We haven’t heard much from Heatblur on the their DCS: F-14 Tomcat module for a bit but they are back and talking about the Tomcat and some of the features they are working on. It’s almost time to kick the tires and light the fires!
It’s the ‘Bombcat’
One of the biggest pieces of news is that the F-14 is the inclusion of the LANTIRN pod giving F-14s the ability to drop precision guided munitions. At the moment, Heatblur hasn’t been too specific on what it will be able to carry but later modifications allowed for GPS based guidance and enabling JDAM, JSOW and WCMD to be used.
Heatblur is also pretty clear that they want their F-14 module to be packed with a lot of value with Heatblur developer Cobra847 saying on the Eagle Dynamics forums the following:
Somewhat contrary to it’s initial role in the fleet, the F-14 is actually a very potent ground attack airplane, and flying strike packages in a coop scenario is incredibly fun. The Tomcat has plenty of range, and can carry a large payload, while remaining combat effective. No doubt, it will be one of the most capable aircraft in DCS on launch. We’ve always been committed to ensuring that our products are packed with value – and the LANTIRN being a part of the DCS F-14 is a move in the right direction for that to be the case.
Still a ‘Chromecat’
Heatblur has been busy making sure that the F-14 flies like the real thing and has gone so far as to contact and work with some former F-14 pilots to get it right.
Meanwhile there are a lot of different things going on:
- their art team is rebuilding and polishing most of the F-14’s texture assets (I sure hope we can see those soon)
- working on some custom multiplayer code
- Jester AI for the RIO position (the back seat in the F-14)
- two campaigns (one for the F-14A and B each)
- the US Navy assets like an aircraft carrier with animated crew
- making sure that the back seat works well in multiplayer
Heatblur may have been fairly quiet recently but that doesn’t mean that a lot of things aren’t happening. With the F-14 being eventually added to DCS World it will mean that we’ll have two very capable US Navy fighters available which should hopefully mean some added fun for all.