L3 Technologies has delivered the third and final RC-135V/W Rivet Joint (RJ) signals intelligence aircraft to Britain’s RAF, marking the completion of the Airseeker programme.
L3 Technologies has delivered the third and final RC-135V/W Rivet Joint (RJ) signals intelligence aircraft to Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF), a milestone marking the completion of the U.S. Air Force and UK Ministry of Defence Airseeker programme.
The three UK RJ aircraft form the backbone of the UK’s Airseeker capability, providing new and collaborative intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) resources in support of global security missions. Upon touchdown at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, UK, the aircraft was formally transferred to the RAF, completing the hardware deliveries under the Foreign Military Sales contract valued at approximately $1bn.
Taken together, the UK and USAF RJs form a combined fleet of 20 aircraft, and L3 will perform future baseline upgrades and periodic depot maintenance on the fleet. L3 has also delivered a station to support ground operations and training systems to train both operators and maintainers.
The RC-135W Rivet Joint is equipped with a variety of sensors, allowing its crew to intercept and exploit emissions across the electromagnetic spectrum, providing both strategic and tactical-level intelligence.
The UK purchased three Rivet Joint aircraft for conversion by L3 from KC-135R tankers to the RC-135W configuration. The first two aircraft were delivered in 2013 and 2015, respectively.