U-2 Dragon Lady

U-2 Dragon Lady

A Quantum Leap in Capability. A Path to the Future.


The Air Force’s ability to operate anywhere, anytime is essential. The reliable, multi-role U-2S Dragon Lady provides unmatched capability and unparalleled performance to ensure mission success 24/7, 365 days a year.

The U-2 continues to meet the ISR needs of combatant commanders every day.

With a unique, modular design, the U-2 is able to demonstrate new technology in weeks, not years, providing next generation capabilities to the warfighter today while helping to bridge to the Air Force’s vision for the Advanced Battle Management System.

Superior Battlespace Awareness

The future is all about speed and data – getting the right information to the right person at the right time. With the ability to simultaneously collect, analyze and share data, the U-2 allows for an increase in capabilities today and will provide a complete battlespace picture in the not too distant future.

New Capabilities Now

The modernized multi-role aircraft with an enhanced defensive suite coupled with long-range standoff sensors and onboard processing enables the U-2 to operate in and around contested areas while rapidly enabling 4th and 5th generations systems.

Open architecture coupled with the Dragon Lady’s unique design allows for new sensors and the latest equipment to be added to the aircraft quickly and cost-effectively. The modularity of the U-2 allows the aircraft to quickly adapt to dynamic mission needs and respond to emerging threats anywhere, anytime. 

Path to the Future

The U-2S is transforming the future battlespace today by demonstrating emerging technologies and helping to envision a new way to fight. This enables enhanced capabilities for the warfighter today, while furthering technology needed for the future.

Keeping the U-2 Dragon Lady Fit

As part of a longstanding partnership with the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin provides U-2S critical sustainment services in support of 24/7/365 operations. A thorough controlled interval extension program for maintenance activities continues to enhance the affordability of the U-2S throughout its life cycle.


An Enduring Innovation

The initial designs for the U-2 were created in 1953 under the cloak of secrecy by Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, founder of the famed Skunk Works®

The U-2 borrowed its sleek looks from the profile of a traditional sailplane. Its long, tapered wing —one third the weight of what was normal at the time — allowed it to fly missions covering a range of 3,000 miles and carry up to 700 pounds of the latest photoreconnaissance equipment to a staggering and unprecedented altitude of 70,000 feet.

Skunk Works®

For more than 75 years, the Skunk Works® has existed to create revolutionary aircraft and technologies that push the boundaries of what is possible. Our unique culture is the key to our success – the secret ingredient that will define the solutions for the next 75 years and beyond. 

Learn more about Skunk Works®