Though the update pace for the Hornet has slowed, Eagle Dynamics and Matt Wagner in particular is eager to let us know that work has not slowed down. The team is working on the targeting pod, JSOW, MSI for LTWS, JDAM tuning, JSOW flight profile and doing significant work on the INS and GPS navigation systems. This is the latest!
A short update
The update is small but we do get our first look at the F/A-18C Hornet in DCS carrying the JSOW stand-off munition dispenser.
Here’s what Matt had to say:
A little update on the Hornet… as mentioned before, much of the Hornet team’s time is focused on the targeting pod, JSOW, MSI for LTWS, tuning of JDAM and JSOW flight profile and autopilots, and a deep dive on the INS and GPS navigation systems. We are also working on the HARM guidance system in cases where the seeker loses track (it is currently re-targeting to a different emitter, whereas it should continue along the bearing to the assigned target). All these tasks are rather involved and not low-hanging fruit that can be coded quickly. Earlier, we focused on tasks with faster turnarounds, but these current tasks are taking longer. Development of the Hornet has certainly NOT slowed down, rather, it’s simply shifted to tasks with longer development periods.Matt Wagner, DCS World forums
We expect to have the JSOW, BRU-55A/A, and MSI for LTWS available later this month, and the targeting pod will start internal testing later this month, with a planned release in June.
I think the key part to all of this is that the team has knocked off a lot of the smaller and easier items and are now working hard towards completing some much more involved systems. Also critically for the folks who can’t wait to have a lot of these things implemented, it seems that the team will finally be able to give us targeting pod functionality by sometime in June. Systems like the JSOW and BRU-55A/A which lets us carry additional smart munitions on the wing racks are supposedly going to be available sometime this month. Great!
The Hornet continues to build up in capability and capacity. Though the road has been long, I remain satisfied at the pace of how this module is developing.