A clickbait story that claims the US is painting Fighter Jets in Russian colors is being shared on social media. It is accompanied by four photos of jets with similar paint schemes. The bottom right image shows a Russian Su-34. The other three images show the same F/A-18 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC. The claim goes like this:
In fact the plane shown IS being used for training, the three photos of the repainted F-16 are from Top Gun jet fighter training at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC. This is explained by David Cenciotti of The Aviationist in 2014
"Aggressor" jets, tanks, and even soldiers have been a common feature of the US Military for decades. Here's a New York Times article from 1988:
And the Washington Post from 1979:
The video shows the planes in detail:
Note the repainted F-18 still has US Navy markings:
So clearly it's being used for training, but is it possible to be used for a "false flag"? No it's not, for the simple reason that people have cameras. The plane that is being emulated is the Russian Su-27 "Flanker". Superficially it's a similar plane, but it would easily be identified even from relatively small photographs.
[photo flipped horizontally for comparison purposes, hence the backwards 07]
This is especially true if the plane is overhead, as the Su-27 has a very different shape seen from below
Even with more similar planes, a US jet pretending to be a Russian jet would be identified as such almost instantly.