The title says it all. It can be clearly seen, for example, in this image:

(image source: Wikimedia)

The rest of the jet seems to have a camouflage.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Tips of the vertical stabs are also white... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 16, 2019 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2021 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Rodrigo, Now we should probably mark this question a dup of that newer one, because it has a good answer, and the answers are the same for both, and the accepted answer for this Q is incorrect. $\endgroup$
    – Zeus
    Sep 13, 2021 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Zeus I would wait a few weeks before making this a duplicate. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2021 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer: Stabs tips are white because they are also radomes hosting VHF antennas (3D blueprint). $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Sep 18, 2021 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


It is all part of the camouflage.

The blue parts on the bottom make the aircraft hard to identify from below against a blue-background (sky). The dark parts on the top make it difficult to identify from above against a dark background (ground).

The white parts make the aircraft's size/shape difficult to determine. This helps to confuse the enemy by making the aircraft seem farther away than it really is.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would think more of a "fade" from grey to white, than a sharp line, would be much better, even if the fade is only over say 6 to 12 inches or so. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2019 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ ausairpower.net/Su-34-Fullback/… I have seen photos of SU-34s with grey radomes and matching vert stab tips. I am not convinced that a bright white radome is considered a form of camouflage. I would like to see some sort of reference to back it up. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2019 at 19:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I'm with Mike Sowsun. In fact, highlighting the nose and tail like this would provide a clear reference point that could actually aid one in estimating range. Maybe this is a training or aggressor version? $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2019 at 21:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am starting to think the radomes are actually “radio transparent” grey or white as per this modelling website: internethobbies.com/products/… $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2019 at 1:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Note that the cover of the rear-facing radar is NOT white.. $\endgroup$
    – juzzlin
    Sep 17, 2021 at 6:28

They're white because that's the cove of the radar dome(Radome) by being white, they reflect em interference and thermal suns rays to keep radar clutter to a minimum

  • $\begingroup$ I assume the same. Like the black noses of older passenger planes. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Sep 16, 2021 at 6:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The color has nothing to do with whether or not it reflects EM (electro magnetic) interference [signals]. White does reflect solar radiation, which can help reduce sun loading (heating) on the antenna and other electronics behind the radome. $\endgroup$
    – SteveSh
    Sep 16, 2021 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ How about the vertical stabs then? Also, the cover of the rear-facing radar is NOT white.. $\endgroup$
    – juzzlin
    Sep 17, 2021 at 6:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Because they protect sensitive instruments while allowing electronic signals to pass through, nose cones – also known as radomes – must be made from specific materials. These materials often include fiberglass, quartz, honeycomb and foam cores; as well as various chemical resins $\endgroup$
    – LazyReader
    Sep 17, 2021 at 8:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @juzzlin - Because there's probably an antenna of some sort on top of the stabilizers. $\endgroup$
    – SteveSh
    Sep 17, 2021 at 20:46

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