DCS: F-16C loadouts in flux as pre-order nears, will you pre-order?

Eagle Dynamics will be offering the DCS: F-16C up for pre-order sometime later this week with a 20% discount for players who buy in early. As we near that date its worth bearing in mind that this product is still in a state of flux and there have been a few changes that you might want to know about. With these changes in mind does the F-16 still appeal and will you be pre-ordering? Let’s talk all things F-16C!

Eagle Dynamics narrows down list of systems

A real F-16C from the 12th Fighter Squadron two years ago at the London Ontario Airshow. (Eagle Dynamics, more exterior screenshots please!)

As far along as the DCS: F-16C is, the list of systems appear to be still in a state of flux as the team specifies not just the specific F-16 Block but also the type of software and upgrades specific to the jet they want to simulate. I’m told by people who know better than me that Falcon BMS simulates a few different jets and sometimes inconsistently so which makes some people happy and others less so.

Eagle Dynamics approach appears to be much more specific and the latest that I’ve read is that the F-16C Block 50 with CCIP upgrade is likely to be using the tape 4.2 software update – though Matt Wagner was keen to point out that they have not yet determined the final variant.

So, what does this all mean?

The F-16C may not have all of the features that some people are hoping for and in recent days a post on the DCS: F-16C forum has changed a few times omitting a few systems.

What’s in? What’s out?

The changes are focused entirely on the phase two part of the F-16C project. These are your advanced air-to-ground weapons and sensors. Here’s the list as it stands now compared to the one that we had several weeks ago.

  • Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS)
  • Link 16 Data Link
  • A/G radar modes
  • AGM-65D/G/H/K Maverick
  • AGM-88C HARM
  • AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System (HTS)
  • Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod
  • AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING 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 and GBU-38/B JDAM
  • AGM-154A and AGM-154B JSOW
  • AGM-158/A JASSM
  • Integration of the JHMCS with the HARM Targeting System (HTS), Link 16, and AIF
  • ALE-50 towed decoy

At the moment, the Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod and AGM-158/A JASSM are out. In is the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING targeting pod. I didn’t see this but apparently the AGM-154 JSOW was out earlier today and is now back in.

Never on the list was the F-16C’s Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs) commonly seen on Greek, Polish, and UAE F-16s. I thought they would be great to have but I understand the desire to model a specific F-16C and be consistent about that modeling even if a cool feature gets missed.

Ultimately, this is about what is available publicly and what Eagle Dynamics can realistically represent without getting into the realm of classified and restricted information. Where that line is is far beyond me so I will leave the decision in Eagle Dynamics hands.

Does this change your mind about the F-16?

These changes and a comparison chart (and discussion) posted on r/hoggit linking to Ralfidude’s Twitter account comparing the DCS: F-16C Block 50 with the DCS: F/A-18C Lot 20 have at least some questioning their interest in the DCS: F-16C. I’m not among them.

For me, my interest in nearly every DCS module I own is the experience. Does this module offer me a chance to experience something in the virtual sim world that I couldn’t otherwise experience in real life? Is that a good experience offering me something interesting above and beyond what I already have? If so, I’m in.

The F-16C is a hot fighter with one of the best engines in the 4th gen fighter business. It has tremendous flexibility as an air-to-air fighter that is also great at precision strike. It may have some limits placed on it depending on the final configuration of weapons and sensors but it will still offer lots of options even if a couple of the wiz-bang features get eliminated.

I tend not to be interested in aircraft in DCS, IL-2, or any other sim based purely on spec sheets but rather on the experience that it can offer me. The DCS: MiG-19, DCS: AV-8B, DCS: F-14 and DCS: AJS-37 can all do interesting things or let me experience an interesting moment in aviation history and that’s why I want to fly them.

That’s just my opinion. What about you? Do the changes affect your pre-order decisions or is the chance at flying the F-16 with that beautiful bubble canopy and still comprehensive list of weapons appeal?

We’ll hopefully have some more certainty by the end of the week as Matt Wagner does a 5-minute introduction on the DCS: F-16C as part of the DCS World Weekend News update. Stay tuned for that!

26 Comments Add yours

  1. oboe says:

    Looking forward to the F-16C, in whatever final form it arrives! Just hope its really this year! I’ll probably wait on the pre-order until I see a cinematic trailer – those usually push me over the edge to buy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Sounds like we’ll be waiting a bit longer for the cinematic trailer but Wags is doing a 5-minute(ish) intro video for the aircraft coming by Friday.


  2. ZOOMY says:

    The F-16 is where my flight sim career began, back with the original Falcon (Yes, I’m that old). So I’m definitely in!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I think, once the initial hoopla clears a bit, that there’s going to be a lot of folks like yourself who are nostalgic for the old Falcon and looking forward to what a DCS F-16 is going to be like. I’m definitely in!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Alexander Iglesias says:

      For me my first modern fighter sim was Mig-29 Fulcrum for the Commodore. My first F-16 flight sim wasnt until Strike Commander. with my favorite being US Navy Fighters by EA

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        The thing I love about this new F-16 is how often it connects with people’s past sim history. Thanks for sharing!


