Why aren't military aircraft painted a bluey-grey colour to camouflage them against a bluey-grey sky?

(I researched this but couldn't find a clear answer)

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Related, possibly even a dupe $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Oct 6, 2016 at 15:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I believe that you're asking from a false premise. You might be better off asking the inverse question: Why are these specific aircraft (with images/links) not painted blue-grey $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Oct 6, 2016 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ Also related, though not a duplicate: Blending in isn't always the best camouflage option. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Oct 6, 2016 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ The B2 stealth bomber is not only painted on the bottom to match the color of the sky it flies in, but for some missions actually adjusts its altitude to find the least visible level of lighting. $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2019 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


Shades of Blue-grey you say? So.......

The F15
(source: boeing.com)

The Mig21

(source: airforce-technology.com)

The Eurofighter
(source: ausairpower.net)

To name a few I could think of from the top of my head. Almost every military aircraft has a variant that has been painted along the blue-grey spectrum at some point or another.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The next question could be why is the AWACS radar dome black with a white stripe... $\endgroup$
    – Gypaets
    Oct 6, 2016 at 16:37
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Psy-ops against the population on the ground who can't see the camouflaged plane so freak out at the flying saucer. *nodnod* $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2019 at 11:30

You probably only think there aren't any because the ones we see, typically, are for show. Say, for example, the blue angels, or for domestic use where camouflage isn't as important. In a foreign theater of war, the aircraft would be painted appropriately I.E. blue-gray, black (depending on the mission).


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