Typically flight international planes (they are mostly light bizjets) provide training services for Navy ships off San Diego, Jacksonville and Norfolk. They will tow targets, act as targets/agressors, fly profiles for various tests, and carry pods that transmit various RF signatures.
They will often fly totally VFR but sometimes use an IFR flight plan to get them to VFR conditions at sea where they can then do the flight profiles required for the event.
On other occassions (really socked in weax) they will go IFR (under ATC control) into the Warning area (depicted on aviation charts), be handed off the the airspace controlling agency (FACSFAC) and then be handed off to the ship for control…almost all Navy ships have either air traffic controllers or air intercept controllers who are qualified to do this. Once in the Warning area and handed off by ATC, the FAA ATC facility will typically drop them out of the system and it is the Navy’s issue. Aircraft will then coordinate an return to their launch point and get a new ATC clearance (including a pop-up IFR clearance if necessary) and come back.
Issue is that these planes are typically in the ATC period for a short period of time (basically traffic deconfliction until handed off to the Navy and in the warning area which is already NOTAM’d as hot up to some altitude by the FACSFAC so there is no need for ATC to indicate anything else in the flight plan data that flightaware pulls…as a matter of fact, ATC may not be aware of anything other than the fact the aircraft launched and flew into that box…the rest is done internal to the Navy and (other than the Warning Area NOTAMS) is not published for obvious reasons…
proud owner of
Mooney M20K(231) N99376
and active-duty Naval Officer