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    Il2 DD Update Dev Blog 195 (OMG Tanks!)
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Dear Pilots and Drivers!   We start this Dev Blog with a somber reminder that 77 years ago, on June 22, 1941, German troops, under the control of the Nazi regime in Berlin, launched the largest invasion in the history of warfare. They crossed the Soviet Union border in a surprise blitzkrieg attack obliterating the non-aggression pact signed between Germany and the USSR. This escalation of WWII would forever change the history of the USSR and the rest of the world. Modern history still to this day is divided into 'before' and 'after' the war. The German war machine was powerful, effective, modern and technologically advanced. Its soldiers were highly motivated and exceptionally trained. Operation Barbarossa was planned by the best minds of the German general staff. The plan was for three army groups, 'North', 'Center' and 'South' to smash the USSR in just 5 months with the help of the cavalry of the new age - the air force.   This outcome may have seemed inevitable if not for the tenacity of the Soviet people and military. Surprisingly for the German High Command, as Barbarossa rolled on and early victories showed Soviet unpreparedness, the Soviet resistance began to stiffen and harden with each passing day. The Soviets withstood the initial, most powerful impact of the enemy with grim determination. This determination and composure turned into a shield and spear that would eventually stop and kill the enemy. We all know the price of this victory - there was no family untouched by the war, countries were destroyed, cities turned to rubble, tens of millions of people killed and millions of children became orphans. The price was hideous and we can't forget it because our ancestors live in our memory. We hope such an event never happens again.   This price wasn't paid in vain - the modern world as we know it comes from the great joint victory over Nazis. The victory which wasn't possible without the blood of the Soviet people, which begun on this day, June 22, 1941.   This new project of ours - Tank Crew: Clash at Prokhorovka is our tribute to this memory. We tell about the machines of WWII and the fighting in the skies above its battlefields. And starting this year, we'll also tell you about the fighting on the ground. We'll begin with one of the most famous and critical battles of the war - the battle of Kursk. In 1943, the Wehrmacht gathered all available forces, which in 1943 were still considerable and far from defeated and attempted to turn the tide of the war after the setbacks in 1941 and 1942 in one coordinated all-out assault. It can't be said that this attempt was entirely hopeless, the German forces nearly broke through the last lines of defense, but the Red Army held and counterattacked. And with that, the final outcome of the war became clear. The symbol of that battle, of course, is the armored combat machines that defined the battlefield – TANKS! Tanks alone are little more than expensive metal heaps without their human crews. This project is dedicated to the crews who bravely went to battle in them.   The action in Tank Crew: Clash at Prokhorovka will take place in 100x100 km area around Belgorod, including the place where the greatest tank battle of all time was waged, near Prokhorovka village. You can see that the map size is smaller than in our other projects, but we made it smaller on purpose to use our recently developed landscape detail scaling technology. This tech will make the landscape wireframe 16 times more detailed than our usual maps that are designed for aircraft engagements. While being smaller than our other maps, this map size is still unequal among tank sims. We don't do this just to boast about it either - the size of our map makes joint multiplayer with tanks and aircraft possible on the same multiplayer server.     In addition to 16 times more detailed landscape, we also implemented the knock-over-trees tech which in some aspects is more advanced than in competing titles. The terrain texturing has also been improved to make creating believable settlements and villages possible.   The settlements also required new tech advances because this project is focused on tanks, so we have implemented more detailed building damage modeling. Of course, we can’t get carried away, because populating all settlements and big towns with detailed damage model buildings won't be feasible from both development resources and sim performance standpoints. The bulk of the map will be populated like on the regular maps while the historically important areas where the major tank engagements happened will have the new detailed buildings. This will make ramming the buildings possible by the way. As you can imagine, the area of the Prokhorovka battle will be one of these highly detailed areas. The size of just this area is comparable to the full size of the map in some tank games.     Now let's list the tanks that will be made for the project, it is called Tank Crew after all. There will be 10 armored vehicles and two Anti-Aircraft vehicles:   1. T-34-76 model 1943
