Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin recently announced completed flight testing and deployment of the latest variant of the Collins Aerospace Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System on the U-2.
According to Lockheed, the whole U-2 fleet is now upgraded to SYERS, which it describes as the premier electro-optical/infrared sensor capability which provides more accurate long-range tracking for threat detection in a wider range of weather conditions.
"SYERS-2C represents an evolutionary step forward for the Air Force, capitalizing on a high performing, mature system to insert substantial new capabilities into the battlespace of the future," Kevin Raftery, vice president and general manager, ISR and Space Solutions for Collins Aerospace, said in a press release. "The U-2 has been the cornerstone of the Air Force's ISR inventory and with upgrades like SYERS-2C, the system can continue to provide increasingly valuable multi-intelligence information to the warfighter for years to come."
The 10-band, high-resolution SYERS-2C sensor was developed with open mission systems standards to enable command, control and data exchange with 5th generation platforms.
The U-2 Dragon Lady is a single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude spy plane operated by the Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The aircraft's first test flight was in 1955 and the United States used the aircraft for extensive surveillance of Communist countries during the Cold War. The latest model of the U-2, the U-2S, underwent a technical upgrade in 2012.