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Hornet Mini-Updates


Wags

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Hey everyone,

 

After our meetings today, I can update you on our current near-term planning for the upcoming Hornet features. For the 27 February update we plan (not promise):

  • JDAM basic operation minus dynamic launch zone
  • HARM TOO and PB modes
  • Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) and Track While Scan (TWS) air-to-air radar modes

 

Following those, priority items will be:

  • Data Link / Link-16 / MIDS. This has been a huge undertaking and will take a bit more time to get right, particularly for multiplayer data-sharing and creating a unified picture between clients. We want to get this right.
  • New IFF system tied to D/L
  • NCTR tied to D/L
  • JDAM dynamic launch zone.
  • Data Card. This won’t just be a data card but allow you to customize many aspects of your aircraft set up.
  • Lightening II Targeting Pod
  • JSOW

 

Again, I need to emphasize that this is planning and not a promise. Things can certainly change. We try to be open and provide you insight into our planning, but with the understanding that this is not set in stone.

 

- Wags

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The Data Link (D/L) Situational Awareness (SA) page and new radar functions are making steady progress, so I thought I’d make another little update using images. This all very much work in progress and subject to change.

 

The first image shows the radar format on the left DDI with Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) selected and the TDC hovering over a brick. The brick now displays the selected weapon Launch Acceptable Region (LAR) as well as target Mach (left of HAFU) and altitude in thousands of feet (right of HAFU). The next step would be to designate the target as the Launch and Steering (L&S) target and the ability to set a secondary Designated Target (DT2). Along with a hover over contact, you can get additional information up to three contacts in LTWS mode. With MSI enabled, you’ll also then have D/L information available. Once LTWS is done, then we’ll take care of Track While Scan (TWS) mode.

 

On the right DDI is the SA page five unknown contacts at the top of the page., They are yellow because they have no ownship IFF interrogation (hover over contact and depress sensor hat switch to interrogate). The staple at the top of the HAFU indicates the player has no IFF on a target, but the lower chevrons indicate friendly donor aircraft (F/F) have set the targets as hostile. Once both the player interrogates the contact and comes back negative, then the HAFU would change to red and be a diamond. In this way, the color and top and bottom of the HAFU tell you a lot about the classification of the contact.

 

Remember: staple = unknown, chevron = hostile, and semi-circle = friendly. Yellow = unknown, red = hostile, and green = friendly based on ownship.

 

In the second image the left DDI now shows a target locked in STT with Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) enabled. A successful NCTR print of the target depends on range and aspect angle into the intakes of the contact.

 

On the right DDI we see that the target is identified as an IL-76 and the star HAFU indicates the STT L&S track. It is yellow because no ownship IFF interrogation has been made. Because the radar is in STT, it is not scanning for other targets. As such, all other contacts on the SA page are from F/F and SURV sources over the D/L. The smaller red triangles are SURV tracks from an AWACS that only the AWACS is seeing. The red lower chevrons with the dot is from a friendly donor (F/F) source.

 

- Wags

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Hornet Mission of the Week

Tolicha Peak Shootout

 

This week’s Hornet mission is back in the Nevada map and focuses on SEAD. I have included both a single player version and a heavily modified 4-player coop version.

 

Operated as part of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) between Groom Lake and Tonopah Test Range (TTR) is the Tolicha Peak Electronic Combat Range (TPECR). Operated by the 554th Range Group, it is located on the Pahute Mesa and in the middle of nowhere. The TPECR is reported to operate a large array threat air defense radars and associated Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems. The facility is used to evaluate these systems and allow aircrews to train against them. Just as the Air Force has the Red Eagles flying Soviet aircraft out of the Tonopah, the TPECR is the Soviet SAM equivalent.

 

In this mission, you will takeoff from Tonopah Air Force base and fly south to the TPECR and engage SAM threats as they activate. As you kill one, another will activate. You are loaded with four AGM-88C HARMs, and if you’re good, you can go four for four on the threats. If not, you can rearm at Tonopah.

 

Good luck!

Tolicha.jpg.3187b082b1312e49554b2c4931feaeb8.jpg

Nevada Tolicha Peak Shootout.miz

Nevada Tolicha Peak Shootout Coop.miz

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A new datalink / SA page element was added today to support for SAM threat zones. These are determined before hand and are static indications based on Mission Editor settings. If the unit is hidden it will not appear on the SA display, if it is not hidden, it will display. Just like the real system, this is NOT a dynamic indication based on RWR or any sensors. It simply alerts the pilot of a reported SAM threat that was entered in the mission file before they even took off.

