Coming in the most recent patch, the Su-34 for DCS World is an AI only aircraft that can’t be flown by a human pilot but that didn’t stop the modeling team at Eagle Dynamics from making an absolutely beautiful aircraft. Could there be more planned for this aircraft or is this just the standard that Eagle Dynamics wants all of their aircraft to be at?
Su-34 sneaks into the beta patch
Unless you checked the notes or read around in the community, you would be forgiven for not noticing an AI aircraft that has been upgraded to the latest DCS World standard. That would be the Su-34.
Replacing the Su-24 and Tu-22 in Russian Air Force service, the Su-34 NATO codename “Fullback” is a derivative of the Su-27 design but with extensive modifications. The much larger cockpit houses a crew of two in side-by-side arrangement with pilot/commander on the left and navigator and weapons operator on the right. The Su-34 even has a galley and a toilet.
With a maximum speed of mach 1.8, airframe agility rated at +9G, and a vast array of guided and unguided weapons, the Su-34 is a highly capable aircraft meant to provide strike and interdiction capabilities while also being able to sling its own short and medium range missiles.
For DCS World, this aircraft has been present for a long time, but just now it’s received a fully upgraded 3D model with some of the most beautiful detailing I’ve seen on any aircraft – much less one only flown by the AI.
Could it be meant for something more?
I’ve speculated in the past that DCS World would benefit from having a few more high end modern Russian aircraft added to the mix and the Su-34 has come to the top of my list as offering something not available to REDFOR pilots in multiplayer – a supersonic strike aircraft.
There’s a lot going against this: First, Eagle Dynamics only wants to do DCS World level clickable cockpits with the highest levels of system modeling possible.
Second, in recent years the Russian government has become somewhat more closed door (according to the developers) than in previous years, making more detailed modules difficult or unlikely. Third, the Su-34 is a fairly modern aircraft, depending on the model, and that may make access to its capabilities even more challenging.
Still, I know a great many players would be willing to overlook some systems simplicity for a Flaming Cliffs 3 level aircraft (or the forthcoming Modern Air Combat) representing one of a slightly more modern Russian aircraft type. Though some may scoff at the simplified systems, others would be glad to be able to fly that type in multiplayer.
For now, we’ll have to appreciate it from along side or while flying against in DCS World. But do have a look at that beautiful new 3D model. It’s really something!