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US Fighter Jet Aggressor Squadrons – Colorful Camo with a Bite

Colorful Camo Schemes

Aggressor Squadrons are known for their colorful camouflage paint schemes, which are designed to mimic the camo types often used by enemy fighter jets. Aggressors serve as the enemy aircraft in training exercises, so US and allied pilots get familiar with recognizing and fighting against aircraft with these unusual appearances.

An Aggressor from Eielson Air Force Base flies over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, July 18, 2019.

Aggressor Training

Aggressor pilots are also trained to mimic the flying styles of enemy pilots, so US pilots can train to counter them. The aggressors are always testing pilots during training exercises, furthering honing both dog-fighting and general aerial combat capabilities.

A U.S. Air Force 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon flies during RED FLAG-Alaska 19-2, June 17, 2019, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Aggressors on Twitter

A matte black color scheme was also adopted for one of the Aggressor F-16s, possibly as a nod to China’s Shenyang J-31 aircraft currently under development.

They provide a dose of realism in air exercises and their training value is crucial.

Gen. David L. Goldfein

As US priorities and adversaries shift, it will be interesting to see the progression of Aggressor paint schemes these fighter jets will be wearing in the future. For now we can enjoy the interesting outcome of today’s geopolitical landscape: a fair amount of arctic, digitized, desert, stealth-inspired schemes, and of course the Red Stars of Communism.

Five F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron await an end-of-runway inspection during Red Flag 14-1 Jan. 29, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The Aggressors put Red Flag participants from the US and partner nations around the world through their paces in the air, space and cyberspace. The Red Flag series of combat exercises was first established in 1975, and is aimed at better preparing airmen for real-world combat.