Interest remains high on what the next steps are for the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet and thanks to a mini-update from Eagle Dynamics’ Matt Wagner, now we have a good idea of what is up next. Let’s have a look!
Radar, HOJ, HARM, GBU more
Many are still not fully satisfied with the performance or the available features on the F/A-18C’s radar system and that seems to be getting some attention in the near future. Target detection will now have some finesse to it with the ability to set the pulse repetition to high, medium and interleave.
A high setting enables longer range detection but it’s more susceptible to notching. Medium is better at dealing with medium range targets and less susceptible to notching. Interleave is a mix of the two. Cool!
Reading between it lines, it sounds like additional work on the radar system will hopefully increase the reliability of staying locked during maneuvers which has been a major area of criticism.
According to Matt Wagner, there are multiple other features also being worked on in approximately this order:
1- AIM-7MH Home On Jam (HOJ) mode
2- A/A Bullseye on radar page indications
3- Radar BRA indication
4- Auto range scale adjustment
7- FPAS page
9- Correct radar lock loss and RTS
Everyone will have different highlights on this list but I’m most excited about the HARM missile and the JHMCS (helmet sight). The HARM in particular has been highly anticipated as it will give the Hornet the ability to perform SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) and fire missiles at radar stations. Until this point, only the Su-25T and AV-8B had this capability and of the two, only the Su-25T can engage radar stations at stand-off distances.