U-2 Dragon Lady: A Reconnaissance Aircraft

The U-2S Dragon Lady is an agile and reliable high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft that flies 24/7/365 to ensure global security with unparalleled performance.

With a unique, modular design, the U-2S demonstrates and proves new technologies in weeks - not years - enabling the rapid fielding of next generation capabilities for the warfighter today while furthering technology needed for the future.

Path to the Future

This proven ISR track record paired with technological flexibility positions the U-2 as the optimum platform to rapidly field new payload capabilities, given its demonstrated open architecture and superior size, weight, power and cooling (SWAP-C) capacity. These key attributes, in addition to its modern Open Mission Systems (OMS) compliant avionics suite, make the U-2 the platform of choice to demonstrate new capabilities faster and more cost-effectively for a Joint All-Domain Operations vision.

The future fight is all about data - getting the right information to the right person at the right time. The Quantum Leap U-2 is effectively positioned to rapidly collect, process and share data across integrated networks that include legacy and 5th generation platforms.

By using machine-to-machine processing to dramatically reduce the data to decision timeline, the U-2 can communicate securely and simultaneously at all tactical, operational and strategic levels across multiple domains. Additionally, the Avionics Tech Refresh expedites battlespace capabilities needed for the future, making the U-2 the first fully OMS compliant fleet, providing the ability to plug-and-play new capabilities quickly and affordably to support future battlespace operations.

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U-2S in the News   ___
Lockheed Martin Conducts First Flight In U-2 Avionics Tech Refresh
Sep 26, 2023
Press Release
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, completed the first flight of the U-2 Dragon Lady's Avionics Tech Refresh (ATR) program.
Lockheed Martin Flies Mission Enabling Kubernetes on U-2
Dec 14, 2020
Press Release
Lockheed Martin successfully conducted a flight test mission featuring distributed processing onboard the U-2 Dragon Lady via Kubernetes containerization technology. The demonstration is a critical steppingstone toward creating a DevSecOps environment to enable the delivery of enhanced software capability to airborne assets in real-time.
The U-2 Dragon Lady
Oct 01, 2020
The initial designs for what would become the U-2 were created by Lockheed engineering guru Clarence "Kelly" Johnson in 1953.
Skunk Works®   ___


At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, your mission defines our purpose. Our team of dedicated engineers and scientists assume it can be done. With a visionary focus on the future, we partner with our customers to anticipate tomorrow’s capability gaps and technology needs to solve the most critical national security challenges today.