Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Nato A/C Paint - Only Gray?  
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1124 posts, RR: 7
Posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3637 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

I have a question about NATO paint schemes that has been bugging me for awhile now. I've noted while looking through the db that most NATO fighter aircraft are painted in some variation of air-superiority gray - some lighter, some darker, some with a faint gray camo pattern and so on. Of course there are the occasional colorful examples, but these are most one-of schemes worn for a definite time only, or schemes for special deployments.

Now I wonder is this a rule, or can a NATO member country paint its combat aircraft in some other scheme that would be standardized throughout the country's entire force? In particular, normal woodland camo? (the question came about when I was wondering how'd the present camo scheme worn by Croatian AF MiG-21s and some Mi-8s look on the F-16 and Gripen). I've noted that the Cro AF has already started repainting some Mi-8s and An-32s into the overall gray scheme.


No plane, no gain.
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOpso1 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3625 times:

Woodland camo does not really work at FL350 on an interception... They can be painted as required, but lots of planning has gone into the final colour- it's not just that the country has bought a lot of one colour of paint...

User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1124 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3525 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting Opso1 (Reply 1):
Woodland camo does not really work at FL350 on an interception... They can be painted as required, but lots of planning has gone into the final colour- it's not just that the country has bought a lot of one colour of paint...

I am quite aware of that - but interceptions are not the only purpose of the air force. The Croatian AF, in its current operational organization, is mainly a ground-attack force, since the size of Croatia itself prohibits any extensive air-to-air operations. If anything, you hit full military and you're out of the country in 5 minutes in any direction (well, almost true, you can even fly for 20 down the coast). The only air interceptions the AF has in mind are airliner ones, though how will that change when we'll be in NATO I don't know.



No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineKukkudrill From Malta, joined Dec 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

I think two things explain the change to grey. First, tactics have changed: planes designed for low-level high-speed bombing are operating at medium to high altitudes. Secondly, so has the nature of the threat: the biggest worry to aircraft in present-day conflicts is not from air interception but from people on the ground using shoulder-launched missiles. This means that even low-flying aircraft have to try to blend in with the sky above them rather than the ground beneath them.


Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1124 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3457 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting Kukkudrill (Reply 3):
Secondly, so has the nature of the threat: the biggest worry to aircraft in present-day conflicts is not from air interception but from people on the ground using shoulder-launched missiles. This means that even low-flying aircraft have to try to blend in with the sky above them rather than the ground beneath them.

Hmmm... makes sense. However, to nitpick a bit, the current Cro AF scheme includes a blue belly (admittedly, it could be of a less conspicuous tone), so the requirement you stated is fulfilled - given of course that the aircraft is in level flight as it could be on a bombing run. Still I see your point, thanks.

EDIT: bad formatting

[Edited 2007-02-23 19:43:33]


No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineKukkudrill From Malta, joined Dec 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3427 times:

Small-minded types might accuse me of self-plugging, but the difference that grey can make struck me quite forcefully when I was going through some recent airshow photos. Think of a Herk doing a low-level drop in hostile territory. Now compare these two shots:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Charles Polidano
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Charles Polidano


It wouldn't work so well on a clear day of course, but any plane would stand out against a clear sky no matter how it is coloured.



Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

Quoting Kukkudrill (Reply 5):
It wouldn't work so well on a clear day of course, but any plane would stand out against a clear sky no matter how it is coloured.

And as the USAF found out with the first production F-15s, even Air Superiority Blue doesn't work quite as well as some form of grey camouflage. Compass Ghost was the rage for a while but in later years it appears the AF darkened both of those greys some. Don't recall if there was a new name for the scheme.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1124 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 3312 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting Kukkudrill (Reply 5):
Think of a Herk doing a low-level drop in hostile territory. Now compare these two shots:

Yes, the contrast is quite marked. I thought the upper (and upper-side) camo patterns wouldn't be noticeable from ground level.



No plane, no gain.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Nato A/C Paint - Only Gray?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
A400M For Nato? posted Mon Nov 27 2006 22:12:16 by RIXrat
4 C-17As For Nato? posted Fri Oct 13 2006 21:22:59 by KC135TopBoom
Nato Moves To Acquire C-17 posted Wed Sep 13 2006 21:47:10 by Columba
Different Paint Jobs On Fighters posted Sun Aug 27 2006 19:29:10 by FlyMKG
NATO-chartered Ilyushins Troublesome posted Sat Aug 5 2006 23:39:11 by EHHO
Dutch Paint Orange Soccer Nose On German P3 posted Tue Jun 13 2006 07:59:14 by Columba
Indian AF Air Refueling System: Nato Or Russian? posted Tue Apr 11 2006 23:05:17 by A342
WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It posted Mon Mar 6 2006 21:41:58 by N328KF
Paint Costs? posted Sat Feb 25 2006 04:24:32 by CYEGsTankers
Behavior Of Nato Pilots In Foreign Countries posted Fri Oct 14 2005 14:25:46 by TripleDelta

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format