    2. KV-1s
    3. M4A2
    4. SU-122
    5. SU-152
    6. GAZ-MM + 72K   7. PzKpfw III Ausf.M
    8. PzKpfw IV Ausf.G
    9. PzKpfw V Ausf.D "Panther"
    10. PzKpfw VI Ausf.H1 "Tiger"
    11. Sd. Kfz. 184 "Ferdinand"
    12. Sd. Kfz. 10 + Flak38   For this project, we performed historical research on the construction of these tanks and their equipment and weapons for exterior and interior 3D modeling and texturing. Part of our team is working on improving the engine, making the physical tank models and their damage modeling, creating the map and improving the user interface for the tank crews. We've managed to set up the joint workflow with our development partners so Tank Crew development doesn't affect the progress we're making on our other big project – Battle of Bodenplatte.   We can tell you a bit about the gameplay already. The player will be able to occupy one of the four stations:
    - Tank commander
    - Driver
    - Gunner
    - Radioman/MG gunner   The required support for drivable tanks and vehicles has been created in advance. All our customers should try the existing two tanks, T-34 and Pz. III. Now we're improving and expanding this support, and one of the most important directions of this improvement is making the damage model of the tank and its systems more detailed. We'll also improve the ground vehicle AI so it will be capable of controlling detailed tanks, the ones that human players control. This is required for single player - you'll be acting as part of tank squads or companies. For each side we plan to create a Scripted Campaign consisting of several missions connected with a single story, telling about the historical events of this battle.   As we see things now, the Tank Commander role is shaping up to be the most interesting one - you'll be able to command your crew, give orders to your unit as a whole or any particular tank under your command. On Expert difficulty level, you'll do all this from your seat inside the tank relying only on the visual information which has been possible to obtain in real life.   Players assuming the role of a driver will notice the realistic tank movement physics that includes the complex interaction of the tank tracks (or wheels for a car) with the ground, engine and transmission, resulting in realistic dynamic characteristics of a given tank or vehicle. Since we are not only a simulator, but also a game, it will be possible to control this complex dynamical model with simple input devices.   The gunner will operate the realistic optical gun sight. We have performed significant research to model the ballistics of all the rounds used in these tanks. At the moment we plan that it will be possible to use 5 round types: AP, APHE, APCR, HEAT and HE (it's likely you know what these mean if you're interested in tank warfare). The types available will be historically accurate, for instance, the 76mm HEAT round was forbidden to use in 1943 because of the many cases of its premature bursting in the barrel, or there were no solid AP rounds for German guns, they used APHE. All MGs installed on the tanks will be accurately modeled as well.         The Radioman/MG gunner will operate his MG most of the time but losing a radioman will prevent you from talking with other tanks of your unit. The loader will be also modeled, but he will be controlled by AI.   We plan to start the Early Access program for Tank Crew: Clash at Prokhorovka as early as this July. Of course, we'll have only a small bit of the final product available at the start. The official release date is more than one year ahead in the future, but early adopters of Tank Crew will have something to play with:   - Highly detailed (exterior and interior) KV-1s and PzKpfw VI Ausf.H1 "Tiger" tanks;
    - Nearly complete physics model of these tanks;
    - Detailed ballistics model for 50mm, 76mm and 88mm rounds;
    - Ability to occupy any tank station (tank commander functionality won't be ready, but you'll be able to take the commander seat);
    - Numerous improvements to other game functionality which will improve a ground vehicle gameplay.   Well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, but here is a bunch for several thousand words!
                  You can discuss the news in this thread

    Strike Fighters 2: Top Gun Campaigns
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
    On March 3, 1969 the United States Navy established an elite school for the one percent of its pilots. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of aerial combat and to insure that the handful of men who graduated were the best fighter pilots in the world. 
      They, Succeeded Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School.
    The flyers call it TOPGUN!
    What is it all about?
