Feb 20, 2015

USAF May be Forced to retire U-2 and Global Hawk In 2016 Due to sequestration

The USAF may be forced to retire its U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 ISR aircraft if sequestration is not eliminated in Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16).
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.

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