U.S. Air Force concentrates Rivet Joint strategic reconnaissance aircraft to gather SIGINT in Ukraine watch

Jan. 3, 2022
U.S. and allied surveillance aircraft surge into Eastern and Southern Europe as NATO leaders keep watch prospect of war on the NATO frontier.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Air Force has 17 RC-135V/W Rivet Joint strategic reconnaissance aircraft, and nearly half of them were in the air at roughly the same time last month -- many of them near Russia. Forbes reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

3 Jan. 2022 -- The four-engine Rivet Joints fly slow circles in international airspace just outside the borders of America’s biggest rivals, scooping up signals intelligence (SIGINT) to help Pentagon planners figure out where potential enemy forces are and how ready they are for war.

Track these planes and you’ll get a pretty good sense of where U.S. military planners are focusing their attention, or where war might be likeliest.

It should come as no surprise that so many Rivet Joint aircraft were near Russia. The Kremlin in recent months has staged 100,000 troops and 1,200 tanks near Ukraine, a sweeping mobilization that observers fear is a sign of coming war.

Related: Is the Navy's P-8A Poseidon jet evolving into a multi-sensor strategic reconnaissance platform?

Related: Navy eyes high-speed SATCOM capability for P-8A Poseidon surveillance and maritime patrol aircraft

Related: Air Force chooses power supplies from Behlman Electronics for RC-135V/W Rivet Joint SIGINT aircraft

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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