 

- Wags

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Hey everyone,

 

As mentioned in earlier posts, we are at work on a detailed Aircraft Settings capability through the Options, F/A-18C, Special Tab. This consists of two primary elements: Aircraft Systems and Mission Card. Both will allow you to pre-configure the Hornet before flight in both single and multiplayer. As such, you would be able to setup your own aircraft defaults.

 

Aircraft Systems include all functions that are NOT specific to mission (.miz) file or Mission Computer settings. This includes such items as lights, bingo fuel, various cockpit switches, altimeter, etc. In this way, you can have your aircraft setup just that way YOU want it.

 

The Mission Card allows you to set up software options for all missions that includes such items as radar settings, countermeasures, AG weapon programs, and navigation settings.

 

The third element of mission configuration MUST apply directly to the specific mission file or there will conflict between Aircraft Settings and the mission file… these are the waypoint settings. As always, a mission is created with a set of waypoints and properties when the mission is created by the mission designer. For the Hornet though, we are greatly adapting this to account for a much more realistic Hornet waypoint system that accounts for up to 60 waypoints in the database, of which waypoints can be assigned properties of sequence 1, sequence 2, sequence 3, initial point, A/A waypoint, Pre-Planned (PP), or Pre-Briefed (PB). In the Mission Planner, the player would be able to then adjust these if desired on a per-mission basis. We are also looking to making the Mission Planner available in multiplayer.

 

This will also include a new waypoint user interface that we’ll share a bit later once it is more solid.

 

This is all deep in development and very much subject to change. We have no release time frame in mind yet… it will be released to an Open Beta once we feel it’s ready.

 

- Wags

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I'll be talking about this much more in the next week or two, but basic JDAM is coming along well. Here is an image of the JDAM in Target Of Opportunity (TOO) mode. This will be in addition to the Pre-Planned (PP) mode. Once the the basic modes are in, we will add the dynamic launch zone indications on the HUD and HSI.

 

In the meantime, we are shooting for (not a promise) D/L SA page and HARM TOO mode for 27 February.

 

In parallel, LTWS, Aircraft/Mission Card, and wake turbulence are all progressing well.

 

I will be away for the next week, so there will be no new updates until next week.

 

- Wags

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The Datalink and Situational Awareness (SA) Display of the F/A-18C Hornet - Introduction

 

This week we plan to release the initial version of the MIDS/Link-16 datalink / Situational Awareness (SA) page for the Hornet. This is a basic, introduction video to get you started understanding the system. Later, once the datalink is feature complete, I’ll create a full academic video, interactive training mission, and an updated manual.

 

A few notes to keep in mind:

 

1- This is the initial version with more features to follow like automatic IFF modes, IFF code XP and AI setup, Link-4/HARM/FLIR display options, declutter options, flight ground target markers, basic ROE indications, MIDS voice, and a few more.

2- The logic that determines when a target is own-ship classified unknown, hostile or friendly is determined by an ROE matrix of factors. In this initial release it will be determined by Mode 4, but later we will probably factor in NCTR and SURV.

3- An NCTR print requires an L&S or STT lock, therefore I was unsuccessful in the print attempt. My error.

4- Friendly PPLI data is always fuel state, not range.

5- Later with the TXSDSG, it will be based on flight TGT ground designations, not necessarily WPDSG (it can, but not always).

6- I did not show it, but the static SAM threat rings will be included in the version this week.

7- Sorry for the low energy, I’m recovering from a cold and I’m dead inside.

 

- Wags

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AGM-88C HARM in Target of Opportunity (TOO) Mode

 

This week in the Open Beta we will release the next mode of the HARM, namely TOO mode. This video is to introduce the use of the HARM in this mode. A few notes:

 

1- Later, we will add the TOO TD box to the HUD.

2- In addition to the line above the emitter that indicates the radar is locking you, an F indicates it is a friendly emitter and a “U” shape indicates a naval emitter.

3- When enabled, LIMIT only shows the 5 highest priority emitters. Otherwise, up to 15 emitters can be displayed.

4- Like SP mode, there is no range indication.

5- Once TOO mode is done, we will implement Pre-Briefed and Pull-Back modes.

6- Once HARM is done, then we will focus on the targeting pod.

7- Yes, I’m still sick and hopped up on cold medicine.

