November 5, 2007

Russian Spy Plane to Act As Telecoms Carrier

250px-M55.jpg Russia's answer to the U-2 high-altitude spy plan, the Myasishchev M-55 could get a new lease of life - as a telecoms carrier. The plane was designed to fly at very high altitudes, but unlike the US spy planes, the Russian model was fitted with weapons. Removing the weapons allows the plane to carry fairly sizable payloads at very high altitudes. Cellular News reports.

"It is one of these M-55 Geophysica's which, according to the manufacturer will be used next Feb-March as a demonstration plane in Malaysia to offer a range telecoms services.

The idea is to use the plane to provide telecom coverage in areas where satellite coverage is spotty, or for emergency relief following disasters which take out landline and cellular networks on the ground.

Being a very high altitude plane enables it to cover a much wider area on the ground with its telecoms radio uplinks."

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