A Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft of the UK's Royal Air Force has conducted a flight over the territories of Israel and Jordan, near the Syrian border, several flight tracking services reported. An aircraft with the number ZZ666 took off from Souda Bay Air Base on Crete, flew along the southern border of the Arab Republic and then returned to the air base via the same path.
RAF RC-135W Rivet Joint ZZ666 departed Souda Bay heading Eastern Mediterranean pic.twitter.com/0DYyYnjGMf— Manu Gómez (@GDarkconrad) October 19, 2018
@Andy007_SR_A @ELINTNews @intellipus @IntelDoge @KalteMalte53 @IntelCrab @clarinetwoman2 @Gh0str1dr91 @ItayBlumental @IntelliTimes @Obs_IL— nde (@5472_nde) October 19, 2018
RRR9930 ZZ666 #RAF RC135W #RivetJoint #ISTAR platform, track out of Jordan after operation #Shader mission. 1000z pic.twitter.com/DSnv0fyw6D
This is the second time this week that the RAF has flown aircraft near the Syrian border. The previous time, RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance and Sentinel R.1 ground surveillance planes flew a similar path on October 16. The RC-135W Rivet Joint is capable of detecting emissions produced by radars and thus discovering the locations of enemy air defenses.
The recon flight comes two weeks after the deployment of Russian S-300 air defense systems in Syria, following an incident in Syrian airspace near Latakia, when a Syrian S-200 shot down a Russian recon plane while repelling an attack by Israeli air force.