U.K. Rivet Joint - First "Official" Picture


USAF Photographers have snapped the first RC-135 Rivet Joint destined for the U.K. Royal Air Force.

Image Credit: USAF via RAF Waddington

Aircraft ZZ664 is seen here outside the hangar at L-3's facilities in Greenville, Texas following its roll-out in April. Aviation Week showed the first image of the RC-135, which will be named Airseeker in RAF service, on Christmas Eve as the aircraft was being worked on in the hangars at Greenville.

The RAF has three RC-135s on order, making the U.K. the first export customer for the RC-135V/W Sigint jets. The aircraft are being converted from a trio of 1964-vintage Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers.

According to officials from RAF Waddington, the future home of the aircraft in the U.K., the first Airseeker will enter service with 51 Squadron by the end of 2013.

Personnel from the squadron are undertaking Conversion Training at Offutt Air Force Base Nebraska. Qualified UK personnel already fly alongside their US counterparts on Rivet Joint operational missions.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Aug 27, 2015

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 13

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 28

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×