    Afraid you won’t be singing in bars and dating civilian flying instructors but you will be flying non-stop Air to Air against a selection of Navy Aggressor A-4s. So, if you have not flown much A-A recently this could be the thing for you with three campaigns set in different years with a selection of Jets to fly. The lesser striped A-4F Mongoose does not take prisoners -- great balls of cheese!     The campaigns consist of: Campaign 1 1970
    Select from the US Navy / Marines F-4B (1965), F-4B (1967) and F-4J to go up against A-4E aggressors. Campaign 2 1974
    Select from the US Navy / Marines F-4J (1974) and F-4N to go up against A-4E aggressors. Campaign 3 1978
    Fly the US Navy F-14A (1974) and go up against A-4F Mongoose aggressors.
    Oh yes and you need to try and survive 20 missions with only about 3 wingmen. Check your six or else an A-4 flown by such celebs as Viper and Jester will blow you out of the sky!   The environment
    This is set over a reworked South West US Terrain and has a NAS Miramar runway layout like the real thing and some very nice looking features.   Think Tactically
    So, as you can see you ideally want to avoid getting sucked into any turning fights and that also applies to the F-14A because the up-engined A-4F kinda cancels out the F-14s better turn ability. Keeping and supporting your AI wingman is a must and is key to dealing with the A-4 hoards and keeping your wingman alive is a must to complete the target of 20 missions. Your wingman is although not the most intelligent of pilots he is also vulnerable to your wayward sidewinder shots and general incompetence in issuing commands. If you have not flown the Mirage Factory F-14 the mod comes with, then there are a few different key presses for the radar and also advise learning how to use the radar (it helps!). Where'd Hollywood go man.......oh there he is - never never leave your wingman!   We are the Mods
    The music it comes with is ace and (thank god) not a sign of “Lead me on” by Teena Marie. Those who had the soundtrack might still have flashbacks to some of the tracks on it. Anyway no need to touch the music or the terrain.
    I am using Starys SARCASM mod in this for environmental effects and also some Top Gun themed 1080 menu screens by Viper63a. The screens can be simply dragged into the Menu and Flight mod folders depending – also remembering to rename them to the correct file name so they show.
    You can of course change whatever else suits you for the environment you wish to replicate. Here Viper is telling me how my name will never be on the Top Gun trophy after losing all my wingmen in about 3 missions.   Starting a campaign
    Important here suggest setting Campaign Difficulty as normal, and set Weapon Supply to Unlimited otherwise you will be down to AIM-9Bs by about mission 5.   My first several campaigns had a distinct theme of running out of wingmen Do you think your name is going to be on the trophy? – You will need a lot more than ego to beat Viper and his souped up A-4   The F-14A took a while to get used to and best to use its advantages of radar with IFF. I have only used AIM-7Fs in these campaigns and do advise taking out the bad guys BVR if you can.   With the F-4s you have less advantages but again playing to your strengths will allow you to prevail.   Every now and then a cargo plane takes off on its flight to Hong Kong full of Rubber Dog s***. If you screw up just this much you might be on the next flight.                
       

    Linebacker II: The Cunning Plan
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      In late 1972 President Richard Nixon was facing the prospect of having the funding cut for Vietnam by congress, so took one last gamble before they could reconvene to get North and South Vietnam to terms and pull the US out of the war with its POW's. This gamble would involve for the first time large B-52 raids on actual strategic targets in North Vietnam including Hanoi and Haiphong. Now having better relations with the Soviets and Chinese the gloves were off and he duly instructed Strategic Air command ( SAC) to sort it out……. unfortunately it didn’t quite roll down the chain far enough.
    What ended up as a relatively short eleven-day campaign, started out and was planned for three days and those first days are really the focus of this article due to some rather strange tactics.   Surprise attack
    All B-52 sorties were launched either from the Pacific island of Guam at Anderson AFB or U-Tapao RTAFB (Thailand), with Guam having a very long flight time to target requiring A-A refueling for the B-52Ds. The B-52s were to take off from Guam and fly right over a Soviet spy trawler sitting in international waters of the end of the runway.
