A big update from Eagle Dynamics on the future of DCS World came out today with a long list of modules that they are working on, supporting, and updating. It’s a big list so let’s talk about some of the key items on it.
Current modules press forward
I wanted to start with some of the key modules that Eagle Dynamics is working on that we already have. That starts of course with the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet which has been their star attraction for much of 2018 and will continue to development in 2019.
Those familiar with the latest Hornet roadmap won’t be too surprised by what’s mentioned. Interestingly, the flight dynamics were mentioned as a feature still being developed for the Hornet so its possible that we’ll still see some tweaks from this area of the jet.
Also listed are the A-10C and Ka-50 modules which Eagle Dynamics says will be upgraded in 2019 featuring new internal and external model updates. This second part is a bit of a surprise as previous mentions have all been about the interiors being upgraded.
New modern aircraft
There are quite a few new aircraft from the modern era coming in 2019. Eagle Dynamics makes special mention about the F-16C. As I had previously suspected, this update suggests that the development is already quite far along.
Our next marquee title from the Eagle Dynamics studio will be the famous F-16C multi-role fighter! An aircraft we’ve long wanted to simulate, we are excited to bring this legendary aircraft to the skies of DCS World. The F-16C is already well into development alongside the F/A-18C, and both aircraft share significant technology that will benefit both.
Specifically, we will be offering the F-16CJ Block 50 variant that includes the HARM anti-radar missile and HARM Target System (HTS) pod, laser- and GPS-guided munitions, advanced air-to-air systems like the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) and AIM-9X and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, data link systems, Sniper targeting pod, AN/APG-68 radar, and other systems.
This information helps answer some questions surrounding which variant of the F-16 we’ll be seeing. The “CJ” Block 50 was first introduced in 1993, as a dedicated Wild-Weasel sub-variant (unofficially named CJ) featuring the HARM Targeting System (HTS) and the AGM-88 HARM missile. Also listed are more advanced features from early 2000s F-16s such as the JGMCS and AIM-9X. These features dovetail with the work done on the DCS: F/A-18C so it’s nice to know that the two jets will be relatively similar in capabilities.
Getting another mention are Heatblur’s DCS: F-14 of which the B version is slated for release by end of winter 2019 (i.e. by the end of March) and the A version and other assets due later in the year.
RAZBAM’s MiG-19P also gets a mention and comes with an interesting line in the update as well:
The MiG-19 is a great addition to the stable of 1950s fighters, with more to come.
I do hope that Eagle Dynamics begins developing more 1950/60s content that can fit into the various conflicts of that time such as Vietnam. I know a lot of people are ready for the F-4, the F-100 and F-105 as just a few examples and ED does make mention of these in the update (though not as modules under active development).
Finally, the JF-17 Thunder is on Eagle Dynamics list of modern jets coming in 2019 and we’ve heard from developer Deka Ironworks that an early access release is slated for summer 2019.
For helicopter fans
Though I’ve talked about the Mi-24P and the AH-1 in the same sentence quite often recently, Eagle Dynamics appears to be focused on the Mi-24P for their next helicopter module.
We have certainly not forgotten about all the rotor-heads! Work continues the deadly Mi-24P HIND. Using many of the same systems as the Mi-8MTV2, this project is well underway and will be a great addition to the stable of DCS World helicopters.
With the advancements in our terrain technology and the ability to create much more detailed low-altitude environments, the HIND will be a joy to fly. Combining both gunship and troop-carry abilities, the Mi-24P will certainly result in outstanding missions and campaigns.
Being a two-seat aircraft, the HIND will be a particularly interesting aircraft to fly with a friend online.
The two seat Mi-24 sounds like a versatile helicopter option and I’m looking forward to seeing more news and information from Eagle Dynamics on this.
On the list for DCS: WWII are several well known and highly anticipated WWII modules:
- DCS: P-47D Thunderbolt
- DCS: de Havilland Mosquito FB Mk.VI
- DCS: Fw 190 A-8 Shrike
A third party is listed as being the developer behind the DCS: I-16 project (a group called OctopusG). An additional map is also expected for DCS World in 2019 that will be WWII focused.
The WWII Asset Pack will also be updated with new AI aircraft.
Coming in 2019?
Although there’s good reason to be optimistic about many of these coming in 2019, its likely that not all will and some may slip into 2020. That said, ED sounds confident in several of their modules making it in 2019 and chief among them is the F-16 and the Mi-24. I would be shocked if we didn’t also see RAZBAM’s MiG-19P and Heatblur’s F-14B launch before the end of winter or early spring.
Next week we’re going to be hearing about the future of some non-flyable aircraft projects and that includes the USS John C. Stennis being developed into a more interactive ship experience – walkable interiors and animated crew members have long been on the planned for future implementation list.