Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
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Ianmb17
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker (RAF)

Post by Ianmb17 »

Updated even before US fleet



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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Leaves me confused...
the first one out, after 18 mths of upgrades

So did we actually have one (or more?) on Shader, flying and doing stuff (on Ops)?
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bobp
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker (RAF)

Post by bobp »

18 months is an awful long time for upgrades

Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Well if you only have one guy doing it in his garage, how long should it take :D

abc123
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker (RAF)

Post by abc123 »

Lord Jim wrote:Well if you only have one guy doing it in his garage, how long should it take :D
:?:
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Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Just saying if only a few resources are used are part of the upgrade programme it would take linger. I know how long it took to get a Canberra PR9 through a major overhaul as how many resources were in place to carry it out. Compared to say the Jaguar GR3 programme it took far longer.

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SKB
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by SKB »


(Forces TV) 9th March 2020
The Rivet Joint aircraft is the most advanced spy plane in the world. It has been given a £1.2 billion upgrade, with the aircraft's flying and intelligence gathering abilities having been improved. The Rivet Joint programme is jointly run between the United Kingdom and United States, and its pilots are training using a large cockpit simulator at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

Dahedd
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Dahedd »

Couldn't access the full story as it's behind a pay wall but would there be implications here for the UK fleet?

China & Huawei, the gift that keeps on giving. Time the plug was pulled on Chinese involvement in the 5G network & the UKs nuclear power plants me thinks


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... 1588628663

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Caribbean »

Of course, one of the unspoken US objections to incorporating Huawei gear into the "outer layers" of the UK comms infrastructure is that it adds a layer to the onion which may contain backdoors for Chinese intelligence, but which does not contain the current backdoors used by US intelligence to access our network (US-built routers are notorious for the number of backdoors built into them, allegedly at the behest of the NSA). The Chinese may be able to hack into the outer, less-secure/ civilian parts of our network, but still face the same issues as now of trying to hack through the inner layer of the onion.
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SW1
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Good let them take them back. As the Secretary of State said we’re to too dependant on US ISR aircraft.

If there sooo concerned then they can provide an alternative within the same timeframe and cost. It should not be forgotten it wasn’t that long ago we had to stop sharing intel with the US because they kept leaking it to US press.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

White House conducts major Huawei review

RC-135s at risk after Britain lets Chinese telecoms giant build 5G network
By Ben Riley-Smith, US Editor 4 May 2020 • 9:00pm

The White House has launched a major review looking at whether spy planes, intelligence officials and other US assets need to be pulled out of Britain after Downing Street agreed Huawei can help build its 5G network.

Half a dozen sources including current US and UK officials have told The Telegraph that the review - not yet announced in public - is underway, carrying potential ramifications for the ‘special relationship’.

Every military and intelligence asset the Americans have in Britain is being assessed to understand the knock-on implications of letting Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, construct part of the new wireless network.

A group of RC-135s, highly sophisticated reconnaissance aircraft based in Britain that are used to gather intelligence from the battlefield, are thought to be among the most vulnerable, according to well-placed sources.

Whether highly classified missions increasingly should be carried out from countries other than Britain due to confidentiality fears is also being considered, which could see US agents being redeployed.

One former official who only recently left the White House’s National Security Council (NSC), which is leading the review, said it was “likely” some assets would be removed from Britain.

The source said: “This was not a bluff. You cannot mitigate the danger Boris Johnson is exposing the UK to by letting Huawei into the network.

"This review is not a punishment. This is the White House saying 'okay, if they're going to go down this path and put themselves at risk then how do we protect ourselves.'”

The review marks a significant escalation in the Huawei row, with the US now going beyond words of warning and taking concrete steps that could end up harming military and intelligence ties.

NSC spokesman John Ullyot declined to comment. The UK has always maintained giving Huawei limited access will not compromise its 5G network. Number 10 and the Ministry of Defence declined to comment.

It comes as Donald Trump takes an increasingly confrontational approach towards Beijing, who he has blamed for not doing more to stop the coronavirus outbreak when it first emerged in China.

The pandemic has triggered renewed debate over the Chinese government’s trustworthiness amid allegations it failed to show transparency over Covid-19, with calls for a harder line emerging in Washington and London.

Boris Johnson announced in January that Huawei would be allowed to build some of Britain’s 5G network - defying sustained lobbying by the Trump administration, which opposed the move.

But the Prime Minister set restrictions, barring the Chinese government from “core” parts of the network, such as near military facilities and nuclear sites, and capping its share of non-sensitive parts to 35 per cent.

The UK’s insistence that the proposal ensured security has been rejected by the US, however, including in a heated phone call where Mr Trump was said to have been “apoplectic” with Mr Johnson.

Not long after the decision was taken the White House’s National Security Council, which advises the president on security and foreign policy matters, ordered a review to look at every military and intelligence asset in Britain for potential exposure.

The Trump administration has long maintained that letting Huawei build any part of the 5G network would effectively give access to the Chinese government.

The totality of the review means everything from the more than 10,000 US military personnel in Britain to half a dozen barracks to scores of military vehicles will be looked at, not to mention intelligence operations.

It is an inter-agency review which means all relevant parts of the US government - in this case the Pentagon, State Department and 17 different intelligence agencies - will give input to the NSC.

It is understood there are already some areas of concern. One is over the RC-135s, which while officially assigned to a base in Nebraska are effectively operated out of RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

Around half a dozen RC-135s are often at the base, where 500 Americans are stationed as part of the mission. They are reconnaissance aircraft, used recently in the war against the Islamic State in the Middle East.

