US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady Flies Last Optical Bar Camera (OBC) Mission
The U.S. Air Drive’s high-altitude, all-weather reconnaissance plane, the U-2 Dragon Woman, not too long ago flew Beale Air Drive Base’s final Optical Bar Digicam mission. The OBC mission, which captures daylight acquisition of high-altitude images, will transition to ahead working areas supported by the Nationwide Geospatial-Intelligence Company. This transfer permits processors to consolidate movie nearer to mission-required reconnaissance assortment. Collins Aerospace works alongside Beale AFB’s ninth Intelligence Squadron to obtain OBC imagery from international U-2 missions in assist of Air Drive goals.
“The U-2 retains the aptitude to fly the OBC mission worldwide and, if known as upon, to execute in a dynamic drive employment capability. All U-2 pilots will retain the data and expertise to make use of the sensor by way of a wide range of mission units and operation areas to fulfill precedence intelligence assortment wants of the geographic combatant commanders as tasked. With a rising want for extra numerous assortment necessities, the U-2 program will evolve to keep up fight relevance with a wide range of C5ISR-T capabilities and fight air forces integration roles,” mentioned Lt. Col. James Gaiser, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron commander.
The OBC mission operated out of Beale AFB for near 52 years, with the primary U-2 OBC deploying from Beale AFB in 1974. Pulled from the SR-71, the OBC was modified and flight-tested to assist the U-2 platform, changing the long-standing IRIS sensor. Whereas the IRIS’s 24-inch focal size supplied widespread protection, the OBC’s 30-inch focal size allowed for considerably larger decision. The OBC deployed to assist varied missions, together with Hurricane Katrina aid, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Energy Station incident, in addition to operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Mixed Joint Activity Drive Horn of Africa.
When working over Afghanistan, the U-2 imaged your complete nation each 90 days and models throughout the Division of Protection used the OBC’s imagery to plan operations. The top of the OBC at Beale AFB permits for mission models and companions to focus a larger weight of effort on emergent capabilities, techniques, strategies, and procedures, in addition to ideas of employment straight supporting pacing menace downside units to advance the general mission of the ninth Reconnaissance Wing.
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed “Dragon Woman”, is an American single-jet engine, excessive altitude reconnaissance plane operated by the USA Air Drive (USAF) and beforehand flown by the Central Intelligence Company (CIA). It offers day and night time, high-altitude (70,000 toes, 21,300 meters), all-weather intelligence gathering. Lockheed Company initially proposed it in 1953, it was accepted in 1954, and its first take a look at flight was in 1955. It was flown throughout the Chilly Struggle over the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, and Cuba. In 1960, Gary Powers was shot down in a CIA U-2C over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM).
U-2s have taken half in post-Chilly Struggle conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and supported a number of NATO operations. The U-2 has additionally been used for digital sensor analysis, satellite tv for pc calibration, scientific analysis, and communications functions. The U-2 is certainly one of a handful of plane sorts to have served the USAF for over 50 years, together with the Boeing B-52, Boeing KC-135, and Lockheed C-130. The most recent fashions entered service within the Eighties, and the newest mannequin, the U-2S, had a technical improve in 2012. Early U-2 variants had been powered by Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojet engines. The U-2S and TU-2S variants integrated the extra highly effective Normal Electrical F118 turbofan engine.
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