DCS: F-16C development focused on Link16 in new mini-update

The F-16C has, essentially from the start, had basic Link16 datalink capabilities which have aided the jet’s air-to-air functionality and let it build an impressive picture of the situation all around you. But that’s just the basics as Link16 can do a lot more and Eagle Dynamics is focused right now on adding some complex functionality to boost the capabilities of this jet. Here’s what they are upto.

A new mini-update posted by Matt Wagner describes what the Eagle Dynamics team is working on with the DCS: F-16C. They are focused on the Link 16/IDM system with plans to implement features like shared mark points, shared SPI, and networked HARM HTS information for better emitter triangulation. Cool!

Here’s the list of what they are working on right now:

  • Share Mark Points between flight members
  • Share SPI between flight members
  • Network the flight together for HARM HTS TDOA mode to more effectively triangulate emitter locations
  • Sending SEAD contacts between flight members
  • Assign air-to-air target sorting between flight members
  • Support Primary Datalink Track (PDLT)
  • CAS mission assignments and reception
  • Battle Damage reporting support
  • We also wish to roll in EXP HAD and HSD support.

If that all sounds a little complicated to you, apparently, it is complicated for the team as well.

As you might gather, this is a very complex task, and we don’t have a delivery date at this time. We look forward to updating you on this task as it progresses.

Matt Wagner

Sounds like the F-16C team has their work cut out for them. On the other side of the coin, these are some really nice to have features that get deeper into the F-16’s systems and I’m sure that development on these will help check off some more features on the done list for this module.

Read the original post here.

Mr Wagner also posted an updated post saying that SPI sharing had been implemented today and explained a bit about how it works.

With the HSD not SOI, pressing the COMM switch right (inboard) for greater than 0.5 seconds will transmit the player’s SPI to other Mission members. When a SPI message is sent, the XMT L16 label at OSB 6 will highlight for two seconds on the HSD.

The sent SPI is based on the current SPI sensor track. If there is no SPI sensor track, then the current Steerpoint is sent as the SPI.

When the SPI is sent, recipients see it as a large, white “X”, the same as a Mark Point. On the HUD, MKPT## will appear that assigns the SPI location to Steerpoints 71 to 70. “DATA” will be heard as a voice alert. As you can see, it is the same as receiving a Mark Point, but it based on a SPI location rather than a Steerpoint location.

One difference is that if the SPI is created by the TGP or A-G FCR, there will be a lock line between the sender of the SPI (Mission members 1 to 4) and the SPI “X” symbol/location on the HSD. The line will disappear after 30 seconds or by pressing WARN RESET on the UFC.

Matt Wagner

I look forward to more updates on this!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Eggnog says:

    This is super cool to me. I help with the engineering of these L16 datalinks in real life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Very cool! Yeah it’ll be nice to see the features get filled out for the F-16.


  2. Urgent Siesta says:

    Having these types of capabilities in DCS are so cool (though BlackShark users have had many of them for quite awhile!).

    Now just try to imagine how advanced the networked systems of 5th Gen fighters like F-22 & F-35 must be! 🙂


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