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#5170 Royal Air Force - Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint (ZZ665)

20180714-016 Royal Air Force - Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint (ZZ665) RAF Fairford UK.jpg #5169 Royal Air Force - Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint (ZZ665)Thumbnails#5172 Royal Australian Air Force - Boeing 737-7ES Wedgetail (A30-001)

Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint (ZZ665) from the Royal Air Force at the RIAT 2018, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)

The Boeing RC-135 is a family of large reconnaissance aircraft built by Boeing and modified by a number of companies, including General Dynamics, Lockheed, LTV, E-Systems, and L3 Technologies, and used by the United States Air Force and Royal Air Force to support theater and national level intelligence consumers with near real-time on-scene collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities. Based on the C-135 Stratolifter airframe, various types of RC-135s have been in service since 1961. The United Kingdom bought three KC-135R aircraft for conversion to RC-135W Rivet Joint standard under the Airseeker project. Acquisition of the three aircraft was budgeted at £634m, with entry into service in October 2014. The aircraft formed No. 51 Squadron RAF, based at RAF Waddington along with the RAF's other ISTAR assets. They are expected to remain in service until 2045.

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.
The 2018 Air Tattoo will reflect the 100th anniversary of the RAF with a commemoration
and celebration of a century of service to the United Kingdom and its allies.

Matthijs van Wageningen
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