What’s Behind the Door?

The Daily Report got a rare opportunity to see the RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic reconnaissance aircraft Wednesday at Andrews AFB, Md., taking a tour of the first upgraded Block 8 aircraft. The Block 8 improvements for the highly secretive RC-135 fleet include new network-centric collaborative targeting software, processors, double computer screens, an LED lighting system, and enhanced airflow systems. USAF expects these upgrades to keep the platform maintainable and sustainable, allowing for technology increases, said MSgt. Bart Toulouse of Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The upgrade is no small feat, Toulouse added, saying that it takes 18 months to refurbish one Rivet Joint. The upgraded RC-135 is slated for delivery to the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb., in November.