The Russian Defence Ministry has reported a major uptick in NATO activity on its borders in recent months, with Aerospace Forces jets scrambled repeatedly to intercept and track NATO jets, spy planes, bombers, and drones from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Sea of Okhotsk in the east.
US Air Force veteran and aviation artist Sean Hampton has published rendered images of F-35 fighter jets featuring Russian Air Force colour scheme livery.
According to Hampton, the skins were made for the 65th Aggressor Squadron, a specially equipped and trained Air Force unit which simulates the look and behaviour of enemy aircraft and pilots, in this case, the Russians.
The artist teased that the renders were just a “sneak peak,” and noted that his followers should look out for the paint schemes’ official unveiling sometime in 2021.
Last year, Air Force officials confirmed that the 65th Aggressor Squadron, recently reactivated and based at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, would be using “early” model F-35s to simulate “high-end adversary” Russian Sukhoi Su-57 and China’s Chengdu J-20 fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
The US Air Force has a long history of painting aircraft to look like enemy planes, decking out General Dynamics F-16s to look like Su-57s in 2019, and making at least one Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 out to be a Sukhoi Su-30. During the Cold War, the Pentagon amassed an entire fleet of aircraft simulated to look like the enemy at bases in Alaska,…