A new video from Deka Ironwork Simulations is out featuring their upcoming DCS: JF-17 module with this latest video focused on defensive systems and the datalink. We’ve also got another screenshot of the exterior texture work on the JF-17.
Advanced defensive systems
The JF-17 features a variety of defensive systems and it appears that the display in the jet can be used to overlay radar, datalink, and radar warning receiver information all together in one picture. This is probably the closest we’ve been do a fused sensor picture in DCS World and it’s an impressive amount of data.
Aiding the RWR is the MAWS or missile approach warning system which uses IR cameras around the aircraft to detect missile launches. This makes the JF-17 more aware of a variety of types of weapons being trained on it – not just radar guided missiles.
It goes on from there because the JF-17 can also be equipped with the KG600 SPJ (Self-Protective Jamming) Pod. This pod can be used to jam enemy radars but it can also be used to detect enemy radars and provide sensor information on those radars. Presumably it can also be used with an anti-radiation missile (but I don’t know for sure).
Missile, missile, missile
The only concern I have with the systems on display in the video is the irritation of the sounds made by the defensive systems. The repetitive “tracking, tracking, tracking” becomes distracting in a way that most RWR buzzers tend to avoid. The more poignant “missile, missile, missile” is more urgent.
Allegedly this is the way that the real JF-17 is portrayed in the official simulator but from a user design side of things I find it to be an odd choice. Though this may be an authentic choice, I’m wondering if an alternate buzzer similar to a M-2000C or a F/A-18 (among many examples) would be a fair alternative.
Choices of the JF-17 pilot
This video is also starting to highlight for me how the JF-17 will both excel but also need to be tailored to the kind of mission that a virtual pilot is flying. With limited pylon space, a JF-17 pilot needs to determine if they need range, payload, a jamming pod, a targeting pod, or any other combination of features.
While the JF-17 is undoubtedly a multi-role jet with plenty of capability, to be used to best effect, pilots will have to make some either-or choices or fly in mixed package teams. This isn’t dramatically different from say a F/A-18C or a F-16C but it’s options are a little more limited. So is available engine power as the single RD-93 on the JF-17 won’t have the same acceleration as what the F-16C offers.
It should be a very interesting contender in DCS World.