New F-35 Stealth Coating Vs Old F-35 Stealth Coating

New F-35 Stealth Coating Vs Old F-35 Stealth Coating
Two Italian F-35s flying in formation with a Challenger CL-604 of the Royal Danish Air Force. The aircraft in the background wears the old coating, while the one in the foreground wears the new one. (Photo: Royal Danish Air Force)

Italian Air Force’s F-35As are currently deployed in Iceland for the second time in support of NATO Icelandic Air Policing.

A few days ago, two F-35s performed a Tango Scramble to intercept a Challenger CL-604 of the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) on its way to Greenland, which acted as a “zombie” for this training mission.

The RDAF later posted a photo of the two fighter jets flying in formation with the Challenger at the end of the training event on their social media channels.

According to The aviationist, what’s interesting about this photo is that we can see side by side both the new and the old coating of the F-35.

To be more precise, the aircraft in the background is the one with the older livery, while the other one in the foreground is the F-35 with the new livery.

The aircraft with the new livery is the F-35A with construction number AL-12 / serial MM7362 and coded 32-12, the latest delivered to the 32° Stormo (Wing), the unit which operates the Lightning II in the Italian Air Force, and the first one to wear the new livery.

Actually, this new livery has been around already for some time with F-35s from other countries but this is the first time that it was applied to an Italian aircraft.

The old livery presented very evident panel lines which were painted a lighter gray than the rest of the aircraft, resulting in the characteristic saw tooth panel lines above and on the sides of the fuselage.

This change of the coating system was reported to be in effect since 2017 in the U.S. production lines, while for the Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) plants outside of the U.S. this may have taken some more time.

Lockheed Martin has defended both the stealth coatings of the F-35A and its efforts to boost the supply of spare parts, as it eyes the conclusion of three fighter campaigns in 2020 and lower operating costs.

Lockheed Martin has defended both the stealth coatings of the F-35A and its efforts to boost the supply of spare parts, as it eyes the conclusion of three fighter campaigns in 2020 and lower operating costs.

While 2019 has been a relatively trouble-free year in the programme’s long history, reports have emerged regarding concerns about the durability of its low-observable coatings at high speeds, as well as continued issues with spare parts availability.

Meanwhile, Over notes that the F-35 programme continues to see falling airframe costs, as discussions continue on low-rate initial production blocks 12, 13 and 14, covering a combined 478 of the stealth aircraft.

Check Also

Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 Crashes In Bhind

Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 Crashes In Bhind

An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 crashed in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh after a technical malfunction. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *