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Royal Air Force about to take delivery of its second RC-135W Rivet Joint SIGINT aircraft

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World Defense & Security News - United Kingdom
 
 
 
Royal Air Force about to take delivery of its second RC-135W Rivet Joint SIGINT aircraft
 
Following the UK Prime Minister’s recent direction to invest and build up the UK’s intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability, the British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed that the second RC-135W Airseeker (Rivet Joint) signals intelligence aircraft is expected to be delivered to the RAF in September, seven months early, the RAF announced yesterday July 21st.
     
Following the UK Prime Minister’s recent direction to invest and build up the UK’s intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability, the British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed that the second RC-135W Airseeker (Rivet Joint) signals intelligence aircraft is expected to be delivered to the RAF in September, seven months early, the RAF announced yesterday July 21st. Royal Air Force's first RC-135W Rivet Joint signal intelligence aircraft
     
The first RC-135W Airseeker aircraft is currently employed on operations, alongside a variety of other RAF units, in the fight against ISIL in the skies over Iraq and Syria.

The second is now scheduled to arrive in September. The third and final aircraft should be with the Royal Air Force (RAF) by the end of 2017.


The RC-135W Rivet Joint is equipped with a variety of sensors, allowing its multi- disciplined crew to intercept and exploit emissions across the electromagnetic spectrum, providing both strategic and tactical level intelligence.
In doing so it offers vital support to combat identification and targeting operations.

The new aircraft is expected to be deployable in a matter of weeks after delivery.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

"We’re the only coalition nation conducting manned ISR over Syria. And Today I can announce that our latest Airseeker plane will be delivered next month, seven months ahead of schedule and will be operational shortly after that in the skies above Iraq and Syria – providing essential intelligence in the fight against ISIL. No one, except the US, matches our efforts."

The Royal Air Force purchased three RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft, currently being converted from KC-135R Stratotanker airframes to RC-135W standard at the L3 Communications facility in Greenville, Texas, with the total procurement valued at £650 million ($1 billion).