  3. harryvoyager says:

    Given how many configurations the F-16 apparently comes in, I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually do add-on packs for it to switch the modules and available loadouts to fit other popular versions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. fouckface says:

    I don’t get people who say there’s no reason to buy the F-16 when the F/A-18 can carry way more variety of stuff. You buy an aircraft because you want to fly the specific airframe, not because you want to just win! If that was the case, why would you buy any thing else then the F-14 for A/A and the A-10 for A/G.
    Anyway this does not effect my opinion on the F-16, I’ll probably still won’t buy it as I’m a F/A-18 kind of guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Blue 5 says:

    For all intents and purposes, MIDS and Link-16 are essentially the same thing.

    Not buying it as I already have too many aircraft and too little time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Błażej Seremak says:

    I don’t care about JASSM, JSOW, CFT etc., i may even prefer to have some older block like 30 or 40 suitable for cold war / Desert Storm scenarios – realistic counterparts for the Red side in MP – MiG-29, Su-27, MiG-21bis, MiG-23 MLA etc. Or even light and nimble F-16A.
    Anyway DCS F-16 – i’ll buy the day one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eviscerador says:

    I will preorder it for sure. Just not now. I will wait a bit in case all of the noise about the jailed ED developer will hamper the project.

    Concerning the differences between the Hornet and the Viper, as you said you buy a module because you want that airframe, not because you want to win.

    The Hornet has always been superior in loadouts and multirole capabilities than the Viper, and the Navy has more “charm” in the form of all the anti ship ordenance and the whole carrier OPs.

    But the Viper is the Viper. Almost as capable, more powerful and more nimble than the Hornet.

    I don’t see a problem except if you only want to fly a plane because of its capabilities, then it is quite difficult to justify the Viper purchase if you already own the Hornet. They are very similar, filling the same niché in both the USAF and the Navy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mischiew Rithe says:

    I don’t mind those differences. What’s important to me is the quality, and I know there’s no problem with ED, then the potential DLC, which shouldn’t be an issue with the Viper.

    I’ll probably wait a little bit before pre-ordering, possibly for some early demo, but I have little doubt since the F-16 is what I’ve been waiting all this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. arkhamuk says:

    Ashamed as I am I will probably pre-order the F-16 even though you should never pre-order anything I know. I will hold of though until nearer release to see how the news progresses as the year moves on. (Shamrockonefive for the win). A lot is down purely to nostalgia as I grew up with F-16 sims and the film Iron Eagle etc… A childhood fantasy of flying the F-16 in VR is too big a pull for me presonally 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. jbarnson says:

      Hey, pre-ordering will probably come with a discount, at least. 🙂

      And yeah. This was one of my dream planes. While my friends were captivated by the Tomcat, this and the F-15 were the ones I always wanted to fly. I played the Falcon series, F-16 Combat Pilot, and even “Jet” way back in the C-64 days. This in VR will be as close as it gets for me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        A 20% discount during the pre-order period which is not bad.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. ShamrockOneFive says:

      You’re not the only one to say that nostalgia is a factor in getting into the F-16C for DCS. It’s a smart move to model this aircraft given its reputation and international appeal as well as its extensive sim history.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. schurem says:

    Buying in the minute it becomes available. Viper baby!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jbarnson says:

    I am looking forward to that bubble canopy in VR. Everything else is negotiable, although the version with SEAD capability was also high on my want list and I’m glad to hear it’s in. This is going to be a sweet ride regardless of variant, and a hell of a lot of fun to fly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      The HARM plus HTS combination doesn’t seem to be part of the flux of any loadouts so I think this part of the F-16C’s role is going to be very safe.

      Should be fun to fly in that role!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Matt says:

    So long as the flight dynamics and characteristics remain on par with other full res mods for DCS, absolutely. The appeal to me as an 80’s kid is in being able to play out my childhood dreams of flying the falcon over my house at mach 1+ lol. In all seriousness, the nostalgia of the 16 is the main selling point for me. It’s always been my dream. Don’t care if it comes with zero munitions, I just want to fly it. I’ll buy it as soon as its released and save the 20% since I know I will buy it eventually.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I feel the same way Matt. I’m looking forward to flying the F-16 in DCS and I seriously doubt that we’ll see anything except their best flight modeling effort put into this.


  13. Blue 5 says:

    Can you all please stop tempting me to pre-order!!!!!!!


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Sorry! It is awfully tempting though… 🙂


  14. Yogi says:

    I agree it’s all about the experience for me. As a want to be fighter pilot but couldn’t (on medical grounds) this is the next best thing. I’ve enjoyed the experience of the F18 and other modules that have been produced and if ED continue with this quality of work I’m confident the F16C will be a great addition. Count me in 👍


  15. jbarnson says:

    *Sigh* Now I have the song, “I want it all!” by Queen stuck in my head. Just to add to the 80s greatness.


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