U-2 Dragon Lady

No other high-altitude ISR asset operating today – or in development – can accomplish the daily peacetime Strategic Reconnaissance Operations of the U-2S, or compete with its future capabilities. U-2S flies more than 10,000 feet higher, 100 mph faster, and has larger bandwidth links than any other high-altitude ISR platform. Flying 24/7 around the world at record-high operational rates, U-2S collects critical targets no other platform can.

Unparalleled Success

U-2S is reliable, responsive and survivable – achieving unparalleled performance with an average 97 percent mission success rate the past 10 years. The all-weather platform and sensors can be tasked within seconds to collect on emergent, time-critical targets.  

Not Your Grandfather’s U-2

(Those Retired Decades Ago)

Today’s generation, U-2S, operates with a 30 percent larger airframe and a new GE F118 engine. It has been completely upgraded with a glass cockpit, fiber optic communication capabilities, and state-of-the-art avionics and sensor systems.

Operational for Decades

U-2 is capable of operating at high performance through 2045, with 80 percent of its service life remaining.

Positioned for a Quantum Leap

U-2’s unique design allows for new sensors, radars, communications capabilities and other state-of-the-art equipment to be tested, developed and fielded quickly and cost-effectively.

U-2 Dragon Lady
U-2 flies with an average 97 percent mission success rate.
U-2 has 80 percent of its service life remaining.


…  fields a 10-band imaging sensor in theater – producing strong intelligence to help the warfighter assess and anticipate threats.

… has maintained a mission success rate above 95% for the past decade..

… can be airborne within three hours of an emergent crisis. The Dragon Lady offers a proven rapid response for the warfighter.

The Dragon Lady

The Newest Generation of an American Icon

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®