collision avoidance systems on military fighters


I know this is a funny topic title for GA, but I am curious what collision avoidance systems USAF/USN and USMC fighters use.
The reason I ask, is because yesterday I went to a fly in at my local aerodrome, and a pair of F-16s called 5 miles out and then 2 seconds later they came screaming across the runway. The active runway was 31, and they performed the flyby on 13. Had someone been on departure and stayed in the pattern or departed to the south, there may have been some interesting moments.
I guess this information would do more good for MOA flying. I always call FSS before entering the MOA but sometimes they set up their flights last minute and you may be in the MOA when the flying is initiated.

Now don’t get me wrong it was pretty cool to have 2 Vipers come screaming down the runway of my little airport (even though they’re from my hometown airport and I see them there all the time), but just the speed at which they were flying and the time that would elapse from visual contact to physical contact being so small…plus the fact that my Warrior is lacking in the TCAS department, I wondered what they have to alert them, AND does it require the other aircraft Xponder to be on ALT (as I always am) or do they simply get radar returns, and can tell by size and then ID from the target aircraft Xponder.
Thanks in advance guys.


I suppose they have a variety of methods to see or eliminate traffic/targets. I’m just glad it wasn’t a Lear 60.


Well they have onboard radar. If you mean something like TCAS that gives a RA then I’m not aware of anything like that the fighters have. Cargo and tankers have TCAS just like civilian planes, not sure about the bombers.


Yes, fighters have a collision avoidence system. It’s called EYES.


Radar that can count your fillings at 20 miles!


refrains from quoting Top Gun lines…


Getting DEBUG error almost regardless of input!

NO special characters.


As I discovered and as I posted elsewhere, it is possible to get rid of the debug error:

  1. Copy article into Word
  2. Save as plain text
  3. In the file conversion box that appears:
  • Click the radio button next to “Other Encoding” and select US-ASCII
  • Click the box next to “allow character substitution”
  • Click OK button
  1. Open the file saved above into Notepad
  2. Select all of the document (ctrl-A)
  3. Do Ctrl-C to copy the entire document
  4. Do a paste into the forum (ctrl-V)

If you don’t have Notepad you pay be able to use any other pure text editor.

You cannot copy-and-paste from the Word document because you will get hidden formatting codes that the forum doesn’t like.


Thanks for the response David, but I’m unsure what “article” you’re referring to.

I wasn’t copying and pasting anything, just plain vanilla keyboard input, no special characters or embedding.


I was speaking about copying an item from the web such as a news article. I misunderstood when you said “regardless of input.” I thought you were copying-and-pasting from another web page.


Then how’d you post that? :wink:

What non-alphanumeric characters were included in your post?


Ampersands were the only “special” characters Mark.

I could preview the post just fine, but it wouldn’t actually post.

*** (Test)


This is the message I was attempting to quote in my original reply, kept getting a debug error even without input from me.

Ah well, probably just a momentary glitch.



Slanted single and double quotes and the longer dash (en or em, I can’t remember) are the usual suspects for the debug error.


Sorry, meant to say asterisk, not ampersand!


That’s weird… the acceptable character set should not be varying over time.


I’ll have to check the other laptop I was using when I first had the problem, perhaps there’s a hardware/language setting I’m overlooking for the keyboard. (Got one on every level of the house, two in the basement!) :laughing:


:laughing: hahahahahahahaha :unamused: uh

5 miles and haze, same altitude, little grey fighter flying at around 250 kts on a head on course…I think that’s system is better called collision awareness, I am aware this F-16 is going to hit me.


that’s good enough for me…as long as they see me.


Oh, they can see you, trust me.

The F-16 is equipped with one of the most advanced Radar systems of any aircraft in the world. Can’t quite be used as a weapon like the pulsed Doppler array Radar on the F-22 or F-35, but they’re working on it.