European jet fighter fans got a welcome surprise today when Eagle Dynamics announced their latest third party partnership and aircraft – the Panavia Tornado. We also have news about multi-crew that I’m very happy about. Let’s have a look!
A few jets have consistently come up on wishlists over the years and if I were to make a guess at what the top two were I would say the F-4 Phantom first and the Tornado coming in a close second.
For those who may be unfamiliar with it, the Tornado was developed as a multi-role low level strike aircraft by West Germany, Italy and the UK under a consortium named Panavia. What they developed was a swing wing interdiction and strike aircraft that was intended to fly at extreme low altitudes in any weather or time of day. The goal? Evade radar and long range SAM missiles before releasing weapons and returning to home base at high speed. This became the IDS variant. The UK went on to separately develop the interceptor ADV variant as well.
The project is being developed by yet another new third party group named AviaStorm and their goal is to simulate a 1989 era German IDS variant of the Tornado. According to Eagle Dynamics, the team already posses decades of experience in simulation and gaming and they have access to ample resources including subject matter experts.
This is likely then a GR1 standard jet. One of the earlier versions, with limited digital systems but still capable of making use of various precision weapon systems. Those include the ALARM anti-radiation missile and Paveway II and III laser guided munitions (albeit with no self designator in this earlier version). RAF GR1s also used Hunting JP233 anti-runway weapons during Desert Storm. Very much a strike aircraft, the Tornado does have self defense capabilities with the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-132 ASRAAM as well as a pair of 27mm Mauser BK-27 cannons.
It should fit in reasonably well with a late Cold War aircraft set while blending into more modern scenarios as well.
This is another exciting announcement, however, I expect it may be a year or two before we’ll see this land on our hard drives. In the meantime we can rest assured that it is indeed coming!
Eagle Dynamics have slowly rolled out multi-crew support into DCS World. First they enabled the ability for two players to inhabit the same aircraft and now we’re getting an additional capability: the ability for one player to reposition between different spots on the aircraft. This will be ideal for AH-64, Mi-24, F-14 and other multi-crew aircraft where the player is the only human onboard.
According to Eagle Dynamics, the AH-64D is the first to get such a feature.
Read about all of that and more over on the DCS World Weekend news update.