Friday, June 18, 2021

Russia scrambles fighter jet against RC-135W Rivet Joint spy plane

A Russian MiG-31 (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fighter jet intercepted a U.S. Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint strategic reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific Ocean in the Kamchatka region, Russia’s National Defense Control Center reported on Friday.

“Russian airspace control systems detected an air target over the territory of the Pacific Ocean approaching Russia’s state border. A MiG-31 fighter was scrambled to identify the air target and prevent it from violating the Russian state border,” the Center said in a statement.

According to a recent service news release, a Russian fighter’s crew identified the air target as a U.S. Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft and shadowed it.

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The RC-135V/W Rivet Joint is a strategic reconnaissance aircraft designed to support theater and national level consumers with near real-time on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities.

The aircraft is an extensively modified C-135. The Rivet Joint’s modifications are primarily related to its on-board sensor suite, which allows the mission crew to detect, identify and geolocate signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. The mission crew can then forward gathered information in a variety of formats to a wide range of consumers via Rivet Joint’s extensive communications suite.

The interior seats more than 30 people, including the cockpit crew, electronic warfare officers, intelligence operators and in-flight maintenance technicians.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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