Royal Air Force’s first Aggressor Typhoon at RAF Coningsby.
On September 10, the twitter channel "Scottish aviation SIG" published the first images of a RAF Typhoon with a dark gray livery, very close to black. They were taken by photographers Kevin Mape and Mark Smith at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
— Scottish aviation SIG (@gmsphotography) September 9, 2020
It is a Typhoon FGR4, serial ZJ914, belonging to the No IX (Bomber) Squadron which is most likely part of the aircraft that the unit will use in the Aggressor role.
About a year ago, the RAF announced that some of the No IX Squadron aircraft would be painted with distinctive markings to identify them as training "adversaries" in the "aggressors" role.
"In this role, they will provide a sterner training test to RAF and NATO fast-jet pilots, as they will play the role of opposing aircraft which match their speed and manoeuvrability while using the latest real-world dogfighting and air combat tactics against them," the RAF said.
This color scheme was much anticipated by aviation enthusiasts, since then some renderings had appeared online showing color hypotheses of the "bad" RAF Typhoons that recalled those of the USAF F-16 Aggressor aircraft. It is in fact very similar to the Aggressor F-16C appears at Red Flag Alaska in 2017 which wore an SR-71 Blackbird like paint scheme.
The Aggressor RAF Typhoons belong to the less evolved Tranche 1 that the air force has decided to use for this task as they lack limited capabilities compared to T2 and T2 and are less effective to deploy in the operational theater. These aircraft will work in conjunction with the 100 Squadron BAe Hawk T.1 aircraft, which also wear a black livery, to provide air combat training to RAF and Royal Navy combat pilots.
The RAF had already painted a Typhoon black in 1994, it was the DA2 test aircraft, serial ZH588.
Eurofighter Typhoon ZH588 test aircraft (Photo credit: Craig S Martin).
Written by Matteo Sanzani