Fans of the DCS: F-16C have been waiting for some further updates to the module. Releasing in the fall of 2019, there have been a few updates including the addition of the more feature filled dogfight mode and gunsight system for the cannon, however, there has been not too much else and many are hoping to see the module become more full featured soon. The new DCS World Weekend news update focuses on some of the features coming to the F-16 in the near future along with a user survey meant to determine what you most want to see.
Feature updates coming soon
One of the most requested systems recently was the addition of the AGM-65 Maverick to the F-16C and it looks like that is coming along now. Eagle Dynamics reports that the AGM-65D/G Maverick are coming along with the E-O Visual (VIS), E-O (BORE), EO submode selectors for the SMS page, Maverick weapon selection functionality, and power and warm-up timer functions have been added. All of these sound like pre-requisites for the weapon.
The Litening targeting pod is also getting an update with image brightness updates, new symbology, air-to-air model, and new commands for the HOTAS.
Another exciting feature addition is the AGM-88 HARM which, just as in the Hornet, will provided some much needed SEAD capacity to the multi-role jet. According to the update, it’s the GUI of the jet that they are most busy working on with the SMS, WPN and DED pages. The initial addition of the weapon will allow the AGM-88 to work in “HARM as a Sensor” or HAS mode – which I know little about but would assume its similar to the F/A-18C’s Self-Protect or SP mode which lets you launch via sensors picked up on the RWR.
New Liviries are coming too which I always like to see. While the standard USAF two-tone grey is fine, more variety in schemes is also interesting to see and I wouldn’t mind a ‘HAVE GLASS’ dark grey scheme in there too.
In cooperation with several talented community members, highly accurate liveries for the Israeli, Turkish and United States air forces are being finalised. We hope this will be appreciated for all of you who are interested in developing and flying missions in DCS: Syria
There’s plenty of discussion too on the flight model of the F-16C. Both the flight model and the flight control system, which plays a big role in how the fly-by-wire jet flies, are subject of tweaking and according to Eagle Dynamics are being informed by subject matter experts.
If you’re interested in the academia of how flight models are produced, Eagle Dynamics has released a ‘white paper’ on the subject which can be found here.
Eagle Dynamics wants to know what you want most
A roadmap is being created for the DCS: F-16C, however, it is not yet finalized and Eagle Dynamics is interested in community involvement in creating what should be a priority on the roadmap.
The survey includes a long list of features that Eagle Dynamics is planning to put into the module asking you to rank the ones that you want to see most. There’s various avionics and HUD display modes as well as different types of weapon and support systems such as the HTS (HARM Targeting System).
Good things coming to the F-16C in DCS?
The addition of new systems such as the AGM-65 and AGM-88 with at least a basic functionality should open the door to some new capabilities on the jet. There is frustration with the jet having come to early access perhaps a bit too early and then needing even some basic features added. There’s a lot for the team to develop and it will likely still take some time to do.
There was great hope on my part that it’s development cycle would be speedy thanks to shared functionality with the Hornet, however, it does seem to be taking quite a while to do. Hopefully this renewed emphasis means that DCS World on the whole is now in a better place and that the team is able to move forward on this jet in a consistent yet speedier fashion.
I’d put off flying the F-16C in any serious way until it was more complete, however, I had so much fun with it recently on Persian Gulf at War multiplayer server that I think it will be flying it a whole lot more in the near future – lack of features certainly wasn’t stopping me the other night. Still, it would be nice to be seen moving towards that goal soon.