Japan’s Aggressor F-15DJ Repainted With New Camouflage Color Scheme

JASDF F-15 Aggressor
Screengrab of the video from Komatsu Air Base on the F-15DJ with the new paint job. (Image credit: JASDF, edited by The Aviationist)

Japanese aggressor F-15DJs have diverse and striking liveries, making them a sight to behold.

The JASDF (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) has repainted one of its ‘aggressor’ F-15DJ jets, airframe 12-8074, with a new camouflage paint scheme. This is in line with the tradition to have exotic camouflage patterns on the jets that are near exclusively meant to operate as adversary ‘red air’, simulating enemy jets in training.

Komatsu Air Base, located in the Ishikawa Prefecture facing the Sea of Japan, released a short video of the crew undertaking the paint job preparing the jet with special maskings, cut to specification as per the decided design scheme, and then applying the paint with air sprayers. The video, titled ‘The New Camouflage of Aggressor’, shows the aircraft finally ready with a new black and white-on-light blue paint scheme inside the hangar.

Other official pictures of the rest of F-15DJs in the aggressor unit, captured over the last few years, show diverse and striking paint schemes and are a sight to behold.

The Aviationist recently carried a report on the NATO Tiger Meet, that showed magnificent looking Tornados, Eurofighter Typhoons and Dassault Rafales in the most artful and spectacular liveries, that represents the perfect intersection of art, military tradition and defense aerospace.

The JASDF’s Aggressor Squadron at Komatsu

According to the Japanese MoD (Ministry of Defense), the Flight Training Group (or the ‘Hiko Kyodogun’ unit) operates F-15J/DJ fighter jets and is tasked with “conducting research and studies on combat techniques related to fighter-to-fighter combat and providing guidance to related units.”

Throughout the year, the unit travels around the country to fighter, airborne surveillance and control units, “playing the role of the enemy,” and is commonly referred to as the “aggressor.” The F-15s are painted with unique, and artistically vibrant paint schemes “to make it easier to distinguish between friend and foe.”

Fighters with different camo patterns

According to Scramble, the unit operates a total of eight F-15DJs and a single Kawasaki T-4. One Eagle was lost to an accident on Jan. 31, 2022. The unit was based at Nyutabaru air base until 2016, when it moved up north to Komatsu. It was originally formed at Tsuiki air base with five T-2s and two T-33s in 1981. Two years later, in March 1983, it was moved to Nyutabaru and in 1990 the unit converted to the F-15DJ Eagle.

The Japanese aggressor F-15DJ, serial number 92-8070, in 2018. (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons).

The aircraft with the new paint scheme has the serial number 12-8074.

The aircraft in the second picture (above) bears the serial number (seen upon zooming in on the right tail) 92-8070. Interestingly, the latest database from Scramble also mentions an updated paint scheme of “gray/black/white camo” as of Jun. 14, 2024 for the 12-8074 (the same F-15DJ that was repainted in the video).

At the airshow held at Komatsu Air Base in April 2023, 92-8070 was seen in a new exotic light and dark green camo paint scheme (see picture below). This means some of the jets have undergone paint jobs in recent history. Aircraft 82-8092 could also be seen in a black-on-light blue wave design parked beside it.

The 92-8070 and the 82-8092 at the airshow in Komatsu Air Base in Apr. 2023. (Image credit: Japan MoD)

That airshow also saw the aircraft 32-8082 and 92-8096 (see photo below) flying together with their landing gear extended. The former bears a gray-sky blue-light blue combination, while the latter sports what appears to be a nearly all-black scheme peppered with pixels.

Two JASDF aggressor F-15DJs at the airshow in Komatsu in Apr. 2023. (Image credit: Japan MoD).

An earlier nearly one-hour video feature of an airshow at the same air base uploaded on YouTube on Sep. 22, 2022 by ‘j-sky on YouTube’ showed the other aggressor F-15DJs with diverse camo patterns and paint schemes: 12-8076 with a desert camouflage; 12-8094 with a light and dark blue sky camo; 82-8093 sporting black and white on gray; 32-8082 in sky blue patterns; 72-8090 in a gray-beige-olive green scheme.

About Parth Satam
Parth Satam's career spans a decade and a half between two dailies and two defense publications. He believes war, as a human activity, has causes and results that go far beyond which missile and jet flies the fastest. He therefore loves analyzing military affairs at their intersection with foreign policy, economics, technology, society and history. The body of his work spans the entire breadth from defense aerospace, tactics, military doctrine and theory, personnel issues, West Asian, Eurasian affairs, the energy sector and Space.