 

Basic checklist to use:

1- Master Arm ARM

2- AG mode

3- Select HARM from TAC page or SMS page

4- Select TOO mode

5- Fly to place emmiter inside format and cycle targets by pressing RAID/FLIR FoV button

6- Set TDC to HARM display using Senseor Select Switch

7- Hand off target to HARM by pressing Cage/Uncage button

8- Launch with weapon release button

 

List of HARM TOO classes:

 

ALL. All classes of radars

FRD. Friendly radars

HOS. Hostile radars

FN. Friendly naval radars

HN. Hostile naval radars

F1. Old friendly radars

F2. New friendly radars

H1. Old hostile radars

H2. New hostile radars

FAA. Friendly AAA

HAA. Hostile AAA

FS. Friendly search radars

HS. Hostile search radars

UKN. Unknown radars

PRI. Radars locked to player aircraft

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Hey everyone,

 

A little update of what to expect coming up:

 

After the datalink, SA page, and TOO mode for HARM this week, we then plan Latent Track While Scan (LTWS), JDAM, Aircraft/Mission Card, and some bugs fixes for the 13 March Open Beta. This is an estimate and not a promise.

 

As has been mentioned before, the engineer assigned to the HARM is also assigned to the targeting pod. So, once HARM is done (PB and pullback modes), he will work on the TGP. Also, in the very near future, we plan to revisit the Hornet flight model, the JDAM flight model (INS-GPS autopilot), and other weapon Launch Acceptable Region (LAR) profiles.

 

- Wags

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Two new weapons coming to the Hornet later in early access are the GBU-24 Paveway III and GBU-32 JDAM. Here are some images of the new models.

 

For the keen-eyed, you may notice varients in thermal protection and fuzes.

 

- Wags

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Because the D/L had to add new elements to the .miz file, you may need to re-save your Hornet missions that include C2 aircraft. If that still does not work, please delete and replace C2 units.

 

Thanks for the excellent OB reporting so far. This highlights the great value of the OBs.

 

- Wags


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Hey everyone,

 

As some have correctly deduced, we also implemented realistic frequencies for A/A TACAN that do not interfere with the datalink. If you are having issues of C2 aircraft, C2 contacts, and some PPLI not appearing on the SA page, note that that TACAN functionality is embedded in the MIDS terminal. Because the upper antenna filter is fixed, it filters A/A TACAN frequencies on channels 1-36 and 64-99 (X and Y). A/A TACAN channels should be chosen outside of these ranges. The upper filter makes the top antenna unusable for T/R (Air to Ground) TACAN channels 1-29 X and Y, 47X to 63X and 64Y to 92Y. For TACAN channels in these ranges, the bottom antenna is the only antenna for TACAN. [This] causes reduced ranges for DME at channels within the range of the filter when flying directly away from the TACAN station.

 

In addition to setting TACANs within the correct range, also be sure to set the initial waypoint of an AWACS to include an EPLRS advanced waypoint action set to ON.

 

- Wags


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Per the previous post, we have changed the Link-16 frequency to 1092.5 MHz. As such, TCN channels 68 and 69 both X and Y should be avoided.

 

This will be for the next update and will allow the default TCN channel 1 to not interfere with Link-16.

 

- Wags

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Hey everyone,

 

Thank you again for the Open Beta reports. These help greatly and we’ve already made many fixes for the next update. Some of these include:

 

1- Corrected roll based on crosswind.

2- Ghost SA contacts fixed.

3- Adjusted Link-16 frequency to not conflict with TACAN and IFF.

4- Unknown contacts no long longer have HUD diamond, denoting hostile.

5- SA TDC now has highest rendering order.

6- SA TDC and data values are now the correct, yellow color.

7- Contacts that are ownship and donor hostile identified now have caret HAFU on HUD.

8- NCTR can also now print targets from 30-degree rear aspect using JEM.

 

There are of course other items being addresses, but this is just in the past day.

 

- Wags

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Hornet Mission of the Week

For Caucasus Map

 

This is Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) against a gauntlet of various fighter types. As you splash each one, a new opponent will spawn to engage you. There are 12 levels to this mission; can you make it to the end? You have a full gun load and six AIM-9X and six AIM-120C.

 

Both a single player and a four-player cooperative multiplayer mission are attached.

 

An E-2D Hawkeye is on station to provide you datalink to help locate each adversary.

 

The A/A Waypoint/Bullseye is at your starting location (waypoint 0).

 

As always, these missions of the week will later be added to the game.

 

Good luck!

Caucasus FA-18C DACT Gauntlet.miz

Caucasus FA-18C DACT Gauntlet-COOP4.miz

1349895993_DACTGAUNTLET.jpg.3047b23c77bdccbbbdf55869e4e26857.jpg


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Hey everyone,

 

This week's Open Beta was focused on addressing the most-pressing D/L and IFF issues. It additionally addressed the wind-induced roll and added the HARM TOO TD box to the HUD.