    As the B-52 raid got closer to North Vietnam they would test all their ECM gear handily notifying the SAM operators of the frequencies being used in advance. As they neared the target the F-4 Chaff bombers would fly in front of the raid and drop chaff to provide a protective chaff corridor that the B-52s would fly through giving extra protection. However it seems that not only did the chaff present a big arrow pointing to the intended target on the Vietnamese radar scopes it then promptly blew away in the very high winds providing next to no real protection.
    On top of that as planned for the first three nights the B-52 waves (three waves per night) were to follow the same route as F-105s had done since 1967 and fly over the targets in level flight (to a determined point) at the same altitudes, speed, heading and times…………with a nice long pause between each wave.   General Melchett: Field Marshal Haig has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field.
    Captain Blackadder: Ah. Would this brilliant plan involve us climbing out of our trenches, and walking very slowly towards the enemy?
    Captain Darling: How could you possibly know that Blackadder? It's classified information!
    Captain Blackadder: It's the same plan that we used last time..........and the seventeen times before that.
    General Melchett: Exactly! And that is what is so brilliant about it! It will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard! Doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time! There is, however, one small problem.
    Captain Blackadder: That everyone always gets slaughtered in the first ten seconds.
    General Melchett: That's right. And Field Marshal Haig is worried this may be depressing the men a tad. So, he's looking for a way to cheer them up.
    Captain Blackadder: Well, his resignation and suicide seems the obvious choice.
    General Melchett: Hmm, interesting thought. Make a note of it, Darling.
    (from Blackadder Goes Forth BBC)  
    Unsurprisingly the B-52 crews, although very pleased to be finally doing something to end the war knew the tactics were dumb with comments including “like Ducks in a shooting Gallery” and “I knew it would be a turkeyshoot….....for those on the ground”. The idea of flying in level flight was to maintain Jamming integrity for the B-52 cells, also because the antenna need to be pointing down to provide the jamming coverage, thus if you turn no more protection. On the first nights some of the B-52 pilots did indeed try to outmanoeuvre upcoming SAM's not completely trusting the Jamming [and a B-52 can certainly turn at 30,000ft]. This lead to some threats of court martial for any pilot that did jeopardize cell integrity by turning (for certain waves). The threat of Court Martial reported by all sources doesn’t seem to account for the contradictory fact that the pilots were ordered to perform a Post Target Turn after dropping the payload. This meant they would turn directly over the worse concentration of SAM sites over Hanoi with no jamming protection and into the Jet Stream winds keeping them in the lethal SAM radius a lot longer. This Post Target Turn was not only unnecessary but was essentially a big cause of some of the losses.   B-52s at Anderson AFB Guam December 1972 (USAF)     Night One 18/19 December
    As an example of a raid the first night strike consisted of three waves of 129 B-52s (three waves of 48, 30 and 51). This is a breakdown of Wave One only.
        The Vietnamese defenders
    The Vietnamese were not expecting or geared up for a strategic bombing campaign of this scale, they had sent personnel and sites down to South North Vietnam and now had to recall them and everyone else on leave. The main problem was they were short of assembled SA-2B missiles. Each site (Battalion) only held six on launchers and six more on trucks in reserve. Once a truck had loaded one on the launcher it had to go to a depot and collect another, however you now had queues of trucks waiting for missiles – they could only assemble 40 per day. Luckily the pause between waves helped them somewhat. [The only way the USAF could have helped the Vietnamese more by this point was to drop fully assembled SA-2s on parachutes!! ] Even though on night one they had managed to down three B-52s (two others damaged), by Night two they had noticed the obvious use of the same tactics but were not able to capitalize on them straight away. They would launch the SA-2s unguided and when the B-52s did the Post Target Turn they would lock on and the SAM would guide in. This was not as easy as it sounds and needed practice, so they didn’t manage to down any B-52s on night two (only damaging two). From the US point of view, it seems no loss had vindicated SACs tactics, however when the Vietnamese got their tactics worked out on night three six B-52s were shot down (one other damaged) in only two waves (Second wave was cancelled by the head of SAC General Meyer after the losses in the first - but the third Wave was pushed ahead to "save face"). Some US sources seem to indicate they thought the Vietnamese had different SAMs (SA-3) but they only actually had SA-2Bs – the US were just clearly underestimating them if that was the case.   B-52 window damaged from SA-2 fragments (USAF)     Where did this cunning plan come from?