But the amount of technical equipment on board - they has been likened to “flying computers” - and their role in intelligence gathering have triggered doubts about whether they can continue to be stationed in Britain.

Another issue is US agents who carry out secret missions in Britain. For decades the strength of cooperation and trust between both sides, bolstered by the Five Eyes alliance, made the UK a low-risk country in which to operate.

But some familiar with the review questioned whether agents using personal phones and other internet-connected devices throughout the country - not just on parts of the 5G networks deemed “core” - could really keep their messages safe.

There remains optimism that the UK can be convinced into a reversal, with Mr Johnson’s decision yet to be written into law and a band of senior Tories leading a rebellion - cheered on by some in the Trump administration.

Yet Republican senators and congressmen are among those calling for consequences, with some seeing a pulling back in Britain as matching their believe in the need for a US military refocusing towards Asia.

One Republican congressional adviser said: “Britain is forcing us into a corner to make decisions and ponder consequences that we don't want to make or ponder.

“We would rather the special relationship be renewed and revitalised in this new era of great power competition but it is difficult to do when genuine security interests were discarded.”

The issue is also becoming complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which is dominating the attention of governments and leading to increased criticism of China.

Mr Trump and his likely Democratic rival Joe Biden are now trading blows on who is weaker on Beijing ahead of November's election.

UK officials have heard little about the review from the White House. It is understood Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, was not informed of it by counterparts when he visited Washington DC in March.

No final recommendations have been made. The review is on-going and is yet to rise to the NSC’s most senior figures. Mr Trump would ultimately have to approve any changes to military deployment in Britain.

But the frustration is clear. Robert O'Brien, the US national security adviser and successor to John Bolton who heads up the NSC, did not hide his disapproval at Britain's decision during a radio interview in January.

He likened the UK letting Huawei build its 5G network to allowing “the Communist Party of China to have access to their health care records and their tweets and their social media and their bank records”.

Mr O'Brien said that UK-US intelligence cooperation would continue but added, in a joke now pointed to by Trump administration insiders, it may have to be done with “carrier pigeons".

Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Hopefully this will give the UK Government enough food for thought for them to reconsider their decision to allow Huawei to have limited participation in the establishment of the UK's 5G network and force certain companied (3G) to remove such components from the limited network they have already established. Our Intelligence relationship with the US is too important to be adversely affected by commercial considerations, and given the importance of the 5G network to the future of the UK, its security should also be seen as of paramount importance.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by bobp »

One of the problems is this : James Lewis, senior vice president and director of the technology policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the worries about Chinese equipment is extended beyond back door access, adding that Huawei has immediate front door access to U.S. networks through software updates.
“Every day or every week they pump updates or patches … and we don’t have the ability to say there isn’t a hidden command in that” update that is designed to cause disruption, Lewis said, like making phone calls drop or turn off hospital networks.

It is also of note that many Home Broadband modems are also made by Huawei. Mine is , and TalkTalk my provider seem to have no trouble gaining access to it and running diagnostics.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Dahedd »

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... 1588713872


They're threatening to pull F35A deployment to the UK next year now as well. Guess that'll shaft Lakenheath & possibly mess with the planned USMC deployment to the QWLS.

Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Well Boris will have to decide, Huawei or no Huawei with no middle option simple as that.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by SKB »

Yet Americans are happy to buy and use iPhones built in China, as Apple has not a single US factory....

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by topman »

Dahedd wrote:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... 1588713872


They're threatening to pull F35A deployment to the UK next year now as well. Guess that'll shaft Lakenheath & possibly mess with the planned USMC deployment to the QWLS.
Anyone would think an election is due soon.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by abc123 »

Dahedd wrote:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... 1588713872


They're threatening to pull F35A deployment to the UK next year now as well. Guess that'll shaft Lakenheath & possibly mess with the planned USMC deployment to the QWLS.
Good. Maybe then the HMG will start taking care of UKs defence and stop trying to be a 51st state.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Dahedd wrote:possibly mess with the planned USMC deployment to the QWLS.
They can always fly in beyond the Huawei range (from the UK), or to be onboarded - like the Trident missiles - while in a US port.

More seriously, if 10+k of headcount is being looked at, the 10 in that would be USAFE and the + the spooks (not counting the RC a/c & those folks).
- some may remember that while US army basing/deployments in Europe geographically moved "fwrd" = East, the USAFE basing did exactly the opposite.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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jonas
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by jonas »

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/uk ... ntil-2035/

Well that is strange, only just posted it and now it seems to have vanished off the RAF website. Basically it was saying the the support contract with the usa, which was due to finish in 2025, has been extended until 2035.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Good, the UK Government needs to ensure sovereign security for our communications infrastructure. Huawei does not have any choice when it comes to instructions from the Central Committee, it has to obey, and having a back door or even a foot in the back door of our 5G network would be too good an opportunity for their intelligence services to ignore. It could remain idle for years until needed, being difficult to detect. Rather than having to divert substantial assets from GCHQ to monitor the 5G network for such things surely it is better to just not go their. Problem for 3G though, in their limited 5G network they already have Huawei components so would have to dismantle as start again.

P.S. The same should happen in our Nuclear Power plans for the future as well.

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by dmereifield »

Good news isn't it? We're we not previously expecting it to be canned relatively soon?

jonas
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Re: Boeing RC-135W Airseeker/Rivet Joint (RAF)

Post by jonas »

Not really as this 2018 article states 2045 as its expected out of service date. See link. Although this new support package only covers to 2035. By which time they will be very long in the tooth anyhow.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/guide-r ... vet-joint/

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