As you may have been reading, I’ve been busy working on learning the Mirage 2000C’s systems in DCS World and flying the jet so that I can eventually take it into a combat environment online. That’s usually the ultimate test for me and that test came up earlier this week as I took to the skies in Hoggit’s Persian Gulf at War server. Here’s how my first two missions in the jet turned out.
My goal in both missions was to fly intercept on whatever hostile forces I could find. As I was testing my skills to-date in the M-2000C I wanted to see what I could do with the jet and push my limits. With most of the training required to make this work behind me, it was just a matter of getting into the jet and pushing to targets to see if I could make some weapons connect.
With just 30 minutes left on the clock when I started, the first mission ended up being fairly short before the server reset the scenario but it was still instructive.
Taking off from Al Dhafra Air Base in a UAE scheme for the first mission, I quickly climbed to a cruise altitude of just over 30,000 feet and pressed north. Ahead of me were friendly forces working the usual points between the peninsula at Khasab and Qeshem Island just off the coast of Iran.
Friendly CAP had pushed back the enemy forces far enough into Iran that friendly helicopters were busy flying support runs and clearing out enemy troops on Qeshem island.
Closing in on Khasab I got a hit from OverlordBot on an enemy helicopter that had evaded the CAP and was heading south – looking to land and capture a vital point no doubt. An F-16 ahead of me was already vectoring to attack and was far enough ahead to make the shot count long before I could get into range.
Still, I kept the helicopter on a soft-lock waiting to see what would happen. The F-16 engaged, firing an AIM-9X at the target, before breaking off assuming the helicopter was destroyed. By the time I got there the F-16 was headed north climbing away while the helicopter continued to push on despite absorbing the missile. Mi-26’s are notoriously capable in DCS World of absorbing multiple missile hits so this was my chance to score an easy first kill in the M-2000C.
Closing in at lower altitudes now I locked the helicopter, selected the Matra Super R530D, and called a Fox-1 on the target.
The R530D’s 30KG high-explosive is considerably bigger than the 9.4KG carried by an AIM-9 and that was what was needed for the job. The R530D tracked effortlessly to the large helicopter and destroyed it. That’s a bandit splashed! And also a confirmed kill as the helicopter broke apart and hit the water.
Five minute warning came up on the server announcements so it was time to RTB. I almost made it to Khasab before the server reset. Oh well… good first mission!
The first mission started out much the same as the first except this time with more traffic and some slight confusion over which runway was active. Despite that, we all took off safely thanks to good communications.
This time I was truly at the tip of the spear with an F-16 ahead of me and a wave of fighters, SEAD, helicopters and carrier aircraft coming up the coast and at our backs.
The lead F-16 called me and indicated that they were breaking off to the right and to the north east to deal with a bandit coming in over the water there and suggested I head north to intercept the F-5. I obliged and continued north at high altitude.
OverlordBot gave me the call at my 40nm tripwire and I adjusted course to intercept. Radar soon picked up the target and I locked it. IFF returned negative… this was my F-5!
Closing to firing range the F-5 went evasive decreasing the closing velocity and changing the parameters of the launch. With such a small window of opportunity to launch before he did I decided to hold fire and close in further. At 8 nautical miles and the F-5 thoroughly defensive, I fired an R530D and held my nose on the F-5.
There was no escape as the semi-active missile homed in, impacted, and exploded spreading F-5 parts all over the place. Not much left when you hit with such a large warhead.
Over Qeshem island I identified a hostile F-14 and engaged. Firing my second R530D at the target. The F-14 went evasive and disappeared. I originally wondered if I had gotten the target but TacView recording later revealed that a friendly AIM-120 had gotten the F-14 instead. Still, my missile had changed the dynamics of the intercept enabling the kill. So that’s reassuring.
At this point, enemy destroyers were firing interceptors at all of our CAP flights so nearly everyone was evasive. Including me! Diving from 15,000 down to sea level and putting plenty of terrain between me and the missiles I was able to just barely evade the attack.
My RWR blared again warning of another missile being fired at me. This time it was from a Flanker. I dodged the first missile handily and turned to face the attack. Unfortunately this was the wrong move as the missile warning system briefly screamed a warning and my very own Mark I eyeballs confirmed imminent death as the R-27 missile’s smoke trail, still hot off the launcher, let me know the fight was over.
Boom! And that was the end of my M-2000C. Surprisingly, despite the missile hit, I was able to eject and land in friendly-held territory.
All in all, I feel like this was a modest success. I scored a kill on a large helicopter, another kill on an interceptor, successfully engaged and forced defensive an F-14 and was unfortunately surprised and shot down by a Flanker in my last fight of the evening.
Despite all of that, the M-2000C performed well and my overall ability to fly the jet seemed to be going well. I need to do more work, however, this was a good first effort. I have two challenges that I’m setting out for myself now. One, I want to attack a major airbase on Georgia at War and take out its runway with Durandal anti-runway munitions. Two, I want to fly an intercept mission and shoot down the Mainstay AWACS on Persian Gulf at War. Punching through enemy defenses to shoot down that aircraft should be a challenge but one that I want to attempt!
More to come!