Modern German Navy Aircraft Colors

The wide range of authentic paints for modern German Navy aircraft. High-quality acrylic or enamel paints for scale models -10 ml (0.33 oz). Worldwide shipping

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Modern German Navy Aircraft Colors

The Bundesmarine or German Navy was established after Germany joined NATO in 1956. Concurrently, the naval air forces, Marineflieger, were also formed.

The formation of the Marineflieger owes much to the United Kingdom, which not only supplied training and aircraft but also saw the participation of Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) officers as part of the German Navy.

History of the Creation of Modern Marineflieger

During World War I, naval aviators were integrated into the Kaiserliche Marine, directly under fleet command. After the First World War, Germany was restricted from having a substantial military aviation force. However, with the rise of the National Socialists and Germany's rearmament efforts, naval aviation experienced a revival. Instead of being under the Navy, it was now under Hermann Göring's Luftwaffe. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, both the Luftwaffe and naval aviation were disbanded in 1946.

West Germany lacked naval aviation until 1956 when it joined NATO. Subsequently, the Bundesmarine and the naval air force, Marineflieger, were established. The United Kingdom played a direct role in forming the Marineflieger, contributing aircraft, and providing training. Several Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm officers were also involved in this collaborative effort. The initial aircraft for the Marineflieger were British Hawker Sea Hawk and Fairey Gannet planes. Before new naval bases were ready, Marineflieger pilots trained in the UK alongside their British FAA counterparts.

The first Kommando der Marineflieger was created in July 1956 in Kiel-Holtenau. It evolved into the Marinefliegerkommando in 1967 and then the Marinefliegerdivision in 1969. This Naval Aviation Division managed five wings and several supporting units until 1990, including wings equipped with the Lockheed Starfighter and later the Panavia Tornado. The Fairey Gannet was replaced by the Bréguet Atlantic. After the Cold War in 1994, it was renamed Flotille der Marineflieger and reduced to a brigade level. The last combat aircraft were transferred to the German Air Force in 2005, and on June 30, 2006, the flotilla was disbanded. The remaining air wings were directly transferred to fleet command until October 8, 2012, when the current Marinefliegerkommando was established in Nordholz. Simultaneously, the remaining naval aircraft were mostly consolidated at the Nordholz naval airbase.

Operational Use of Marineflieger Aviation

An incident worth mentioning occurred in 1962 involving a Hawker Sea Hawk from Marineflieger. A Bundesmarine Hawker Sea Hawk, piloted by Kapitänleutnant Knut Anton Winkler, was shot at by MiG-21 fighters when it accidentally entered East German airspace near Eisenach. After a training exercise on the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Saratoga in the Atlantic Ocean, Winkler had to perform an emergency landing at Ahlhorn, 45 km southwest of Bremen. The aircraft was eventually written off.

German naval aviation, in collaboration with the German fleet, actively participates in all four NATO Maritime Groups. Additionally, the German Navy is involved in operations against international terrorism, such as Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO Operation Active Endeavour.

The German Navy's largest operation is UNIFIL off the coast of Lebanon, where Germany contributes two frigates, four fast attack craft, and two auxiliary vessels. The naval component of UNIFIL has been under German command.

Camouflage Schemes of the Marineflieger

The initial aircraft of the Marineflieger, Hawker Sea Hawk, and Fairey Gannet retained the British camouflage typical of FAA planes in the 1950s-1960s. They were painted in the original British colors BS 640 Extra Dark Sea Grey and BS 210 Sky, respectively.

With the introduction of new aircraft types into naval aviation, such as the F-104 and later the Panavia Tornado, a new standardized German Navy camouflage scheme became necessary. In 1976, the Marineflieger Norm 76 scheme was approved. It resembled the British scheme, with dark-gray upper surfaces and light-gray, almost white, lower surfaces, or silver used for painting the F-104 fighters.

In 1987, a new camouflage scheme, Norm 87, was introduced for German naval aircraft. The scheme abandoned light lower surfaces and involved painting the entire aircraft in a camouflage of three grayish shades: dark gray, gray-green, and gray-blue. This scheme was mainly applied to Panavia Tornado aircraft, while Lynx helicopters retained the previous Marineflieger Norm 76 scheme.

SAR Sea King helicopters had their unique camouflage scheme, somewhat resembling Norm 87, but with a concrete gray color instead of gray-blue.

The new helicopter, NH90 Sea Tiger, intended to replace the aging Westland Sea King Mk.41, received a monochrome light-gray paint scheme.

Color Standards of Modern German Navy Aviation

The first Marineflieger aircraft, Hawker Sea Hawk, and Fairey Gannet were painted in standard FAA colors according to BS 381C. After introducing the Marineflieger Norm 76 camouflage scheme, a shift occurred towards original German colors from the RAL palette. Most Marineflieger aircraft were painted in RAL colors from the original German palette.

Modern German Navy Aircraft Colors
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