The Boeing RC-135 is a United States Air Force reconnaissance aircraft used to support theater and national level consumers with near real-time on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities.
The RC-135S Cobra Ball is a MASINT aircraft equipped with special optical instruments designed to observe ballistic missile flights at long range. The aircraft is an extensively modified C-135. There are four aircraft in service and they are part of the 55th Wing, 45th Reconnaissance Squadron based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Cobra Ball aircraft were originally assigned to Shemya and used to observe ballistic missile tests on the Kamchatka peninsula in conjunction with Cobra Dane and Cobra Judy.