Say what? Faulty eavesdropping gear delays new spy plane

Global Hawk replacement of U-2 pushed back to 2015

The Air Force’s decision in July to continue with its $12 billion Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems might possibly push the U-2 spy plane into full retirement by 2015, reports the New York Times.

One of the nagging problems with the plan to have Global Hawks replace the manned U-2 in high-altitude reconnaissance has been the inability of the Global Hawk to adequately pinpoint the source of telephone and radio conversations – a vital requirement for replacing the storied U-2.

Although the transition was supposed to occur this year, the Air Force wants more time to test improvements to Global Hawk eavesdropping gear before phasing out the 32 U-2s still in service by 2015.

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