On Friday, a flight simulation group called Deka Ironworks based out of Beijing, China announced a collaboration with Eagle Dynamics on the free China Asset Pack via their Facebook page. Let’s break down what we know!
The China Asset Pack
There aren’t any Chinese related aircraft, ships or munitions in the DCS series at this point but it looks like Deka Ironworks is ready to change that. Announcing a free package that they intend to add to DCS, Deka have included a variety of ships, missiles and two AI aircraft.
The announcement is a surprise to many and so far hasn’t been noticed by many in the community forums. So far Eagle Dynamics hasn’t said (to my knowledge) that they have partnered with Deka Ironworks yet though this may be a first step. Deka Ironworks clearly is interested in developing assets for DCS and even aircraft – more on that in a bit.
What Deka intends to add is as follows:
- J-11A (AI) [Completed]
- JF-17 “Thunder” (AI) [WIP]
- 052B Destoryer DDG-168 “Guangzhou” [Completed]
- 052C Destoryer DDG-171 “Haikou” [Almost Completed]
- 054A Frigate FFG-538 “Yantai” [Completed]
- YJ-83 Anti-ship Missile [Completed]
- YJ-62 Anti-ship Missile [WIP]
- 9M317 Surface to Air Missile [Completed]
- HQ-16 Surface to Air Missile [Completed]
- HHQ-9 Surface to Air Missile [Completed]
- PL-5EII Air to Air Missile* [Completed]
- PL-8 Air to Air Missile [Completed]
- PL-12 Air to Air Missile* [Completed]
- WMD Multi-function Targeting Pod* [Completed]
- RKL609 ECM Pod [Completed]
- AKU-170 Adapter for R-77 missile on J-11A [Completed]
- PF-12 Adapter for PL-12 missile* [WIP]
J-11 and JF-17 primer
A lot of people in Western circles don’t know Chinese aircraft or their history very well. I’ve done some reading over the years but much of the aircraft that China currently and historically has operated I don’t have a full appreciation for. But I am learning!
The J-11 is a Chinese license build of the Russian Su-27SK. The original agreement was for 200 aircraft to be built using Russian avionics and supporting systems, however, apparently there were problems and ultimately only 100 of this original order were completed. Later, Chinese aircraft manufacturer Shenyang produced new aircraft under the designation J-11B using Chinese avionics and engines. This version was also lightened thanks to use of more composite materials.
The version that Deka Ironworks has chosen to represent is the original J-11 variant. This is very similar to the Su-27 variant already in series. It has some unique features mostly centered around possessing its own array of missiles including the short range PL-5 and PL-8 missiles as well as the R-77/AIM-120 equivalent PL-12 missile.
The JF-17 is an entirely new aircraft. A join China/Pakistan project to produce a lightweight multirole jet fighter with similar performance to the US F-16 but at a reduced cost. The aircraft apparently relies heavily on the avionics work already done on the Chinese J-10 fighter. Though relatively unknown, the JF-17 has apparently already been used in action by Paikstan.
DCS: JF-17 ‘Thunder’
Deka Ironworks has periodically updated their Facebook page with updates on the JF-17 project. From what I’ve learned, they intend to build a DCS level simulation of this aircraft.
On Facebook and YouTube the team has provided details of a work in progress JF-17 showcasing their fly-by-wire implementation and use of CCIP bomb drops and unguided rockets.
I think the announcement is exciting and the possibility of new aircraft that are relatively unknown in the Western audience to be very interesting. A flyable JF-17 is a unique aircraft that is beginning to be exported to countries in search of a low cost jet fighter. Flying it in DCS would certainly be a unique experience.
I admit to a bit of skepticism right now until Eagle Dynamics follows up with a confirmation of the partnership. Until now, and again to the best of my knowledge, Deka Ironworks has been operating independently without a third party contract with Eagle Dynamics and the DCS series. This makes them different than Belsimtek, Heatblur or RAZBAM that are all signed on as official third party partners. That doesn’t, however, mean that it may not be something that is in the works. As this announcement suggests this may be a first join effort with Eagle Dynamics officially and more may be coming including that DCS: JF-17 module.
I’ll keep up to date on this and let everyone know when I hear more. As someone who appreciates the unique and interesting as well as the better known types, this is an interesting announcement and offers the potential for some unique sim experiences in the future. More when I hear it! In the meantime visit their Facebook page for more images and details.