My training for the AJS-37 Viggen is not yet complete which means that there’s still some critical systems that I don’t know to use well enough to consider myself really combat capable with the jet. But it’s a simulation and that sometimes means throwing caution to the wind and trying to have some fun anyways. So this is a short recap of Mission 1 for the new ‘Wrath of Thunder’ campaign released earlier this week for DCS: AJS-37.
Right into the middle of things
Spoilers ahead (if there’s such a thing in a DCS World campaign) for anyone wanting to be surprised by the first mission of this campaign
A NATO led Georgia Force intercedes into the region during another one of those hypothetical scenarios that DCS World does so well. The geopolitics hardly matter in the backstory of this campaign except to know that Russia and Georgia are squaring off over the capture of a Russian boat, later found to be spying on the Georgians leading to an armed standoff between Georgia, Russia, and NATO plus Swedish support – It’s everything that you need to know to get started with the new campaign and all the excuse needed to get this magnificent Cold War jet into simulated combat.
Our first mission puts the AJS-37 into unfamiliar territory of needing to fly a Combat Air Patrol mission out of Batumi on the Black Sea coast. Rather than it’s usual strike/interdiction and recon roles that this version of the Viggen is meant to fly. But that’s ok because armed with a pair of AKAN 30/55 gunpods and a pair of RB 24J air-to-air missiles (a Sidewinder derivative), the Viggen can at least make an attempt at counter enemy aircraft.
In this mission we’re actually flying the second line for the forward CAP flown by NATO supplied F-5 Tiger’s and F-4 Phantom’s.
Established in our CAP pattern along the Patara Enguri River, we fly a few circuits before being called upon to help a friendly infantry group. A large group of Mi-8 helicopters were moving in on their position causing a tremendous firefight to erupt and the need for some friendly air cover. That was us!
My first pass with the AJS-37 wasn’t exactly the right one as I struggled getting my sidewinder’s on target although I did manage to mass the controls and get a missile away.
Except I mashed the trigger too hard apparently because make that a Fox 2 again!
We’re going to call this a prime example of the “double tap” method and just move along because that Mi-8 was definitely going down.
Down to just my AKAN 30/55 gunpods I had to make sure that I was able to maximize the limited supply of these guns. Unfortunately, the AJS-37 doesn’t appear to have a dedicated aiming system for these pods when it comes to air-to-air (someone please correct me if it does) which means that you need to eyeball your shots which gets extra interesting when your target is the relatively large but also slow moving Mi-8 versus the 400 knots plus that the AJS-37 likes to do. Nonetheless, I was able to strafe three Mi-8’s that had landed causing damage to all three.
Then put more rounds on two Mi-8’s that were flying along at low altitudes shooting them down as well.
At some point along the lines, my wingman got caught at low altitude, crashing. Hope he’s ok!
With the Mi-8s down and my ammo supply expended I was getting a bit worried that command might want to send me into further conflict. Fortunately, CAP had the situation under control, the Mi-8 attack had been thwarted, and it was time to send the Viggen’s (or solo Viggen at this point) back home.
Peripheral to the mission is a large contingent of friendly troop transports that are flying in from the south. As I was flying back to base at Batumi I passed by several C-130’s from the USAF and RAF flying in to provide reinforcements – nice touch mission designers, it’s good for the player not to feel like the centre of attention all the time and I like these touches.
Landing on runway 13, I was reminded at how relatively easy the AJS-37 is to land with so few controls required to get it settled and sorted for a landing. My landing was surprisingly gentle and I made use of the thrust reverser to get the speed down.
Not a bad first mission for stumbling through the Viggen’s systems. What I still need to work on are things like countermeasures, navigation, and better understanding some of the unique weapon systems that the Viggen can employ in DCS World.
Great first mission
This is mission 1 of the campaign and it’s a great setup as well as a good recap for what’s happened in the previous Viggen campaign (The Mjolnir Response). There are good voice overs and plenty going on in the mission outside of the mission you as a player are flying – and that’s all a good thing.
I think it’s going to be a fun campaign and a good reason to get me flying the Viggen quite a bit more.