Eagle Dynamics continues to evolve the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet module as time goes on and we’ve got a couple of exciting new weapon systems being added to the air-to-air mix as well as a couple of informative videos done by Matt “Wags” Wagner himself. Let’s take a look!
Enhanced air-to-air capability
The DCS: F/A-18C is already a fairly comprehensive module all things considered, however, we’re just scratching the surface of the full payload flexibility that this aircraft offers up.
Now, we’re getting two new weapon systems being integrated into the Hornet that will really enhance its air-to-air capability. These two types are the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the AIM-9X Sidewinder.
This is a largely experimental although fully verified loadout and it comes with performance penalties that you may not want to have in chaotic air combat situations. Still, this is a substantial capability and on occasion you may want to bring a missile truck configuration to the front.
We’re told that the AIM-120B and C variants are both coming to the Hornet and likely similar or the same types available on the DCS: F-15C.
The AIM-9X is a new missile to the series and a weapon that I don’t have a lot of knowledge on beyond it being a next generation AIM-9 Sidewinder variant. Though it has the name, my reading suggests that the AIM-9X shares little with the earlier versions and it has some impressive features including high-off boresight engagement thanks to the JMHCS.
NineLine, DCS Community Manager, has confirmed that the JMHCS will not be available initially so we’ll be using the AIM-9X similar to earlier versions. Its enhanced seeker, range, and tracking logic should still be a huge benefit.
We’re expecting the first update including these weapons to arrive sometime in August (probably late in the month). Additional weapon systems will be forthcoming soon!
CASE III and Pirouette maneuver
Matt Wagner has been busy with new training videos including two of the most recent videos showing off a couple of procedural items plus an interesting maneuver.
The CASE III Carrier Landing involves a night time or low visibility landing using TACAN and ICLS to guide the Hornet in for a safe landing on the deck. It’s an impressive bit of business to accomplish and it requires a little background theory (which Matt covers at the beginning).
In another video, Matt Wagner details the Pirouette maneuver in the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet. It’s a great little trick that the Hornet can do. It looks like a stall but thanks to the Hornet’s design, it can be completely controlled.
Also, bonus points because this video shows off the new over wing vapour effects that are being added to DCS World. They will appear first on the Hornet but will, like the other effects, soon spread to other aircraft.