 

For the next OB update the focus will be on:

 

1- HARM Pre-Briefed mode

2- JDAM

3- Aircraft and Mission cards

4- Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) mode

 

There are a number of issues that will also get attention to include:

 

Countermeasure programming with WOW and flare counts

Master Mode auto-page selections

Default bombing mode error

AACQ logic

Map orientation

and others...

 

Please understand that these are the priorities and not a promise that all of these items will be ready for the 27 March OB.

 

- Wags


Edited by NineLine
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Hey everyone,

 

Probably in the next Hornet OB update, we will be adding two-factor identification. As most you probably know, a negative Mode 4 IFF response does not always mean hostile, just that it is not friendly. With the upcoming change, a negative Mode 4 IFF AND input from NCTR or a SURV track will be required to set an unknown to friendly or hostile.

 

Also, to reiterate from an earlier note: we are currently simulating just manual Mode 4 IFF, which requires a depress of the Sensor Select Control switch. Later, when we implement the AZ/EL page, we will add the automatic IFF Mode 4 interrogation modes. One of thes includes auto-IFF when a contact is an STT or L&S. The earlier auto-IFF with a target lock was a stop-gap until the more realistic system could be implemented (now ongoing).

 

Thanks

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Hornet Mission of the Week

Normandy FA-18C Fortress Cherbourg by Bunyap

 

Normandy

22 Jun 2004, Afternoon

Fictional

 

An operation is underway to reduce the enemy defenses on the approaches to Cherbourg. Strongholds are being targeted using both air and land assets to prepare the way for a final ground assault. Your flight of two F/A-18C, callsign Springfield 1, will be on call to destroy targets as directed by forces on the ground.

 

Your flight will depart from the carrier and fly southwest to the target area. You will hold at Initial Point (IP) Adder, waypoint 2, and check in with a JTAC, callsign Axeman, on radio channel 5. Your target is expected to be enemy bunkers near the approaches to Cherbourg. The JTAC will direct your flight onto the targets when you arrive on the scene.

 

Your flight is armed with both laser and IR guided AGM-65 Mavericks. The JTAC will mark targets visually with ‘willie pete’ smoke rounds and with a laser designator. Laser code 1688 will be in use. The target location will also be given as a bearing and distance from IP Adder, waypoint 2.

 

See the mission planner for detailed navigation planning and the location of friendly air assets. Enemy units on the map can be considered current intel but may not be the threats you face during the mission.

 

Other package elements will be airborne and operate on a common mission radio frequency. A flight of F/A-18Cs, callsign Springfield 4, be on station north of Cherbourg to provide suppression of SAM threats (SEAD) if needed. Their primary targets are mobile Roland SAM systems so you may be tasked to take care of shorter range Gepard AAA systems yourself if they become active.

 

Combat Air Patrol (CAP) flights will be airborne to provide cover. Ford 7, two F-15C, will be on station to the west and Enfield 4, two F/A-18C will be on station to the east. Two F-14B, callsign Uzi 1, are also on station near the carrier. You may disengage and proceed in their direction for additional cover if needed.

 

Hawk and Patriot SAM systems are active inland and should not be approached. Enemy aircraft can be expected to operate under their SAM coverage. See the intel slide to the left for details.

 

Carrier Admin:

TACAN: 74X

ICLS: 11

 

Success criteria:

 

- Several different threat scenarios may play out and it may not always be possible to destroy the primary targets. Returning safely to base is the only success requirement.

FortressCherbourg.thumb.jpg.e94d4b8d5641f1e42f732c4890ed0654.jpg

Normandy FA-18C Fortress Cherbourg.miz

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LTWS Update

 

One of the big items we are working on for the Open Beta next week is the introduction of Latent Track While Scan (LTWS). This is a sub-mode of Range While Search (RWS) mode that can be selected from the DATA sub-level (LTWS and MSI).

 

Even in RWS mode, contacts are in fact track files, but much of the data is hidden unless LTWS mode is selected. When selected, you can:

 

  • Soft lock a contact with a Target Under Cursor (TUC)
  • Designate a target to become the Launch and Steering (L&S) track file with airspeed, altitude, and MSI indications. This has a star HAFU symbol.
  • A second contact designation becomes the Designated Target 2 (DT2) and has the same information as the L&S but has a diamond HAFU symbol.
  • You can TUC a third contact as well.