    SAC was running the show from their HQ and were very much for centralized planning - unfortunately they were detached from reality and were too arrogant to know it. WW II & Korea fighter Ace General John C Meyer was in charge and had been accused of being hesitant to make decisions by the lower Generals. [Well most would be hesitant if their expertise lay in fighters]: Richard Baughn flew as a fighter pilot in World War II and then went on to command a SAC bomber unit as a brigadier  General, and recalled feeling out of place in SAC due to the mindsets driven by different cultures. “You just feel like a third  shoe, a third foot” and he believed that “if a SAC guy came to a TAC base, he would probably feel the same way.” From a common base in pilot and navigator training, the major commands imprinted different approaches to their unique missions and aircraft. In the words of Baughn, “Bomber pilots and fighter pilots are two different types. Always have been. They think differently and act differently.”   It was these same lower Generals who were responsible for the planning of Linebacker II - in particular General Peter Sianis. With his WW II and Korean War experience of Strategic bombing and no experience of a modern IADS he was definitely the person you wanted in charge of this [NOT]. According to Colonel Frederick J. Miranda, SAC’s logistics representative on the planning staff, General Sianis saw the map prepared by staff officers that showed routes of flight for the operation, with “several different routes leading to Hanoi.” Miranda related what next occurred:  General Sianis walked out of his inner office, took a look at the map, and said, “That’s not the way we do it!” Then he removed the colored tape showing the Andersen B-52 routing from the map and rerouted that bomber stream to a route over South Vietnam into Laos and forming up with the U-Tapao bomber stream. He also changed the post-target exit routing to one requiring all aircraft to make a right turn after dropping bombs and stated, “One way in and one way out!” He then instructed his staff to go make those changes and come back with the briefing. I will never forget how the map looked after General Sianis made changes. The colored tape was hanging loosely and the general made a comment, “You guys probably have a lot of tape, don’t you?” This was a significant last-minute change resulting in replanning, additional poststrike refueling, and the now infamous “post-target turn.” He essentially took the planning function away from the majors and lieutenant colonels and straitjacketed them with the “one way in, one way out” directive. No one questioned the SAC DCS/Operations. [Doh!] The Post Target Turn is something required when delivering Nuclear bombs to avoid the blast, its inclusion at a time when Nuclear bombing was low level single ship is not really explained or justified anywhere.   B-52G-125-BW (59-2582) awaiting at Anderson AFB Guam to take off on 18 December 1972 (USAF)     Jamming
    The Electronic Warfare experts at SAC were confident that by maintaining cell integrity the B-52s would be fully protected against the SAMs, a cell was supposed to be three B-52s but sometimes a cell would include only two bombers and sometimes the cells would have degraded or failed ECM equipment due to the no abort maximum effort policy. Although SAC at the time thought the unmodified Jammers on the newer B-52Gs were the cause of some of the losses (and stopped Gs flying over Hanoi) it wasn’t the full story because they were also using the wrong type of jamming. North Vietnam was using an SA-2B SAM that was modified by the Soviets [supplied in 1971] to prevent Beacon jamming after analyzing an QRC-160-8 (ALQ-87) ECM pod found in the jungle. In the late 1960s this type of jamming had rendered the SA-2 all but useless by jamming its uplink command guidance. Now fair enough, how were the SAC EW experts to know this?……………..well they could have read reports from the US Seventh Air Force on the matter who had been aware this SAM was in use and had been reporting on it for the past year. Or they could also have tested the B-52 jammers against the modified SA-2B they had captured and was sitting in Eglin AFB! In fact it wasn’t until during Linebacker II and after the losses of the first 4 days they started testing that they confirmed that the Post Target Turn removed all jamming and the beacon jamming was not effective.
