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  • U.K. Rivet Joint - First "Official" Picture
    Posted by Tony Osborne 3:34 PM on May 14, 2013

    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.

    Tags: ar99, rivet, joint, rc-135, L-3

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