This afternoon, a peculiar mission involving a French Air Force AWACS took place around Italy. The aircraft (a Boeing E-3CF, reg. 201, f/n FAF903), departed from the Avord base in central France, headed south (tracked by ADS-B Exchange up to Sardinia). However, the flight path over the central Mediterranean was not available. Despite emitting a MODE-S signal, it was not sufficient for precise tracking.
The AWACS then headed north over the Ionian Sea (briefly traceable by Radarbox24), flying over Calabria for a short period. Subsequently, the Boeing aircraft proceeded over the Adriatic before crossing the Po Valley and returning to France.
Monitoring this flight is interesting because it illustrates how a single tracking site is often inadequate to follow an entire mission. A patchwork of data is necessary to obtain the most comprehensive trace possible, although in this case, a complete trace was not achievable.
As a point of information, it is worth noting that French AWACS aircraft are not tracked by FlightRadar24, while Radarbox24 designates them as “Blocked.”