US F-16 painted to resemble Russian Su-57 fighter jet makes maiden flight

A US F-16 fighter jet has took to the skies for the first time since being repainted to resemble a cutting-edge Russian Su-57 aircraft. While the paint job unlikely affected actual performance, it certainly looked nice on the jet.

The aircraft belongs to the US Air Force’s 64th Aggressor Squadron based at the Nellis Air Force Base, right outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The squadron’s planes act as ‘adversaries’ – such as Russia and China – during drills and the paint jobs, as well as other markings, are supposed to make the simulated combat more realistic.

The 4th-gen F-16 was painted in a pixel variant of Russia’s 5th-gen Su-57 livery. To be fair, even with the makeover the aircraft hardly resembles a Russian jet, given that they have completely different airframes – F-16 is a single-engine aircraft, while Su-57 packs two.