An American U-2S ‘Dragon Lady’ spy plane has left RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus and appears to be heading to RAF Fairford in the UK.
The flight is being monitored by SkyScanWorld here.
#USAF – Lockheed U-2S "Dragon Lady ?" – 80-1080
— SkyScanWorld (@scan_sky) February 9, 2021
The U-2, known as the Dragon Lady, can loiter at 70,000ft.
According to Airforce Technology here:
“The design has remained essentially unchanged over decades of operational deployment but the reconnaissance systems are constantly upgraded with state-of-the-art and classified systems. The last U-2 was delivered in 1989 and there are 32 U-2S aircraft in the US Air Force fleet.
The aircraft was used in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield during the Gulf Crisis during 1990 and 1991, over Bosnia and Kosovo in support of Nato forces during the 1990s, in Afghanistan in 2001, and in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.”
In a statement, the USAF said:
“The mission of the U-2 is to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities in order to meet combatant commander objectives. The deployment of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) assets to the European theater demonstrates U.S. commitment to our allies and partners in the region.”