Global Hawk Drone to replace U-2 Spy Plane

Last month in a $12 billion deal, the unmanned Global Hawk drone is set to replace the famous manned plane, the U-2. The Navy is also onboard, with plans to spend $11 billion on a version that could patrol vast ocean areas. Despite most drones being a cheaper solution than regular aircraft, the massive Global Hawk costs $218 million – compared to $28 million for the largest armed drone called the Reaper. The air force will phase out the older U-2s, which were first used to spy on Soviet nuclear sites in the Cold War, by 2015. The U-2 lasted so long because of its effectiveness. It is still used today in Afghanistan, where it intercepts Taliban phone calls, and routes many of the Predator and Reaper drones.
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