The British government will give the go ahead for the acquisition of three RC-135V/W Rivet Joint aircraft in early January, pending finance department approval. The aircraft are to be bought to replace the electronic intelligence capability presently provided by the Royal Air Force’s two remaining Nimrod R1 aircraft. A third R1 was withdrawn from service recently, rather than fund the required major servicing. The air force likely faces a capability gap ­ even with the RC-135 ...

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