The twin fates of DCS Ka-50 Blackshark 3 and MiG-29

After yesterday’s DCS World 2021 roadmap release, there’s been quite a few questions about two DCS World modules and their interconnected fates. I am talking about the DCS: Ka-50 Blackshark 3 and the DCS: MiG-29. As of this morning, we know a little more about their fates and about what the roadmap will be like for both of them. Let’s get into it.

Why are they interconnected?

The first question you might be asking is about why they are connected. For this, we lean back on a story I did late last year where we learned from Eagle Dynamics COO Katia Peredenko that the team was planning to pivot from the upgrade to the DCS: Ka-50 Blackshark 3 project to the MiG-29 9-12 project after.

The second way that these two modules are connected is because of their Russian aviation origin and the difficulties of working with a country and policy that is much more closed and stringent than some western counterparts are. It’s this second part that has prevented Eagle Dynamics from filling out the ranks with high fidelity Russian aircraft to match all of the western types that we’ve seen recently.

And it seems that their plans for Blackshark 3 have to be altered.

Blackshark 3 will be a smaller upgrade

DCS: Ka-50 was the series first helicopter and one of the first clickable cockpit experiences in the series. The detail that the team went into on this module helped lay the groundwork for dozens of high fidelity modules that came after. Needless, to say, many were excited about an upgrade.

Last year we did see a significant upgrade to the cockpit of the Ka-50 project. Further updates to the cockpit and a complete remodel of the external model is what Eagle Dynamics had planned to do and looks to still be doing, however, they also had systems updates planned and it looks like those are no longer on the table. Those upgrades included, IGLA air to air missiles, missile warning system, and an infra-red missile jamming system. Based on the comments from yesterday and the new roadmap for 2021 that we won’t see these new features.

The reason appears to be new or changing security laws in Russia on the gathering of information on Russian military equipment that appears to be at the centre of this issue.

Due to new Russian Federation laws pertaining to the gathering of information of Russian military equipment, we have had to reconsider our plans to add new systems to the Ka-50. We continue to update the cockpit, as well as a highly detailed updated external model.

DCS World roadmap for 2021

Katia was also answering questions today on the Russian part of the DCS World Discord, saying in Russian,

этот закон влияет не на компании-разработчики, а на сбор референсов
если информация получена не на территории РФ и не российскими гражданами, то закон не применим
мы не планируем полностью отказаться от разработки военной техники РФ, но законы накладывают на нас обязательства. Вот и все. Закон еще будет дополняться и уточнятся, судя по тексту. Посмотрим, что будет дальше. Но никаких серьезных систем не ждите, их не будет.

I have translated (thanks to Google) the following quote, with minor grammatical updates to make it easier for English readers to read.

This law does not affect the development companies, but the collection of references. If the information was received not on the territory of the Russian Federation and not by Russian citizens, then the law is not applicable.
We do not plan to completely abandon the development of military equipment of the Russian Federation, but the laws impose obligations on us. That’s all. The law will still be supplemented and clarified, judging by the text. Let’s see what will happen next. But don’t expect any serious systems, there won’t be any.

And that, as they say, is that.

I appreciate that Ka-50 fans are likely to be disappointed by this news. I’m still optimistic that at least we aren’t losing anything in the process. The Ka-50 will remain as one of the series best modeled attack helicopters and the update will bring the DCS: Ka-50 up to the latest visual standards and will also apparently include new scenarios and missions to fly it in which is still a net benefit to this module and the attention it is currently receiving.

Accelerated development on MiG-29

The next question that the community has asked and that we have an answer for is what happens with plans with the MiG-29 and is the MiG-29 project similarly affected. The answer, appears for the moment, to be no. Further, it appears that the MiG-29 9-12 project will be accelerated.

This all coming as confirmation, once again, from Eagle Dynamics COO Katia Peredenko who goes by ‘dotrugirl’ on the Eagle Dynamics Discord server. In this screen capture, you can see the question and response.

So, for those worried that the MiG-29 project would be put on the shelf as a result of the latest developments, it seems that it won’t be affected and in-fact will be accelerated by this development.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. ClannK says:

    it seems weird that we will be able to have a full fidelity Russian early-4th-Gen fighter, with IRST, Radar, radar missiles, heat seekers, etc., etc., …

    …but can’t get 2 MANPADS-class IR missiles to hang on the BlackShark?

    I can understand if the defensive systems are too close to in-service systems, but a pair of Iglas…? c’mon, man!

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Bureaucratic legislation often doesn’t really make sense so here it may be a result of a date of service requirement (i.e. everything before 1984 is ok – just pulling a date out of my head here) or it may be, as others have speculated, that it was the widely exported nature of the early MiG-29 that makes its acceptable. I’m not sure.

      If we ever get more clarity I will report.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ClannK says:

        I think you may be right: Mig-29 “A” was a 1977 bird, and Black Shark is a 1995 creation.

        Still…it’s an IR MANPADS (which we already have in-game on several vehicles). Additionally, there’s NO way the targeting system is more “secret” than the Vikhrs, etc.

        We def agree on Bureaucratics… 😉

        Like

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Yeah, like it said, bureaucracy doesn’t have to make sense. It just is ☺️

        Like

  2. BlueHeron says:

    Interesting, but not terrible. The Black Shark is already an incredibly detailed model, and updated graphics would be slick.

    I think it’s significant to mention that BS is the very first DCS product, before DCS World became a modular environment and even before the A-10C. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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