration
Though the Pentagon has wavered over which programme to retire in the prior two budget cycles, both the U-2 and the RQ-4 are fully funded in the department's FY16 budget request. The document states that the U-2 would be divested in 2019 after sensors for the Global Hawk are upgraded.
The U-2's sensors have a range of about 160 km, while the Global Hawk has a range of about 95 km.
The Global Hawk needs nearly USD2 billion in upgrades over approximately six years so that it can complete all the missions done by the manned U-2. The necessary work consists of upgrades to ground stations, communications and imagery capability, and the Global Hawk's weather radar.