Eagle Dynamics has released and updated roadmap for the DCS: F-16C and it has quite a bit packed into it. The roadmap covers work that is planned to be done by the end of this year as well as a separate list for next year. Let’s have a look!
Viper features for this year
While it didn’t feel like much was happening with the F-16C in the early part of the year, the feeling has changed recently as the F-16C has picked up a couple of new weapon options (including the JSOW) and more appear to be on the way.
Eagle Dynamics did a poll months ago to determine which features were most requested and they have built an action plan around the results of that poll.
High on the list of updates are requests to tune the flight model with everything from landing and takeoff to sustained high G turns being called into question by many in the community. It’s a well known jet in many quarters and there is a high desire to ensure that it “flies right.” I think Eagle Dynamics will deliver on that and it is the first item on the list.
After that, the list reads out some of the most requested features. The “HARM Targeting System (HTS) pod and HARM Attack Display (HAD)” is high on the wishlist for many. So are upgrades to the air-to-air radar modes. Air to ground modes are also listed. After that we have more avionics like requests with the inclusion of Markpoints, electronic countermeasures, automatic and semi-auto countermeasure dispensing, and Lat / Long and MGRS Coordinate Selection.
Here’s the complete 2021 list:
- Flight model and FLCS tuning. This focuses on angle of attack and G, and we believe it will result in more accurate sustained turn performance, instantaneous turn performance, and acceleration.
- HARM Targeting System (HTS) pod and HARM Attack Display (HAD).
- Air-to-Air Radar improvements: DTT SAM mode, bullseye, and intercept steering cue.
- Landing and takeoff handling tuning.
- JHMCS support for the Radar Warning Receiver, Link 16, and Air-to-Ground mode.
- Electronic Countermeasures: ALQ-131 / ALQ-184 ECM pods and FCR jamming indications.
- Air-to-Ground Radar: Ground Map, Expand, DBS modes, Fixed Target Track, Ground Moving Target, Snowplow, Sea, and AGR modes.
- Semiautomatic and Automatic Countermeasures Programs.
- Mark Points.
- HOTAS Steerpoint Selection.
- Lat / Long and MGRS Coordinate Selection.
- CBU-103 and CBU-105 WCMD.
- Horizontal Situation Display (HSD) cursor.
If they can finish all of that by the end of this year, I think a great many will be happy at the feature enhancements.
Even more 2022 plans
There are also big plans afoot for what development priorities will look like in 2022. If the F/A-18 and other complex jets are any indication, it tends to take 3+ years to fill out the full featureset and the F-16 is just as complex as some of the other options out there.
The list for 2022 includes some notable inclusions like the Sniper XR targeting pod, ALE-50 towed decoy, and the GBU-24 Paveway III. There are also plenty of system related updates and tweaks that they plan to do as well.
Here’s the list as currently published.
- Complete Lightening Targeting Pod. This mostly consists of correct offset logic and improving display clarity.
- Sniper XR Targeting Pod.
- Date Transfer Cartridge (DTC) and Mission Planner.
- ICP Modes: CRUS, TIME, FIX, ACAL, DEST, and BULL DED pages. Of these, CRUS will be the highest priority.
- RWR Handoff PRF Tones.
- HUD Toss Anticipation Cue.
- Desired HUD Airspeed Caret for CRUS mode.
- GBU-24 Paveway III.
- Remaining Bombing Modes: DTOS, MAN, and LADD. DTOS being the highest priority.
- Wing Fuel Tank Pylon Jettison Correction.
- ALE-50 Towed Decoy.
- FCS BIT Animations.
- BDU-50 Training Bomb.
- Jet Fuel Starter (JFS) Door Animation.
- Alternative Landing Gear Handle.
- Cockpit View Pilot Model.
- Animated Tail Hook.
- Air Show Smoke Pods.
- ACM Slew Mode.
- Radar Velocity Search Mode.
It’s worth noting that the end of the list, Matt Wagner and team made sure to point out that the list is subject to change and that some items, while high on the list, will come after other items because of complexity and time required for development. It’s also worth noting that these were items that were featured in the poll and is not a complete feature list.