A British RC-135 Rivet Joint attacked Islamic State communications in Libya in order to pave the way for special forces.

An operation led by one of the RAF’s new RC-135 Rivet Joint (or Airseeker as the RAF call them) has shut down Islamic State comms in Libya it has been revealed.

It has been reported that UK special forces have recently carried out attacks against Islamic State stronghold of Sirte, on the Mediterranean coast, using Electronic Warfare to disable the groups communication networks in Libya.

The United Kingdom purchased KC-135R aircraft for conversion to RC-135W Rivet Joint standard under the Airseeker programme. Acquisition of the three aircraft was budgeted at £634m, with entry into service in October 2014.

RC-135 Rivet Joint’s have also carried out sorties over northern Iraq, to assist the Tornado and other aircraft already deployed and helping to pinpoint the locations of displaced people and Islamic State fighters.

The RC-135 Rivet Joint is the RAF’s primary airborne signals intelligence platform. In simple terms, the aircraft can detect, identify and geolocate signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum and forward it on to a variety of platforms.

The first RC-135W was delivered ahead of schedule to the Royal Air Force on in November 2013, for final approval and testing by the Defence Support and Equipment team prior to its release to service. The second one was once again delivered ahead of schedule on in September 2015 at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. The third is scheduled to be delivered and fully operational by December 2017.




George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments