British surveillance aircraft heading for Black Sea region

By George Allison

A British surveillance aircraft is once again heading to the Black Sea region to monitor Russian forces on the Ukraine border.

Open Source Intelligence account SkyScanWorld is following the deployment, we recommend you check them out.

#RAF – Boeing RC-135W “Rivet Joint /Airseeker” – #ZZ664

All Refuelled & Now Heading To The Black Sea Region For A Tasking.

— SkyScanWorld (@scan_sky) April 15, 2021

That the Royal Air Force chose to make the aircraft visible on commercial tracking services sends a very clear message.

This comes a few days after British RC-135 Rivet Joint deployed on a similar mission, monitoring Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. You can read more about that by going to the link below.

What does the RC-135W do?

According to the Royal Air Force website, the RC-135W Rivet Joint is a dedicated electronic surveillance aircraft that can be employed in all theatres on strategic and tactical missions. Its sensors ‘soak up’ electronic emissions from communications, radar and other systems.

“RC-135W Rivet Joint employs multidiscipline Weapons System Officer (WSO) and Weapons System Operator (WSOp) specialists whose mission is to survey elements of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to derive intelligence for commanders.”

The Royal Air Force say that Rivet Joint has been deployed extensively for Operation Shader and on other operational taskings. It had been formally named Airseeker, but is almost universally known in service as the RC-135W Rivet Joint.

The UK operates three of these aircraft.

George AllisonGeorge has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval defence technology and cyber security matters.


One comment

  • “That the Royal Air Force chose to make the aircraft visible on commercial tracking services sends a very clear message.”

    Russians won’t understand, their planes don’t have transponders fitted to them.

    Liked by 4 people

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