The Seattle Times

LEE JIN-MAN / AP
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spy plane outlasts Cold War, but not defense cuts

The U-2 spy plane outlasted the Cold War, outlived its successor and helped avert the world's nuclear annihilation a half century ago. Defense cuts now threaten to knock the high-flying reconnaissance aircraft out of the sky. The Air Force wants to gradually retire the fleet of 32 planes that can soar to an altitude of 70,000 feet, collect intelligence on North Korea and Russia and rapidly send the data to U.S. commanders.