The company Lockheed Martin, unveiled a plan to create drones U-2, against the wishes of the US Congress, to develop a program of production Global Hawk, manufactured by Northrop Grumman for aerial reconnaissance. The proposed new model will be similar to the unmanned vehicle on the parameters model RQ-4B Global Hawk.
When comparing the characteristics of the aircraft, U-2 has several advantages: first, the maximum lifting height of U-2 70000 feet against 60000 feet GH. Second, the capacity of U-2 5000 of pounds3000 against the pound at the GH, it is a very tangible argument. Thirdly, U-2 has a large arsenal of protection compared to GH. UAV GH has a unique advantage - a long-term presence in the air - 24 hours, U-2 12 has a limit equal to the clock.
Supporters of both programs are heated debates about the advantages and disadvantages of both projects over 15 years trying to make their main program and receive funding from the government. The Pentagon plans to spend 1.8 bln. Dollars to update the Global Hawk, to increase the reliability and manageability of devices.
Based on the April report to Congress, the Air Force will make the cost 9.1 bln. Dollars for the program Global Hawk, including a provision for purchase 45 aircraft in various configurations.
Initially UAVs GH designed as cheap cell phones to gather intelligence and steel used during tactical operations in Asia and the Middle East. Gradually, the model was improved, and the operators Mission Control tracking station, gained experience and expands the range of tasks performed.
The company Lockheed Martin, creating a new model U-2, without control of the pilot for the project has made a request for the allocation of funds for the development of the project in the amount of 700 million. Dollars.
U-2 is one of the few types of aircraft that are in service with more than 50 years. Recent developments TR-1, U-2R, U-2S taken into service at the end of 1980-ies. The latest development of U-2S was upgraded in 2012 year and actively used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The unique design of U-2, which allows the aircraft to conduct reconnaissance flights at altitudes up to 21000 m, at the same time creates certain difficulties during takeoff and landing on the ground. On aircraft engines installed: turbojet Pratt & Whitney J57, Pratt & Whitney J75 and turbofan General Electric F118.
In carrying out flights to U-2, have difficulty control of the aircraft at low altitude, the glider is very sensitive to crosswinds.
Due to the flight at high altitude in the cockpit air is supplied to pressurize. The pilot at the flight puts a special suit, which provides it with oxygen and provides protection in the event of loss of tightness of the cabin.
The Pentagon has repeatedly planned removal of U-2 with weapons, but the lack of a decent replacement each time forcing prolongs the life of the aircraft.
Experts note that the UAV RQ-4, which will replace the U-2, has operating expenses of $ 6710 dollars an hour, while the U-2 2380 only dollars per hour, which saves money.
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