Four SD ANG F-16Cs returning from Poland have arrived in the UK. One of them sports the brand new overall grey color scheme aimed at reducing the aircraft’s RCS (Radar Cross Section).
Four F-16Cs from the South Dakota ANG 175th Fighter Squadron of 114th Fighter Wing have taken part in a deployment to Lask airbase, Poland, where they arrived on Sept. 3.
The purpose of their visit was to participate in the bilateral training exercise “Aviation Detachment 16-4”. They were also accompanied by 100 associated members of unit.
On Sept. 24, the four Vipers arrived at RAF Mildenhall, UK, apparently due to problems with a KC-10 tanker. Interestingly, one of them 88-0428 sported fancy Tail Markings as the Commanders aircraft while another one (88-0422), was painted in a new F-35-like dark grey color scheme (the other two aircraft were 88-0932 and 88-0463.)
Actually, the paint job similar to the one of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been applied to U.S. F-16s since at least 2012 when it started to appear on the F-16CM (formerly CJ) Block 50 Fighting Falcon aircraft.
Called “Have Glass 5th generation” or “Have Glass V” the paint scheme is the evolution of the standard Have Glass applied to 1,700 “Vipers”: all the F-16s are covered with RAM (Radar Absorbent Material) paint, made of microscopic metal grains that can degrade the radar signature of the aircraft.
Image credit: Tony Lovelock
Well the color is similar to the F35 is it “actually” similar? I thought one of the pluses of the F35 was a more durable coating of RAM due to it being “baked” directly into the aircraft… or am I mistaken?
It has a sinister quality to it as if these F-16s with the F-35 color scheme belong to the bad guys in a movie. I guess it will just take some time to get used to, the F-16s have been the two-tone for a very long time.