August 11, 2011
The impending retirement of the Lockheed U-2, which began flying for the Central Intelligence Agency in 1956, has been in the news for a while now. Yesterday, AirForceTimes.com reported that the Air Force, which incrementally took over U-2 ops starting in the mid-1960s, will phase out the beloved Dragon Lady by 2015, when the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle will replace it.
AirForceTimes writer Dave Majumdar notes that the Global Hawk “has had some teething problems where it failed its operational test due to poor reliability and mediocre sensor performance….” To which Lieutenant Colonel Rick Thomas, Global Hawk functional manager for the Air Force, responded that the Global Hawk has come a long way. “The [initial operational test and evaluation] was a spot in time.”
[pause to scratch head in bewilderment]
Can anyone translate that for me? Because I have no idea what Lt. Col. Thomas is trying to say.