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US Air Force to Upgrade U-2 Spy Plane for Future Battles - Lockheed Martin

© AFP 2021 / US AIR FORCEThis undated US Air Force photo shows a U-2 spy plane which is expected to be used by the US in the war against terrorism
This undated US Air Force photo shows a U-2 spy plane which is expected to be used by the US in the war against terrorism - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Air Force has awarded a $50 million contract to upgrade the U-2 spy plane, which first flew 65 years ago, Lockheed Martins said in a press release on Friday.
"US Air Force awards Lockheed Martin avionics tech refresh contract to advance U-2's capabilities for the future battlespace," the release said. "[The] contract underpins U-2’s role in bridging capabilities needed for next-generation battlespace."

The upgrades will be carried out by the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale in the US state of California, the release said. The Skunk Works which built the aircraft originally and has been produced the most advanced aerospace systems for the US armed forces for almost 70 years.

The upgrades include an updated avionics suite that modernizes the U-2’s onboard systems to use new technology and a new mission computer that enables the U-2 to integrate with systems across air, space, sea, land and cyber domains, Lockheed Martin said.

In 1960, Gary Powers was shot down in a CIA U-2A over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) and in 1962 US Air Force Major Rudolf Anderson was shot down and killed in a U-2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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