The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 51 Squadron crew of four has completed the first week of training on the Rivet Joint aircraft with the US Air Force.

The co-manning arrangement will allow RAF personnel to train and benefit from the US Air Force’s experience of the aircraft to help operate the aircraft ahead of its formal acquisition.

Training will last between three and five months, after which the RAF aircrew members will return to UK to join and work with the 55th Wing’s 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron.

The RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft, designed for airborne intelligence gathering, is due to enter service with the RAF in 2014 and will replace the RAF’s aging Nimrod R1 electronic warfare aircraft.