Lockheed Martin Skunk Works has received a contract, valued at $50 million, from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to upgrade the U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft to support future battlespace needs.
The contract includes the following upgrades to the Dragon Lady:
+ An updated avionics suite that modernizes the U-2’s onboard systems to readily accept and use new technology.
+ A new mission computer designed to the U.S. Air Force’s open mission systems (OMS) standard that enables the U-2 to integrate with systems across air, space, sea, land and cyber domains at disparate security levels.
6 New, modern cockpit displays to make everyday pilot tasks easier while enhancing presentation of the data the aircraft collects to enable faster, better informed decisions.
“As a proven, agile and reliable aircraft, the U-2S is the most capable high-altitude ISR system in the fleet today. The Avionics Tech Refresh contract will continue our commitment of providing a premier aircraft to our warfighters, ensuring global security now and into the future,” said Irene Helley, U-2 program director.
Under this contract, Lockheed Martin will lead the design, integration and test of the new advanced aircraft components, which will enable the U-2 to be the first fully OMS-compliant fleet. Interim fielding is anticipated to begin in mid-2021, with fleet modification expected in early 2022.
Lockheed U-2, nicknamed “Dragon Lady”, is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, high-altitude (70,000 feet; 21,000 m), all-weather intelligence gathering.