Saturday, April 20, 2024

US RC-135W spy plane flies from UK into Ukrainian air space

A U.S. Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft flew from the United Kingdom into Ukrainian air space, according to the global flight tracking service Flightradar24.

A U.S. spy plane was seen flying over Ukrainian airspace on Saturday morning, local time, according to the flight tracking service.

The RC-135W Rivet Joint is an airliner-sized intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft that was designed to gather telemetry and other electronic intelligence data.


The reconnaissance aircraft provide 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.

Several sources say that the reason for the appearance of the American reconnaissance aircraft over Ukraine was the activation of Russian Buk systems along the border. A Russian Buk surface-to-air missile system was moved to a new location near the village of Maslovka near Voronezh, a short distance from its border with Ukraine.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more