The highly improved NT-43 aircraft, nicknamed “RAT55”, of the US Air Force (USAF) has recently appeared outside its usual range, according to The War Zone on June 3.
RAT55 aircraft, nicknamed the laboratory military USAF flight
Not only among the planes Boeing 737 Strangest of all, the RAT55 also attracts attention because it is almost impossible to see it in action in the air.
Secret USAF aircraft exist and operate almost exclusively inside training areas in the desert, stretching from southern California to Nevada. RAT55 frequently disappears in Area 51 (Nevada) or the Tonopah test airfield.
This is an extremely valuable aircraft for the US military because it serves as a laboratory to measure the signals of aircraft moving in the air. Every time it appears, the RAT55 always attracts special attention, even though it flies over the Mojave desert with the aircraft. B-2 Spirit parallel, or appear on aircraft tracking software.
On June 1, RAT55 moved east to Ardmore (Oklahoma). According to The War Zone, this nearly 50-year-old plane needs regular maintenance. The RAT55 is currently one of the few early 737s still in service.
The site said that the flight to Oklahoma was probably for the purpose of checking and maintaining the plane. According to the sources, the major changes to the RAT55 taking over its current duties have put special pressure on its chassis structure.
The last time the RAT55 went to Oklahoma for maintenance was December 2021 and stayed there for about a month before returning west.
Despite the difficulties, the USAF still needs to use aircraft like the RAT55 for many years to come. This is an aircraft that plays a key role: determining the stealth capabilities of US military aircraft.
America’s next generation stealth bomber is B-21 is in development, and it is expected that the USAF wants to own stealth drones. All of these programs require the RAT55.