Even if at first look this paint scheme resembled that worn by China’s Shenyang J-31 fifth-generation fighter, this F-16 doesn not feature a new paint scheme but is in the process of being repainted into the new black/grey/white splinter scheme
Taken on Jul. 31, 2017 during Red Flag Alaska (RF-A) 17-3 underway at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska the interesting photo in this post shows a black-painted F-16 assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS) taking off to provide red air at RF-A 17-3.
Noteworthy at first look this paint scheme resembled that worn by China’s Shenyang J-31 fifth-generation fighter.
In fact we assumed that this F-16 was aimed to simulate the new stealth fighter. Instead according to Eileson AFB own FB page this jet is in the process of being repainted into the new black/grey/white splinter scheme.
But, could the F-16 realistically simulate the J-31? Well, we think that for the mighty Viper this would be an almost impossible task. In fact even if USAF Aggressors are some of the best fighter pilots in the world and they can provide the most realistic adversary training and even though we don’t know much yet about J-31 true capabilities, it would be impossible for a legacy F-16 reproducing the stealth characteristics of the new chinese fighter.
However a new aggressor paint scheme was unveiled earlier this year in the form of a nice camo pattern (which actually is very similar to the standard arctic paint scheme already featured by 18th AGRS Vipers) worn for the first time by an Aggressor F-16 during exercise Northern Edge 2017 (NE17) held in May at Eielson AFB.
RF-A provides an optimal training environment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region and focuses on improving ground, space, and cyberspace combat readiness and interoperability for U.S. and international forces.
Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson / U.S. Air Force and wc via via Wikimedia Commons
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com