Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Circuit breaker Day 22 pix: Colourful F-5 camouflage schemes

Before the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) settled on the F-16 lookalike warpaint (see below) for its upgraded F-5s, the F-5E/F fleet was painted in a colourful variety of camouflage patterns from the 1980s through to the 1990s.

We present the colourful warpaint of the now-retired RSAF F-5 Tiger II fleet.
An RF-5S Tigereye reconnaissance fighter, converted from a F-5E, wears the F-16 style camouflage that was the final warpaint pattern for the RSAF's long-serving F-5 fleet. This RF-5S was displayed at the RSAF Open House in 2003.

The F-5E, which was the RSAF's first supersonic fighter jet, was delivered in a three-tone grey wrap around scheme seen below. This disruptive pattern was the dominant scheme. Some colours were sun-faded till the three tones merged into what looked like an overall pale grey when seen from a distance.

An F-5F approaches Paya Lebar Air Base with an RF-5E. Both wear the three-tone grey warpaint.
At least two F-5Es were painted in green and tan camouflage that looked similar to the one on RSAF A-4 Skyhawks. The camouflage was said to be quite effective when green/tan F-5s skimmed above ground level. In the 1980s, F-5Es were also seen in a variation of the three tone grey camouflage scheme, with a deep blue and dark grey replacing two shades of grey. Sadly, I do not have a picture of this attractive camouflage scheme.
RSAF F-5Es were also painted silver overall, much like the Soviet MiG-21s. While one might think that a silver painted plane is easy to spot, the silver warpaint blended well with the clouds and made the F-5 (which presented a small profile when seen head on) difficult to see.
At least one RSAF F-5E was painted in a non-standard camouflage scheme of dark and light grey topside and light grey on its ventral surfaces. This beauty served with RSAF 144 Squadron.


Doobee said...

5E and are still beautiful birds.

IAF said...

Flying stilletos

HC said...

Is there a reason why the F-5 doesn't display in the air force museum despite being retired for a few years?