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RAF receives final RC-135V/W Rivet Joint

3rd October 2017 - 10:10 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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L3 Technologies has delivered the third and final RC-135V/W Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft to the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF).

The three Rivet Joint aircraft will form the backbone of the RAF’s Airseeker capability, providing new and collaborative ISR resources in support of global security missions.

The aircraft have been acquired under a foreign military sales contract with the US government valued at approximately $1 billion. L3 converted the aircraft from KC-135R tankers to the RC-135W configuration, with the first two aircraft delivered in 2013 and 2015.

L-3 will perform future baseline upgrades and periodic depot maintenance on the RAF’s aircraft, along with the US Air Force aircraft, which numbers a combined 20 aircraft.

The company has also delivered a ground station and training systems to train both operators and maintainers.

Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s president and chief operating officer, said: ‘This groundbreaking agreement gives the UK access to future innovative technology and presents a very high level of interoperability with major coalition partners. This partnership has provided our UK allies with an intelligence-gathering platform that supports near-real-time on-scene collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities.’

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