Russia Scrambles Su-27 Fighter Jet to Intercept U.S. RC-135 Spy Plane Over Black Sea
Russia scrambled an Su-27 fighter jet to intercept a U.S. Air Force (USAF) RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft flying over neutral waters in the Black Sea, Russian defence ministry said in a statement.
The statement added that the fighter jet returned to its base after the U.S. reconnaissance aircraft turned away from Russia’s border.
The RC-135V/W Rivet Joint is the U.S. Air Force’s standard airborne Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) platform. The reconnaissance aircraft supports theater and 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.
All RC-135s are assigned to the USAF’s Air Combat Command (ACC). The RC-135 is permanently based at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and operated by the 55th Wing, using various forward deployment locations worldwide.