*SA-342 Gazelle development update – Feb 2022 *
Specific updates to the DCS SA-342L Variant
The Gazelle L version, currently equipped with the GIAT M261 20mm cannon and Telson 8 68mm rocket pod will see a number of significant updates in the next few months to make this platform more versatile and useful in the DCS ecosystem. Some of the updates will be aesthetical while others will expand its capabilities.
In the past months we have started work on making the L’s weapon pylons modular. This means you are no longer forced to carry the Telson 8 launcher and the GIAT as your standard loadout. Instead, you will be free to choose to fly without weapons attached or from an expanded number of armament options in the loadout screen or the rearm menu. Going with the mentioned modularity might just open the door to merging a number of DCS SA-342 variants of which there are currently 4. While working on the modularity update, we are also investigating improvements in regards to multicrew. Work on this is still very much in progress and will not yet be available in the next DCS update.
Work has been completed on an option to take the doors of the SA-342L off, which besides being aesthetically pleasing, gives you an unprecedented outside view. Taking the doors off (and putting them back on) can be done through either a mission editor option or through the ground crew menu while on a mission. This feature is ready to be released in the upcoming patch.
Nonspecific SA-342 variant updates
By popular demand we have also finished the implementation of the purely aesthetic dipole antennas that can, again, be attached or detached from the armament screen in the mission editor as well as in the rearm menu while on a mission and are thus completely optional. The dipole antennas are iconic for the UK’s Westland Gazelle’s. The new FLIR camera shader has been implemented for the Viviane targeting camera and the first batch of high-quality community liveries have been integrated. The first batch includes liveries for Cyprus, The Netherlands, France and Portugal.
Bug fixes this round include, among other things, a long overdue fix for a bug that caused the Gazelle to disappear completely when killed in multiplayer, not rewarding points nor satisfaction of a confirmed kill. The complete list of bugfixes and additions will be posted when the patch drops.