AH64 colour scheme

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
So I note, courtesy of a Facebook post from the army that some Apache's are on their way home. Quite a nice phot attached below. I also noticed that in the X period that this apache has been over there, nobody has painted it sand coloured, or blue underneath, or green and purple polka dots just to piss off the RSM.

My question is, do we (a) not bother to paint kit sand, blue or green anymore (b) the current colour is a clever whizz that works really well (c) the above colour is really just the best material that happens to be grey to defeat radar/missiles/something-other-than-the-mark-1-eyeball (d) insert your option here.

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Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
That made me smile. I assume I got grey wrong (or the photo is filtered in some way) as thinking about it, Apaches are a (very) dark green.
 

naked_mole_rat

Old-Salt
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To answer your question, I don't know.

To ask a further question in the same ilk why is the new army wildcat helicopter painted two tone grey all over? I would like to think that there must be more to it than the navy chose the colour scheme for their variant and we didn't bother to change it but it wouldn't surprise me if this was the case.
 
I'll tell you why. CORGIs: CO's Really Great Idea. When I say 'CO', I mean some go-getting 2 Star at MoD wishing to make his (and it's usually a 'he') mark. Nothing more. Certainly no real tactical advantage of constantly changing schemes. All over medium grey should really kill all this bullshit off, as it's pretty multi-role in most environments. Ask the yanks.

A case in point:

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Wrap around camo was quite effective on Vulcans, Bucs, Tornado's, harrier's and Jags.

Christ didn't we have a lot of different aircraft until a few years ago. Luckily they now make one that can do the lot.
 
It was very effective in the Western Europe environment, but was shown wanting during Red Flag, where temporary desert schemes were first trialed. But such schemes are down to air threat. As there was no viable air threat in Iraq during Round 2 and none whatsoever in AFG, then it was deemed unnecessary to apply desert ARTF to rotary and fixed a/c.
 
During the Falklands fracas Harriers were painted dark grey, great for low level over the sea and apparently over land as well but made them stand out at height so much so that the Argies referred to them as the la muerte negra (can I say the N word) "the black death". It must be true it's in St Sharkies book. (only eight left on Amazon).
 
Maybe it's because the paint used is radar defeating plus we wish to use them as a deterrent: hard to do if they are camouflaged.


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In NWE we went from green/brown to green/black, to grey/green, with pink for the Granby excursion. In my own experience I found that at ranges above about 3-4km most things took on a grey hue through GOA/TRS. Apart from Lynx, which, covered in oil, made a pretty, shiney target.
 
Option D.Some stores bloke ordered "Paint Grey x 100" and didn't realise that the quantity was in metric tons and not 1 litre tins.

Got to use the stuff up some how.
 
Option D.Some stores bloke ordered "Paint Grey x 100" and didn't realise that the quantity was in metric tons and not 1 litre tins.

Got to use the stuff up some how.
Someone at Donington must have thought the Fourth Royal Tank Regiment had a couple of aircraft carriers considering the amount of Battleship Grey we used.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Perceived threat + money? The Israelis paint theirs a two-tone sand/brown.

Lots of effort on this over the years and it does make for interesting reading.

The RAF in WWII used to paint its fighters in camouflage green/brown with light undersides. Green/brown became green/dark blue-grey, eventually (in the fast jet era) with a full wraparound of the green/dark blue-grey to the undersides once it was appreciated that the greater threat for a ground-hugger was visual detection from above, not from those on the ground - a light-grey flash exposed in a turn was a dead give-away (no pun).

But higher-altitude fighter aircraft persisted with the camouflage schemes much longer than they should have. Phantoms and Lightnings were all out there in green/grey-blue/light grey for years, before moving over to schemes more suited to air defence - Barley greys and so on. Nimrods were painted hemp - a very light brown - partly because the background they were often seen against was runway concrete but on testing the hemp performed surprisingly well in the air by comparison with the white/grey which they originally had.

A lot has to do with reflectance and the distance a target is seen at - a point Harry Clampers makes. The RAF's Sunderlands used to have lights under the wings to 'white out' the shadow; it meant that U-Boat crews couldn't see them for a far greater time and so could be caught on the surface, not having had the chance to close hatches and dive. Up close, a plane with lights under the wings just looks silly. Step back a few hundred metres and the effect is more apparent. Google Yehudi lights.

An intricate scheme also has little effect at distance; a multicam-type scheme need not apply, though it looks nice in brochures. It's why many modern aircraft have ostensibly single-colour schemes all over. But look at the RAF's close-support aircraft. Harriers (RIP) and Tornados have more recently been seen in light greys, a product of recent deployments where the greater threat has come from the ground/people looking up, not from opposition air.

So, Apache and perceived threat/money: the scheme/paint it has works in more than the visible spectrum. But also, I suspect, where we've been recently you want people to see it coming in some circumstances - persuading people that not breaking contact is a very bad idea with a poor pension plan. I can't help thinking the main reason's money, though.

[Sits back and waits to be put right by someone who really knows... ;-) ]
 

2/51

LE
Watching a programe about Lancasters last night, and they had a shot of the City of Lincoln (the aircraft, not the city) from directly above. Despite having green and brown cammo, the thing stood out like a beacon over typical fields and forest below.

The Tornados at Lossie are hard to spot in their matt grey colour scheme when looking up at them, expecially against a typical Scottish winter sky. They are also pretty hard to spot when looking down on them from a mountain as they pass below, especially if its a hazy day.

But the Germans seem to have it licked!

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Watching a programe about Lancasters last night, and they had a shot of the City of Lincoln (the aircraft, not the city) from directly above. Despite having green and brown cammo, the thing stood out like a beacon over typical fields and forest below.
Generally used as a night bomber, following the rather expensive Nuremburg raid. Now used as a PR tool.
 
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A lot has to do with reflectance and the distance a target is seen at - a point Harry Clampers makes. The RAF's Sunderlands used to have lights under the wings to 'white out' the shadow; it meant that U-Boat crews couldn't see them for a far greater time and so could be caught on the surface, not having had the chance to close hatches and dive. Up close, a plane with lights under the wings just looks silly. Step back a few hundred metres and the effect is more apparent. Google Yehudi lights.
I'd agree with this, the eyes capacity at long range is limited to detecting differences of shade, colour doesn't really matter; hence Berlin camouflage in straight line to match the buildings, BAOR wavy to fit the trees/shrubs/hills
 

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