Two USAF RC-135V/W RIVET JOINT surveillance aircraft

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Two USAF RC-135V/W RIVET JOINT surveillance aircraft (Bing Maps)
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By kjfitz @ 2008-02-13 09:48:40
At the L3 Communications plant.
The USAF RC-135V/W RIVET JOINT surveillance aircraft are equipped with an extensive array of sophisticated intelligence gathering equipment enabling military specialists to monitor the electronic activity of adversaries. Also known as "RJ", the aircraft are sometimes called "hogs" due to the extended "hog nose" and "hog cheeks". RIVET JOINT has been widely used in the 1990's -- during Desert Storm, the occupation of Haiti, and most recently over Bosnia. Using automated and manual equipment, electronic and intelligence specialists can precisely locate, record and analyze much of what is being done in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Basic roles include:

* providing indications about the location and intentions of enemyforces and warnings of threatening activity
* broadcasting a variety of direct voice communications. Of highest priority are combat advisory broadcasts and imminent threat warnings that can be sent direct to aircraft in danger
* operating both data and voice links to provide target info to US ground based air defenses

The RIVET JOINT aircraft are capable of conducting ELINT and COMINT intercept operations against targets at ranges of up to 240 kilometers [in contrast to the 280 kilometer intercept range of the higher-flying U-2].
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