The 555th Fighter Squadron “Triple Nickel” Has Its Own “Have Glass V” F-16C Aircraft

The F-16CM 88-0535 is the first Have Glass V jet of the 555th FS. (All images: Claudio Tramontin)

Now both the “Triple Nickels” and the “Buzzards” have received at least one F-16CM in the new paint scheme.

The 555th Fighter Squadron, belonging to the 31st Fighter Wing, based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, has received its first F-16 with a Have Glass V color scheme. The F-16 #88-0535 was in fact given the new paint scheme by SABCA Charleroi plant, Belgium, the company responsible for Depot-level maintenance and upgrade of F-16 aircraft serving with nine different operators around the world.

Have Glass V, or “Have Glass 5th generation”, is the evolution of the standard two-tone grey Have Glass color scheme made:  all “Vipers” are covered with RAM (Radar Absorbent Material) made of microscopic metal grains that can degrade the radar signature of the aircraft.

The Have Glass V is the latest version of the special paint. Based on the Have Glass Grey (FS36170), the same used on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the new color scheme has been applied to U.S. F-16s beginning in 2012 when it started to appear on the F-16CM (formerly CJ) Block 50 Fighting Falcon aircraft. Since then, many units have started using the new color scheme, that is slated to become the new standard in the Viper fleet: the 64th AGRS (Aggressor Squadron) at Nellis Air Force Base, the South Dakota ANG 175th Fighter Squadron and 85th TES at Eglin AFB, Florida, fly or have flown Vipers painted with the new darker color scheme. Some (as this one from the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard) sport a slightly modified variant of the Have Glass V, with a have a darker radome and the two-letter tail code, serial number and squadron markings black in color, instead of light grey.

The first Have Glass V Viper of the 555th FS landing at Aviano AB.

The 510th FS “Buzzards” also belonging to the 31st FW at Aviano has received its first Have Glass V F-16CM, airframe 90-0709, on Jun. 30, 2020. To celebrate the 70th birthday of the Royal Danish Air Force, on Oct. 1, 2020, an F-16AM, serial E-005, was given the same Have Glass color scheme that will be applied to the Danish F-35A Lightning II.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.