do military aircraft show up on flightradar24

As an aviation enthusiast, one of the common questions that often arises is whether military aircraft show up on Flightradar24, the popular flight tracking service. In this article, we will delve into this intriguing topic and shed some light on the visibility of military aircraft on Flightradar24.

Understanding Flightradar24

Flightradar24 is a global flight tracking service that provides real-time information about aircraft around the world. It allows users to track flights, view detailed aircraft information, and see live air traffic. The service is widely used by aviation enthusiasts, airline passengers, and even the aviation industry.

Visibility of Civilian Aircraft

One of the key features of Flightradar24 is the ability to track civilian aircraft in real-time. Users can easily locate commercial flights, private jets, and other non-military aircraft using the service. This visibility is made possible through a network of ADS-B receivers that capture and relay aircraft data to Flightradar24.

ADS-B Technology

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a technology that allows aircraft to broadcast their GPS position, altitude, speed, and other information. This data is picked up by ground-based receivers and then relayed to services like Flightradar24, providing real-time tracking of civilian aircraft.

Military Aircraft Visibility

While Flightradar24 primarily focuses on civilian aircraft, the visibility of military aircraft is limited due to several factors. Military aircraft often operate under different communication and surveillance systems, which are not always compatible with the ADS-B technology used by Flightradar24.

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Operational Security

Military operations require a higher level of operational security, and as a result, military aircraft may operate with their ADS-B transmissions turned off or may utilize alternative tracking systems to avoid being easily tracked by the public.

Challenges in Tracking Military Aircraft

Tracking military aircraft presents unique challenges due to the nature of their operations. These challenges contribute to the limited visibility of military aircraft on Flightradar24.

Radar Coverage

Military flights may operate in areas with limited radar coverage, such as remote or sensitive regions where civilian air traffic is minimal. This lack of radar coverage makes it difficult for services like Flightradar24 to track military aircraft in those areas.

Stealth and Low Observable Technology

Some modern military aircraft are equipped with stealth and low observable technology, which is designed to reduce their radar cross-section and make them less visible to radar systems. This technology further complicates the tracking of military aircraft by conventional means.


While Flightradar24 provides excellent visibility of civilian aircraft, the visibility of military aircraft is limited due to the operational nature of military flights and the challenges associated with tracking them. However, it’s important to note that the absence of military aircraft on Flightradar24 does not diminish the value of the service in tracking and exploring the world of aviation.


1. Can military aircraft be tracked by the public?

Military aircraft can be tracked by the public to some extent, but their visibility is limited compared to civilian aircraft. Operational security and specialized tracking systems contribute to this limitation.

2. Why do military aircraft operate with limited visibility?

Military aircraft operate with limited visibility to protect the operational security of military missions and to avoid potential adversaries or threats from easily tracking their movements.

3. Are there any alternatives to track military aircraft?

Yes, there are specialized services and technologies used by military and government agencies to track and monitor military aircraft. These systems are not publicly accessible and are designed for military and security purposes.

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4. Can military aircraft appear on Flightradar24 under certain circumstances?

While rare, military aircraft can appear on Flightradar24 under certain circumstances, such as during training exercises or when operating in areas with extensive radar coverage and civilian air traffic.

5. How can I track military aircraft if they are not visible on Flightradar24?

Tracking military aircraft may require access to specialized aviation and defense-related platforms, as well as knowledge of military flight operations and procedures. It is important to respect the privacy and security of military operations when attempting to track military aircraft.