I’ve only had a little time today to check out the latest Open Beta for DCS World but the standout feature here by far is the DCS: F/A-18C’s new targeting pod: AN/AAQ-28 Litening. It’s a major feature for the aircraft and one that we’ve been anxiously awaiting for a long time. Here’s the latest!
What is the Litening?
Several air forces that fly with the Hornet including the USMC, RCAF, RAAF and others use the AN/AAQ-28 Litening targeting pod on the centerline station on their Hornet’s. The pod offers advanced targeting capabilities for a wide variety of combat aircraft including the Hornet.
The pod has high resolution FLIR (forward looking infrared) and CCD cameras that allow the pod to spot battlefield sized targets from long ranges and at high altitudes. The pod’s laser designator can then be used to lase targets for laser guided bombs. It can also be used to provide precise GPS coordinates for GPS guided bombs such as the JDAM and JSOW.
Up until today, DCS: F/A-18C pilots were flying without these capabilities which can be essential when dealing with advanced air defense networks that sometimes pop up in DCS World’s single player scenarios and multiplayer servers.
Now that it’s here…
Targeting objects like trucks, tanks, APCs, buildings and ships are all doable with the pod and that together with the Hornet’s other precision weapons that Eagle Dynamics has been busy adding makes this an extremely precise attacker.
Of course there are some steps to use this. I’ve seen some common issues since it came out including not know where the FLIR switch is (its located on the right console) or not holding the trigger button when firing the laser to designate.
There are some good tutorials out there including two from Eagle Dynamics’ own Matt Wagner and another good video from DCS YouTuber Spudknocker.