Eagle Dynamics has made some big tweaks to missile performance

There’s been arguments circling around for years about DCS World and various missile performance attributes in the simulation with some of the biggest arguments being connected to the American AIM-120 AMRAAM as well as types like the R-77 and, more recently, the SD-10. However, things are changing and Eagle Dynamics released a major report on what they have been doing to make some changes and hopefully aim for greater simulated accuracy in the future. Here’s a quick look.

Complex fluid dynamics testing

An image showing pressure of an AIM-120 missile at speed

According to Eagle Dynamics, they have made use of Computational Fluid Dynamics research to perform new calculations on several of the missiles being replicated in DCS World. Up to 250 different calculations per missile variant according to this week’s newsletter.

The new calculations do a deeper dive into everything from the drag and lift values for the missile to more complex calculations such as the kind of logic that the missile will use at different speeds, altitudes, and attitudes when launched. They have looked deeper into what the individual fins are doing during flight as well as what the overall trajectory of the missile while it flies toward target.

Obviously there’s considerable detail here and a lot of specialized knowledge in aerodynamics and fluid dynamics to make sense of this. So there are a couple of takeaways. First, Eagle Dynamics has made a concerted effort to improve the modeling of the missiles in the sim with the goal of making them more realistic by looking at both the aerodynamics as well as the logic of how the missiles are guided. Second, that research is continuing to make its way into the sim and make some verifiable changes to their range and accuracy.

It’s all detailed in this post made earlier this week that talks in detail about what they have done to increase accuracy. Of course, the real question is… has it paid off?

Another visualization of an AIM-120

Community reactions

It seems that the overall reactions are very positive. Although the AIM-120 does seem to be a bit slower at its maximum speed now, the other changes made to it still provide it with overall more range, greater maneuverability, and a greater probability to hit and kill the target.

Drag, lift, and guidance all seem to be hitting targets that a dedicated community member did their own calculations on several years ago and had suggested as well. In a way this is a reconfirmation that their work was accurate and that Eagle Dynamics more detailed effort here has paid off.

There’s a thread here on r/hoggit and another one on the DCS World forums that you may find interesting if you want to read more.

A few more thoughts

Will BVR missile fights be any different?

I am very much behind trying to aim for the most accurate experience possible and so I applaud any efforts to make aircraft, missiles, navigation systems, and any other aviation or aviation connected modeling work.

I’m also really glad that there are people out there who know and are interested in both having the discussion and even doing their own complex calculations to see how they match with the simulation experience. That seems to have eventually had Eagle Dynamics look back and aim to improve their own work.

At the end of the day I am curious to see if it makes a noticeable difference for everyone or if the overall impact is just a few nautical miles of range difference and not much else. My approach to engaging in a long range missile fight isn’t going to be that different than before although perhaps with a greater chance of success.

I am curious if in the coming days, after having played more of the latest patch, if I will feel different. I am curious too what your experiences are as well so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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