Rivet Joint Aircraft Operational Again After 'Ambitious' Upgrade

The Royal Air Force aircraft has completed its training sortie since receiving a modernised flight deck as part of upgrades.

An upgraded Royal Air Force surveillance aircraft is preparing to resume operations.

Rivet Joint aircraft ZZ664 has taken part in its first flight deck training sortie, from RAF Waddington, since undergoing major refurbishment in the United States.

The aim is for it to be utilised once again for exercises and operations.

The aircraft boasts a new state-of-the-art 'glass' flight deck, which the RAF says makes flying operations easier and safer for pilots, as well as digital flight instrument displays and large LCD screens, rather than traditional dials and gauges.

Air Commodore Nick Hay, Air UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Force Commander, praised the "ambitious" improvements made to the aircraft.

The aircraft boasts a modernised flight deck, making flying operations easier and safer for pilots (Picture: RAF).

"This pioneering cockpit and major systems upgrade is a huge leap forward for the RAF’s Rivet Joint capability," he said.

"Integrating these enhancements onto a legacy jet was a technically ambitious achievement, which underpins Rivet Joint's ability to deploy anywhere in the world."

The major upgrade is part of the Rivet Joint programme the UK has with the US, which sees both nations collaborate on training, maintenance, as well as in the exchanging of intelligence and best practice.

The RAF's other two Rivet Joint jets will also go through the same programme of upgrades in the near future.

Cover image: The newly upgraded Rivet Joint electronic surveillance aircraft is preparing to resume operations (Picture: RAF).