A mini-update by Eagle Dynamics’ Matt Wagner has provided some encouraging news for DCS: F/A-18C pilots who are looking for targeting pod capabilities sooner rather than later.
The AN/AAQ-28 Litening targeting pod, already modeled by Eagle Dynamics for the DCS: A-10C module, is also used by the U.S. Marines on their Hornet’s and that makes it a potential add-in for the DCS: F/A-18C and that is exactly what Eagle Dynamics is going to do.
A little good-news update to pass along regarding the targeting pod for the Hornet. As many of you are aware, USMC Hornets fly with the AN/AAQ-28 Litening targeting pod when deployed from airfields. This is the same TGP used for our A-10C. As such, we now plan to first introduce the Litening pod to the Hornet prior to the AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR pod. This will allow a more complete selection of targeting pod options (can also be used for other countries like Spain of course), but also allow us to introduce a targeting pod into the project sooner than we had originally expected.Matt Wagner, DCS World forums
Change of plans?
The original plan was for ED to introduce the AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR targeting pod as the only targeting pod. This new development ensures that players can gain access to some sort of self-lasing and bad weather targeting system in the far nearer future.
We’ve also heard that it is on Eagle Dynamics roadmap to make some substantial changes to the FLIR rendering system in DCS World and they may decide to make that part of the ATFLIR development process – which may stretch its development out far longer than players would like.
At the moment, all of the Hornet’s laser guided munitions require a JTAC or buddy-lase from a AV-8B, A-10C, or other friendly asset and this development will add additional options.
From the Wikipedia page for the Litening pod, we can see that the pod can be mounted underneath the jet on the centre pylon. I’m not sure if it will be available in other positions but I’m sure we’ll learn more soon.