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Thread: ADS-B on Air Force planes?

  1. #1

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    Nov 2013
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    ADS-B on Air Force planes?

    We live near a restricted area which is used by the Air Force for target practice and occasionally they work with grunts on the ground. Are their F-16's ADS-B equipped. While they often fly overhead, I don't see any ID whereas on Flight Aware all other aircraft in the area so equipped show up. If they don't have the equipment what's the reason for not having it?

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Government aircraft are not required to comply with FAA regulations. The regulations governing military aircraft often duplicate that of the FAA rules, but they're not required to.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3

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    Thanks Ron,

    I had IFF on the Cobra decades ago while flying in unfriendly territory, so flying my Pitts doing maneuvers and them in the F-16, means head on a swivel. Only way I know!

  4. #4
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Military aviators are subject to FAA regs and can be violated by the FAA. Disciplinary action is usually left to the military. The military does have certain exemptions for training and operation needs: lights out operations, high speed low level routes, etc. I was an FTE on a USAF flight where the crew busted Class C airspace and thetower did no take kindly to the intrusion. The crew got a strong talking to from the tower chief and showed a lot of humility so the issue was dropped.
    For ADSB it’s actually a mixed bag....
    The DOD chose not to equip aircraft that are being retired NLT 2025 as not being worth the cost and effort.
    Aircraft operating in CONUS are required to operate with ADSB on unless mission requirements dictate, but then requires coordination with the FAA.
    For certain tactical aircraft it was determined not to be equipped based on its mission such as the B-2.
    Last edited by Airmutt; 06-02-2021 at 02:55 PM.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  5. #5
    steve's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Utah
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    I asked an F-35 pilot why their planes aren't equipped with ADS-B Out. He replied that the F-35 equipment list was spec'd out 25 years ago (before ADS-B was invented), so to remain within budget, ADS-B is still off the table. Perhaps next year, finances permitting.
    The pilot also noted that if you do see fast movers on your Garmin screen, it is a shadow feed from a nearby radar facility, in my case that would be Salt Lake approach reading the F-35s departing from nearby Hill AFB.

  6. #6

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    Nov 2012
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    Omro, WI
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    Tankers typically have it, and have it on. There is a tanker up right now over Romania this very instant.

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