Matt Wagner’s latest mini-updates have started to include something called “Mission of the Week” and this week Eagle Dynamics has given us a look at a Red Flag exercise mission for the F/A-18C. It’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve had on DCS World single player and if you have the Hornet, you may want to check this out!
Red Flag SEAD
Each year, four to six Red Flag exercises are held at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The exercise brings together NATO and other Allies of the United States in a two-week aerial combat training exercise. The exercise in real life offers a realistic high-intensity exercise for pilots and crew.
Conveniently, the DCS: Nevada map recreates this base in stunning glory and its the backdrop of the latest mission for DCS: F/A-18C Hornet.
Your mission is to provide SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) and is one of several going on simultaneously.
Operating in sync with the rest of the CAP, SEAD and strike missions is a valuable way to learn to work together as a team and this single player mission puts you in the middle of it.
Push to the target too soon and the CAP hasn’t had a chance to setup to defend you from enemy air. Push too late and the strike package is in danger of being shot down by the SAM air defenses.
Underneath all of this is an audio track from a real Red Flag exercise with flights checking in and control managing the whole thing. It roughly times up with your mission so it feels real even if the callsigns aren’t all exactly the same – it offers a wonderful ambiance. The kind of thing that I’ve only otherwise experienced with a human GCI on the Georgia-at-War server.
I don’t want to give away the whole mission as it plays out but your job is to attack the SAMs at waypoints 7 and 8. However, the mission is more challenging than that and while I don’t want to ruin things for you… I didn’t make it on my first attempt. This is definitely more challenging than the last mission and its also much longer.
Sidenote: This mission offered me my first chance to try out the AGM-88 HARM missile. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to even try it out so now I have and its extremely easy to use.
If you do need a tutorial, however, there are several out there include Red Kite’s excellent in-depth tutorial on the SP mode for the AGM-88.
Get the mission
Eventually this mission will be integrated in DCS World, however, until that happens its available on Matt Wagner’s DCS: F/A-18C mini-update.