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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
USAF Comments Rivet Joint Delivery to UK

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Air Force; issued Nov. 19, 2013)


First Rivet Joint Delivered to the Royal Air Force


RAF WADDINGTON, England --- The first of three RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft was officially delivered to the U.K. during a special ceremony at Royal Air Force Waddington, England, Nov. 12.


The historic occasion is the culmination of a 2010 agreement between the Department of Defense and the U.K. Ministry of Defense for the RAF to purchase three RJs.


This first aircraft is scheduled to enter service with the 51st Squadron after it reaches full operational capability in late 2014.


"This is a fantastic day for 51st Squadron and marks the start of a new era in our long and illustrious history," said RAF Wing Commander Tom Talbot, the 51st Squadron commander.


As the sole provider of Rivet Joint initial qualification training, the 55th Wing has trained more than 140 aircrew and ground maintenance personnel from the RAF since the programs initiation in 2010.


"Following three years of training and preparation with our U.S. Air Force brethren, the Rivet Joint brings with it a step change in airborne signals intelligence capability for the U.K.," Talbot said.


Upon graduation, RAF aircrews are allowed to fly on U.S. Rivet Joints as part of a co-manning agreement. They flew their first operational mission June 21, 2011, and since then RAF crews have flown more than more than 1,800 sorties and achieved in excess of 32,000 flying hours with the 55th Wing.


"Everyone is aware of the special relationship our two countries have and it's been an absolute honor for the wing to have RAF Airmen here training with us," said Col. Gregory Guillot, the 55th Wing commander. "The end result is an increase in our ISR capabilities and we are looking forward to continuing this relationship for years to come."


Known as project AIRSEEKER, the U.K.'s procurement of three Rivet Joints will provide the U.K. with world class airborne signals intelligence capability. Once in service, the aircraft will provide real time on-scene intelligence, collection, surveillance and analysis to coalition forces in the air and on the ground.


"I am delighted that the first RJ aircraft has been delivered to the U.K., an important milestone in the procurement pathway for the future AIRSEEKER signals intelligence capability for U.K. Defence," said RAF Air Vice-Marshal Peter Ewen, the director air support at Defence Equipment & Support, who are responsible for the procurement of the aircraft.


"A testament to the ongoing and highly effective U.K. and U.S. co-operation in the procurement program, support and RAF aircrew training, this first of three aircraft, will form a vital component of the nation's future ISTAR capabilities," he added.

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13 novembre 2013 3 13 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
First Rivet Joint aircraft delivered to the UK

Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft arrives at RAF Waddington [Picture: Senior Aircraftman Blake Carruthers, Crown copyright]


12 November 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support


The first of 3 Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft has been delivered to MOD ahead of its entry into service with the RAF in 2014.


The aircraft will form part of project Airseeker, which will provide the UK with a world class capability able to provide real-time on-scene intelligence, surveillance and analysis for forces in the air and on the ground.

The Boeing RC-135V/W Rivet Joint system has a proven track record, having been used by the United States Air Force (USAF) for many years. Since 2011, the RAF’s 51 Squadron have been training and operating alongside their USAF colleagues in preparation for the UK aircraft entering service in late 2014.

UK crews have already achieved in excess of 32,000 flying hours and 1,800 sorties as part of the US 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.

MOD has purchased 3 aircraft from the US which will each be configured to support UK operations. The first aircraft has successfully completed its flight trials in Greenville, Texas, ahead of schedule, allowing it to be delivered to the UK early.

Air Vice-Marshal Peter Ewen, Director Air Support at Defence Equipment and Support, who are responsible for the procurement of Rivet Joint, said:

I am delighted that the first Rivet Joint aircraft has been delivered to the UK, an important milestone in the procurement pathway for the future Airseeker signals intelligence capability for UK Defence.

A testament to the ongoing and highly effective UK/US co-operation in the procurement programme, support and RAF aircrew training, this first of 3 aircraft will form a vital component of the nation’s future ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) capabilities.

Air Vice-Marshal Phil Osborn, Director of Capability at Joint Forces Command, said:

I know that the RAF and Defence are looking forward to operating this key capability and building on the unique history of 51 Squadron.

We plan to have our Airseeker programme – comprising all 3 Rivet Joint aircraft with their highly skilled aircrew, ground crew and analysts – fully operational by mid-2017.

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