Heatblur provides AIM-54 Phoenix update

The release of the DCS: F-14 Tomcat for DCS World has largely been lauded as a huge success not only for DCS World but also for third party developer Heatblur who cemented themselves at a top tier developer of modules for the sim. Their F-14 is unparalleled in the level of detail that has been put in. That said, the unique AIM-54 missile that the F-14 employs has had its share of technical issues. In this new developer update, we learn what Heatblur have been up to and what we should expect from the missile in an upcoming Open Beta update.

Major overhaul incoming

Heatblur’s Cobra847 has provided a lengthy overview of what the Heatblur team have been busy doing to improve the realism and modeling of the AIM-54 Phoenix for use with the DCS: F-14 Tomcat.

The report goes into some detail on what has been done and what has been changed. Heatblur report that they have worked their way through documentation, subject matter experts (SMEs), and overall increased their understanding of the missile as well as how to make it work well with the available software.

The report breaks things down into various levels of detail reporting on improvements to the realism of the motor as well as the guidance system. The MK-60 version of the missile motor reportedly had performance that was higher than in real life while the MK47 will have reduced thrust over the same burn time.

Tracking updates are also happening. The A model is expected to not be quite as smart as before while the C model gets a few new tricks that make it harder to dodge.

The overall indications from Heatblur are that these are the most realistic that they’ve been able to make it.

With this update, we believe that we’ve reached a point, where both -A and -C variants are depicted as close to real life as is possible with the current API/schema. Any further updates to guidance and features will have to come as part of a renewed effort to fill any remaining gaps that may remain.


He goes on to report that they have tested the missile versus real world test data with what appears to be positive results.

On a general performance note, we’ve very thoroughly tested these changes, and have recreated all known test shots from 1972 and 1973 (with the -A) as part of our verification process. Every missile has strengths and weaknesses, and particularly with older missiles, one has to play to its strengths to not only make it work, but make it work consistently. In that sense- we will be very much looking forward to your feedback and results.


Check out the update over here on the DCS World forums for more in-depth reading on what’s been changed. Look for these updates to come in the next Open Beta patch for DCS World due out in a few weeks.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. CanadaOne says:

    This is why I bought the F-14. It was never one of my favourites, but because Heatblur did -and still does – some an awesome job on it, I got it just because I like to have the cutting edge flightsim toys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Their level of support over the years is part of the appeal, I agree! Need to put some time into it.


  2. Blue 5 says:

    Nice to see such dedication. I bought the F-14 because, well, it’s an F-14 but I have not flown it much beyond mucking about doing circuits.

    Now that is an aircraft that needs a good Cold War map full of stormy seas and marauding Binders and Backfires 😎


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      There’s some F-14 campaigns out there that might fill that niche for you right now. It’s definitely one of DCS World’s best modules… I encourage spending some time with it 🙂


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