Can You Spot the F-35A Lightning II Hiding in the Trees?

Generally speaking, camouflage paint is not something military airplanes need that much of. Sure, it comes in handy to stop enemies from spotting them while on the ground, but in the air, they rarely need to worry about being seen with the naked eye, and concealment needs to address other types of detection means.
F-35A Lightning II at Eielson Air Force Base 13 photos
Photo: USAF/Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T.
F-35A Lightning II at Eielson Air Force BaseF-35 Lightning II over Nevada during Red Flag exerciseF-35 Lightning on the tarmac in TexasF-35 Lightning buzzing the CN TowerF-35A Lighting IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 LightningF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 Lightning cruising subsonic into the sunset
That’s why most of the time, military aircraft lack the psychedelic paint jobs we often see on ground hardware. They mostly come in shades of gray or blue, and that sometimes helps them blend in with the sky, but every now and then can also help them become almost invisible when a frozen forest is in the background.

Case in point, the photo we have here. We’re looking at a swath of an Alaska forest, near the Eielson Air Force Base. We get trees, a bit of snow, and the feeling it’s very cold up there.

A closer look also reveals an airplane, hiding in plain sight. It’s an F-35A Lightning II, looking dull and almost dissolved in its surroundings. So much so that if it weren’t for the bronze-colored canopy, the heat of the engine, and the fact that it’s positioned horizontally over the vertical trees, it would be very difficult to spot.

The airplane is deployed with the 354th Fighter Wing, a unit involved “in every major conflict in which the United States” has been part of in the modern age. This time, it’s not heading off to war, but is taking off to take part in the Arctic Gold 22-1 exercise that took place at the said base back at the beginning of the month.

It's probably one of the F-35s that we saw not long ago on the runway at Eielson, taking part in a mammoth elephant walk alongside F-16s and a couple of fuel tankers.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-35s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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