The U.S. Air Force and its partners have recently completed the flight testing and deployment of the SYERS-2C sensor on the U-2 “Dragon Lady” ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft.
The SYERS-2C is the latest variant of the Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS) sensor developed by Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corporation (UTC). The upgrade was also supported by the aircraft’s developer, the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.
“SYERS-2C represents an evolutionary step forward for the Air Force, capitalizing on a high performing, mature system to insert substantial new capabilities into the battlespace of the future,” said Kevin Raftery, vice president and general manager, ISR and Space Solutions for Collins Aerospace. “The U-2 has been the cornerstone of the Air Force’s ISR inventory and with upgrades like SYERS-2C, the system can continue to provide increasingly valuable multi-intelligence information to the warfighter for years to come.”
With this new milestone, the entire U-2 fleet has been upgraded to the premier electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor capability which provides increased optical performance and highly accurate long-range tracking for superior threat detection in a wider range of weather conditions.
The 10-band, high spatial resolution SYERS-2C sensor provides an unmatched ability to find, track and assess moving and stationary targets. Developed with open mission systems standards to enable command, control and data exchange with 5th generation platforms, the sensor has become a critical asset to theater commanders bringing unique advantages to joint operations across the battlespace.
“The SYERS-2C sensor is the premier intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imaging sensor and its integration into the U-2 Dragon Lady further enhances the aircraft’s ability to provide unparalleled strategic intelligence to our warfighters,” said Irene Helley, U-2 program director at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. “This milestone continues our commitment to increase the flexibility of the aircraft using open mission systems to support the multi-domain battlespace.”
Flying 24/7 around the world at record-high operational rates, the U-2 Dragon Lady provides unparalleled intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to meet the needs of combatant commanders every day. More than an ISR aircraft, the U-2’s unique ability to rapidly reconfigure, collect, analyze and share data with disparate systems across the battlespace is transforming warfighting operations to ensure mission success far into the future.