On Wednesday at about 2 p.m., according to sources, a U-2 spy plane, the same type of aircraft that flew high-altitude spy missions over Russia 50 years ago, passed through the airspace monitored by the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, Ca. The L.A. Center handles landings and departures at the region’s major airports, including Los Angeles International (LAX), San Diego and Las Vegas.
The computers at the L.A. Center are programmed to keep commercial airliners and other aircraft from colliding with each other. The U-2 was flying at 60,000 feet, but the computers were attempting to keep it from colliding with planes that were actually miles beneath it.
Though the exact technical causes are not known, the spy plane’s altitude and route apparently overloaded a computer system called ERAM, which generates display data for air-traffic controllers. Back-up computer systems also failed. Continue reading
As the US Air Force technology becomes outdated, it becomes more expensive to maintain. Ironically and unfortunately, cuts have been made mostly in newer tech which only further compounds the problem of an aging military power.
For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.
The aging of the U.S. Air Force, a long-simmering topic in defense circles, made a brief appearance in the presidential debates when Republican nominee Mitt Romney cited it as evidence of the decline of U.S. military readiness. His contention that the Navy is the smallest it’s been since 1917 got more attention, thanks to President Barack Obama’s quip that the Navy also has fewer “horses and bayonets.” Continue reading
There are no permanent friends and enemies in international politics because friendship and enmity change in accordance with the states’ interests which are of primary importance.
In this regard, after having strong relationship with the United States for more than 60 years, a shift has occurred in Pak-US ties because of a number of reasons, and Pakistan has inclined towards the Russian Federation which also needs the latter. So a new era has started in Pak-Russia relations.
Continue reading article: New Era of Pak-Russia Relations (Veracity Now)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force wants to save money by scrapping plans to replace the Cold War-era U-2 spy plane with the high-tech Global Hawk reconnaissance drone, a defense analyst said Tuesday.
Loren Thompson wrote in his blog that the Air Force plans to sacrifice the most common variant of the Global Hawk — the Block 30 — as a “bill payer” in its 2013 budget request, retiring those already in use and halting further production by defense giant Northrup Grumman.
In addition, Bloomberg News reported that an unnamed U.S. official said the Pentagon has accepted an Air Force recommendation to reduce its purchases of the Block 30 and shift money to continued operations and maintenance of the high-altitude U-2 manned reconnaissance aircraft, which first entered service in the mid-1950s.
The long-distance, high-altitude Global Hawk has been used extensively in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to feed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to armed drones such as the Predator and Reaper.
Continue reading article: Analyst: Drone no longer in Air Force plans to replace U-2 spy plane (Stars & Stripes)