The RC-135s are special versions of the C-135 cargo plane (Boeing 707).  The fleet has consistently proved of great value, both as a strategic reconnaissance tool during peacetime and as a more tactical asset during times of tension.  The fleet consists of:
RC-135U 'Combat Sent'
      Two aircraft are designated RC-135U "Combat Sent" and are characterized by cheek fairings and additional fairings in the chin, boomer, wingtip, tail cone and fin-top positions. Until 1991 they were fitted with "towel rail" antennas above the cheek fairings, but these have been removed. The RC-135Us are believed to have special purposes within the SIGINT fleet, and may also be used to trial new equipment.
RC-135V/W 'Rivet Joint'
       Eight aircraft are designated RC-135V "Rivet Joint,"  Six are the essentially similar to the RC-135W variant. These are the workhorses of the SIGINT fleet and are distinguished by having extended "thimble" noses and large plate aerials under the center-section. External differences between the two variants are restricted to a lengthened cheek fairing on the W-model, which also lacks auxiliary air intakes on its engine pods.
RC-135S 'Cobra Ball'
An altogether more specialized role is undertaken by three RC-135S "Cobra Ball" aircraft which normally operate from Shemya Island, Alaska. In addition to "thimble" noses, electronic receivers mounted in cheek fairings and a teardrop-shaped fairing on the aft fuselage, these also have large circular windows in the fuselage for the photography of foreign ballistic-missile tests at long range. The intelligence equipment includes multiple infrared telescopes and is known as the Real Time Optical System (RTOS). These aircraft allow the U.S. to monitor every reentry vehicle flown from Russian test ranges, to determine the capabilities of each Russian missile, new or old.
RC-135U "Combat Sent"
Standard Series.  1/100th scale.
16.25" wingspan x 17" long.
  No. AGD4D-S1.  Only $169.95


RC-135V "Rivet Joint"
Standard Series.  1/100th scale.
16.65" wingspan x 16.75" long.
  No. AGD4D-S2.  Only $179.95
RC-135S "Cobra Ball"
Standard Series.  1/100th scale.
16" wingspan x 16.5" long.
  No. AGD4D-S3.  Only $169.95
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