The Viper is coming to DCS World and in an announcement made during the DCS World Weekend News update, Eagle Dynamics announced that the DCS: F-16C will be available for pre-order starting next week and that the module itself will enter early access in autumn of 2019!
New screenshots and feature list
First up, we have three screenshots of the DCS: F-16C for DCS World. They are all cockpit shots which probably means that the externals still need some work before they show them off. Still, if the internals are anything to go by, the F-16C is going to look fantastic!
We know most of the details about the DCS: F-16C Block 50 CCIP aircraft representing a 2007 era USAF/ANG standard Fighting Falcon. That said, it doesn’t hurt to hear all of the key details for the F-16C straight from Eagle Dynamics:
- Professional Flight Model (PFM) and authentic fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS).
- The most realistic model of the F-16C imaginable, down to each bolt and flake of paint, animated controls surfaces, lights, damage model, and landing gear.
- Detailed simulation of the Viper’s many sub-systems like engines, fuel, electrical, hydraulic, radios, lighting, emergency, and many, many more. Although features like “auto start” are available, the sense of accomplishment cannot be overstated while learning to operate this state-of-the-art machine.
- Dozens of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and sensors. From simple rockets to high-tech GPS and laser-guided bombs, experience what only F-16C pilots have experienced ‘til now.
- A highly realistic and exhaustively researched cockpit that is mouse interactive with 6-degrees of freedom. Interact with the cockpit by pressing buttons and moving switches. You will feel like part of the aircraft with our Advanced Systems Modeling (ASM).
- Authentic F-16C sounds.
- Virtual Reality support. Take advantage of the latest VR technologies to immerse yourself in the simulation. Other than the G’s, you will feel like you are there!
- Multiple liveries for the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, Air Force, Turkey, Greece, Israel, and others.
DCS: F-16C coming in two phases
It was previously announced that DCS: F-16C would come in two phases:
Phase 1 Early Access Release
- Color Multifunction Display (CMFD) symbology, Horizontal Situation Display (HSD) format, and Head-up Display (HUD) symbology
- Digitally TACAN and Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI)
- BDU-33, BDU-50LD/HD, Mk-82LDGP, Mk-82AIR, Mk-84LDGP, BLU-109/B, CBU-87 CEM, and CBU-97 SFW unguided bombs
- 2.75” rockets LAU-68 and LAU-131
- Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)
- AIM-9L/M/P/X Sidewinder
- AIM-120B/C AMRAAM
- M61A1 20mm cannon
Phase 2 Product Sustainment
- Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS)
- Link 16 Data Link
- AGM-65D/G/H/K Maverick
- AGM-88C HARM
- AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System (HTS)
- Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod
- GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-24A/B laser-guided bombs
- BRU-57/A Smart Rack
- CBU-103 CEM and CBU-105 SFW Inertially Aided Munitions (IAM)
- GBU-31/A, GBU-32, and GBU-38/B JDAM
- AGM-154/A and /B JSOW
- AGM-158/A JASSM
- Integration of the JHMCS with the HARM Targeting System (HTS), Link 16, and AIFF
- ALE-50 towed decoy
The plan is likely to release with as many of the phase one features as possible in early access building the rest in during an early access period where the DCS: F-16C will gain its minimum capability. Phase two would add advanced functionality for the jet as time went on. Its no surprise that this format will be followed as it mirrors the efforts on the DCS: F/A-18C. With a similar pipeline I’m expecting the same incredible quality that we’ve seen from development of the Hornet over the last year, though some may level that development has taken too long.
It will likely be 2020 before the DCS: F-16C gets closer to its fully complete state but I am expecting to see a fairly capable air-to-air aircraft from the start with an ever growing capability list just as the Hornet. The F-16C does come with some unique features like the HARM Targeting System (HTS) and its own unique targeting pod in the form of the Sniper XR which will be very interesting to see and also take some time to develop.
Pre-orders begin next week, early access in autumn
In a surprise move, Eagle Dynamics announced that pre-orders will begin next week which says to me that they are confident in their project’s timeline and are ready to make that initial offering.
The pre-order will come with a 20% discount which will last for an undetermined amount of time. Pricing will likely be similar or the same as the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet so expect a $79.99 USD regular price minus the early access discount.
You’ll be able to get your hands on early access DCS: F-16C sometime this autumn. It’s still a bit of a wait but I suspect for many fans of the F-16, one worth waiting for!