The US Air Force, Collins Aerospace Systems and Lockheed Martin Skunk Works recently completed flight testing and deployment of the latest variant of the Collins Aerospace Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS) sensor, SYERS-2C, on the U-2.

The US Air Force say that with this milestone, the entire U-2 fleet has been upgraded to the “premier electro-optical/infrared sensor capability which provides increased optical performance and highly accurate long-range tracking for superior 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,” said Kevin Raftery, vice president and general manager, ISR and Space Solutions for Collins Aerospace.

“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.”

According to the firms manufacturing the components, the 10-band, high spatial resolution SYERS-2C sensor provides “unmatched ability to find, track and assess moving and stationary targets”.

“The SYERS-2C sensor is the premier intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imaging sensor and its integration into the U-2 Dragon Lady further enhances the aircraft’s ability to provide unparalleled strategic intelligence to our warfighters,” said Irene Helley, U-2 program director, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.

“This milestone continues our commitment to increase the flexibility of the aircraft using open mission systems to support the multi-domain battlespace.”

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Bloke down the pub

Makes you wonder how long the Canberra could’ve been kept in frontline service.


I agree….re-engined with the RR BR series engines it would have made a very useful platform

Daniele Mandelli

Yes. 39 “PRU” Squadron with its PR9’s were the closest thing we had to this.
The MOD used to maintain the cover they were simply for mapping and survey roles only.

I have also read they were used in Corporate from Chile.


It’s a pity the RAPTOR pods from Tornado were not included in project centurion. With typhoons high altitude performance it would have been quite the capability.


Long live the Dragon Lady!