A WELL-TESTED EYE IN THE SKYWith so much sophisticated spy technology at the ready, why is the U.S. military using a nearly 50 year-old plane to hunt for Saddam's illicit arsenal? Because the venerable U-2 eye in the sky, cruising at 70,000 feet, can do things other spy gear can't, MSNBC reports.
It can peer through clouds, while satellites require clear skies. It captures images nearly in real time, and can maneuver itself to whichever patch of ground that intelligence analysts want to see; satellites operate on a fixed ground track through their orbit, which makes them predictable for those on the ground who want to hide.All of these arguments could be made about unmanned aircraft, too. But, unlike drones, U-2s fly at 70,000 feet -- higher than most ground-based defenses can reach.