The hype train has been building momentum over the last several days as Aerges angles towards release of their DCS: Mirage F1 module for DCS World. We now have a release date and early access plans. Let’s have a look at the date, the plans, and learn about what comes next.
F1 on final approach
The release of the Aerges DCS: Mirage F1 is nearly upon us. It was revealed today that the module will be coming to DCS World on the Wednesday, July 20th. Aerges has released an official feature list on their Facebook page as well as provided some comments on what they plan to do in the early access period. Buckle up because this is going to be interesting.
First, let’s have a look at the features shipping on release:
- Professional Flight Model (PFM) based on performance and engineering data of the real aircraft. Situations of high angle of attack and outside the flight envelope like stalls and spins are also accurately represented.
- Extensive and detailed simulation of all flight systems:
- Flight control system, both in its normal electro-hydraulic mode and in degraded modes.
- SNECMA Atar 9K-50 engine including working envelope, damage, compressor stalls, flameouts and emergency modes.
- Cyrano IV-M radar, a unique Cold War era radar in DCS.
- Electric system.
- Hydraulic system.
- Fuel system.
- Navigation suite: Navigation Indicator (IDN), TACAN, VOR.
- Radios: TRAP 136 and TRAP 137B.
- Electromechanical 1970s era Thomson optical sight (a predecessor of present-day HUDs).
- Integrated ALE-40 countermeasure suite.
- Internal and external lighting.
- Armament system.
- Extremely high-quality 3D model, based on blueprints and laser scanning of a real Mirage F1. Includes animations, lights and a damage model.
- Very accurate 6-DOF (Degrees of Freedom) cockpit with realistic and detailed instruments and controls.
- Variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, some of them not seen before in DCS:
- Short range IR missiles: MATRA R550 Magic I, AIM-9 J, AIM-9 JULI, AIM-9 B.
- Medium range missiles: MATRA R530 IR and EM.
- Rocket launchers: MATRA F1 and F4.
- Antirunway Durandal and cluster Belouga bombs.
- SAMP family of bombs (both free fall and parachute equipped)
- Laser guided GBU-10, GBU-12 and GBU-16.
- Other American and Spanish made bombs.
- Sound modelling based on recordings from the real aircraft.
- Extremely realistic flyable simulation of the Mirage F1 CE, EE, BE and M models. The EE, BE and M will be released after the initial release of the CE.
- AI models for most other variants of the Mirage F1: C, CT, CR, EQ, EDA…
- A vast variety of liveries for the different countries that operated the aircraft.
- Interactive training and practice missions that will help you gain proficiency in the F1.
- PDF user manual that will give you pilot level understanding of all the systems in the aircraft.
To summarize all of the above, early access will be focused on the Mirage F1CE – the single seat air defense version of the F1.
The F1CE can equip a mix of short range IR and short to medium range radar guided missiles. The mix will include both several Sidewinder variants as well as the Matra R550 Magic I. We’ll also have the R530 IR and EM versions which correspond to the heat seeking and semi-active radar guided versions. The R530 EM version was apparently not a great performer during the Six Days War where the majority of air combat was fought at low altitudes and the semi-active radar system struggled with ground clutter. That was on the earlier Mirage III with an earlier Cyrano radar system so we’ll see how the later models cope.
Although the CE is intended for the air intercept role, it still has the ability to carry a considerable loadout of ground attack weapons.
After the initial offering
Aerges have also spelled out their early access plans as they intend to bring additional versions of the jet to us over time. The EE version is similar to the CE, however, it will have an INS navigation system, the ability to conduct air-to-air refuelling, and a new RWR system. There’s also the two seat BE which will come sometime later with the backseat fully modeled and usable in multiplayer. The BE was a two seat conversion trainer, however, it retained most of its combat capacity minus some fuel and the type’s internal 30mm DEFA cannons.
Finally, Aerges also intend to offer the F1M. This modernized version had colour LCD screens, upgraded INS with GPS, a mode 4 IFF system, new radios, and an enhanced Cyrano IVM radar are all on offer with this last version.
A notable missing weapon from the early access release that is planned for later is the Super 530F. This is an earlier version of the Super 530D that some of you may be familiar with on the DCS: M-2000C.
Aerges also mention in their feature list the intent of bringing several AI-only versions to cover the C, CT, CR, EQ and EDA giving us a variety of nations’ unique modifications. Aerges do seem to be mostly focused on the capabilities of the Spanish F1’s, however, it remains to be seen if there will be wiggle room to find other nation’s capabilities into the mix or not.
One way or the other, Aerges are set to incorporate a very interesting new aircraft into the mix for DCS World. With the F1’s use across such a wide variety of nations and scenarios including its use with Draken International as a aggressor aircraft, this seems set to become yet another key type for DCS World’s sandbox environment.