MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Next year the Russian Air Force will abandon its gray camouflage coloring and use several new color patterns for its warplanes, a source in the Russian defense ministry said on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day Izvestia reported that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has reversed the order of his predecessor Anatoly Serdyukov to repaint all warplanes only using different shades of gray.
Starting next year a variety of colors will be used depending on the terrain around the airbases.
“Indeed, such a decision has been made. In the past, Air Force aircraft were painted different colors but when Serdyukov became [defense] minister that procedure was abolished and aircraft began to be painted gray,” the ministry source told RIA Novosti.
Not all warplanes will be repainted, he added, only new aircraft and those that have undergone major repairs.
The exact color patterns or the number of patterns are a closely guarded secret, Izvestia said, adding that possible colors will include green, sandy, dark blue and white.
Serdyukov decided to borrow a page from the USAF which adopted a uniform aircraft color scheme in the 1970s to eliminate the need for repainting every time a warplane changes its base.
The decision was made without consultations with experts or approval from the Defense Ministry’s research centers.
It costs up to 300,000 rubles ($10,000) to repaint one plane and it will take three to four years to repaint all of Russia's warplanes.