It will be important to remember that LTWS has rather poor update for the weapons, so it cannot support a weapons launch. To launch, you will need to designate the target again to an STT track. Also because of this, you will want to use a narrower radar azimuth setting and lower bar setting (like 80-degree azimuth and 2 bars). If not, the target updates will be too slow, and tracks may be lost.

 

On the HUD, the box/diamond indicates the L&S line of sight and the “X” indicates line of sight to DT2.

 

LTWS will start to form the foundation of Track While Scan (TWS) which will be coming afterwards.

 

Thanks

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PLANNED FOR 27 MARCH 2019

 

 

1- Update to IFF and D/L identification system

2- LTWS

3- JDAM

 

Next week we plan (not promise) a new Hornet Open Beta update that includes changes to the IFF/datalink identification system and introduction to Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) and the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). JDAM in particularly is still very much work in progress with large elements to still add. This video is provided to provide you an initial understanding of these systems.

 

Please also note that the A/A radar is an iterative process from which LTWS will be built upon to create the Track While Scan (TWS) mode and the Azimuth / Elevation (AZ/EL) modes.

 

Once the AZ/EL page is created, then the various automatic IFF modes will be implemented.

 

Before you ask… the targeting pod will come after the HARM is complete.

 

Thanks, and have fun!

 

- Wags

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DCS: F/A-18C Hornet: JDAM Multi-Target Attack Pass

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJjKFzMqHRo

 

In the Open Beta this week, the option to drop Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) will be added for manual mode (GBU-38, GBU-31, and GBU-31(V)3/B. This allows basic employment through both Pre-Planned (PP) and Target of Opportunity (TOO) modes. Even in this early version, you can easily attack multiple targets in a single pass by assigning individual JDAMs to different PP mission targets.

 

Some notes:

 

We are currently using coordinate entry in the HDTH (hundredth of a degree) option. Later, we will add the THSD option (termed PRECISE when used in the HSI for waypoint entry/modification). As with the real aircraft, JDAM target entry using UTM is not an option (though it will be later to enter/modify waypoints via the HSI).

 

Later, AUTO delivery and much more detailed attack information will be added like the Launch Acceptable Region (LAR), dynamic launch zones, terminal attack option, launch points, release zones, JPF, BIT/MUMI pages, and multiple attack zones will be available.

 

GBU-32 (Mk-83 with JDAM kit) and BRU-55/A will be added later. The BRU-55/A will allow dual carriage of GBU-38, GBU-32, and AGM-154 JSOW.

 

Although not 100% complete, the Open Beta this week includes a greatly updated JDAM flight model and autopilot.

 

Thanks, and have fun!

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Hey everyone,

 

After talking with the team today, I’m afraid that we’ll have to push the JDAM back a bit for several reasons:

 

  • Still some issues to resolve in the flight dynamics and auto-pilot when the bomb is released near or at maximum range.
  • We need more time to test.
  • We need to ensure that this new code will not break any 3rd party aircraft.

 

We will though still have an Open Beta tomorrow that will include LTWS and other elements.

While we are all disappointed that we can release the JDAM tomorrow, there is just too high a chance of it causing significant DCS-wide problems. If all looks good, we plan to release the JDAM in an Open Bea on 10 April 2019.

 

In a related matter, we will be moving Hornet updates to a monthly event, rather than generally every two weeks. We simply need more time for proper testing to avoid bugs, break other products, and avoid the need for hot fixes. While waiting is always hard to do, this will ultimately provide a more stable and solid product.

 

Thanks

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Hey everyone,

 

While not strictly Hornet news but certainly related, the improved carrier environment is moving ahead quickly:

 

1- The new Nimtiz-class aircraft carrier is nearing an early access release. There are a few items to first clean up like deck weathering, the bow catapult controller bubble, and elevator rails, but it's coming along great. Once a bit further along, GA will make a spectacular video and we'll discuss the features in greater detail. Once this is done, we'll return to the Kuznetsov and then the Burke.

 

2- The deck crew animation for the bow cats is about done, and work has started on the waist cat launch animations for deck crew. This will also be using our new skeletal animation system.

 

3- CASE I radio communications are now working and being tuned. Once that is done, CASE II and III will be coded. All voice over lines for pilot, marshal, tower, approach, LSO, and departure have been recorded with several authentic personalities.

 

Our goal is to create the most realistic carrier environment ever done for a PC (entertainment and commercial). All in all, the carrier environment is going to be quite cool!

 

Thanks

 

- Wags


Edited by NineLine
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