The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has decommissioned its Nimrod R1 aircraft, following service of more than 37 years.

The two aircraft, operated by RAF 51 Squadron, made their final flight during a ceremony at an air base in Lincolnshire, UK, and will be replaced by three new US Rivet-Joint aircraft in 2014.

The R1 model was operated by a team of 24 reconnaissance equipment operators, four flight crew and a mission supervisor for reconnaissance and gathering electronic intelligence.

The aircraft was also used to try to intercept communications while flying over enemy territory and also served throughout the Cold War, in the Balkans, Afghanistan and in the recent Libyan missions.

RAF’s Nimrod MR2 version was retired from service in 2010, while the MRA4 version was scrapped in the last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review to save £2bn over ten years, according to BBC News.

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