     
    B-52Ds preparing to take off for another Linebacker II mission (USAF)     Aftermath
    Although no plan is said to survive contact with the enemy it doesn’t help when you have centralized planning and control by people that simply do not know what they are doing from the start.  SAC eventually handed the planning down the 8th Air Force and with many other tactical changes things never got anywhere near as bad as Night three had been -  by nights 10/11 the resistance from Hanoi had become almost irrelevant to the point they could freely fly over it. Overall Linebacker II ended up achieving Nixons objectives and the gamble paid off for him with the peace treaty being signed in January 1973. However for the B-52 flyers as always it was a very different war and by 1973 some had clearly had enough of Meyers management policies: [note B-52 Arc Light & Bullet Shot operations continued until August 1973] On January 3, those crewmembers not flying assembled in the Arc Light Center briefing room, where they first watched Meyer pin the Air Force Cross on Colonel McCarthy, who had flown two missions during the operation. Meyer then addressed the Airmen in the audience, and his message was blunt. The general elaborated on the need for cell integrity in the missions over North Vietnam, remarking that tight formations provided the greatest chance to thwart the SAM threat by using the combined jamming capability of three bombers to defeat the data-links guiding the missiles. He then stated that aircraft commanders were not to maneuver during the bomb run and repeated the court-martial threat that they had previously received at the start of Linebacker II. At that moment, the briefing room became totally silent—all whispered conversations stopped, the normal coughing that typically comes from any audience halted, and no one moved. Then, suddenly, roughly half the Airmen in attendance stood up and walked out, “like a herd of cattle,” John Allen remembered. Many of those were chagrined that McCarthy had flown only two missions, plus that he had done so from the jump-seat of G model aircraft, though qualified only in D models. Allen described what came next: Of the roughly 200 that remained, 75 to 80 people just went crazy. They picked up whatever was nearby and threw it at the stage—flight computers, briefing books, Coke cans, folding chairs, you name it. It was like if you had ever been
    to a burlesque house, where they’d throw tomatoes and apples at a bad act, it was just like that. It couldn’t have lasted more than 13 seconds, the assault, but [Meyer] got hit a bunch of times. I saw a Coke can bounce right off his head. I
    was just frozen in my tracks—I couldn’t do anything—it was mob action. He went down on a knee, and a bevy of colonels picked him up and helped him off stage. Meanwhile, the guys jumped up on stage and physically chased him down to the
    flight line. There were a bunch of guys running after him, including the guys that were “gone” and the others of us that just wanted to see what would happen. He was in his staff car, heading toward his airplane, a shiny silver and white VC-135. They chased him down to where they now have the B-52 [Arc Light Memorial] up on a pedestal. They ran down and they threw chunks of gravel that were next to the road, just pelting his staff car and the power cart [used to start engines],and continued to pelt him as he went up the ramp. Then off he went and we never heard anything more from CINC [commander in chief] SAC. Crews in briefing at Anderson AFB December 1972 (USAF)  
    Sources and Further Reading To Fly and Fight: The experience of American airmen in Southeast Asia (Andrews WF, 2011) , George Mason University The 11 Days of Christmas (Michel III ML, 2002) Encounter Books Linebacker II: A View from the Rock (McCarthy JR & Rayfield RE, 1976), Office of Air Force History Maxwell AFB War From Above The Clouds (Head WP,  2002) Air Force Press Maxwell AFB Patterns and Predictability: The Soviet evaluation of operation Linebacker II (Drenkowski D & Grau LW ) Fifty Shades of Friction: Combat Climate, B-52 Crews, and the Vietnam War (Clodfelter M, 2016) National Defense University Press F-105 Wild Weasel vs SA-2 “Guideline” SAM Vietnam 1963-73 (Davies.P, 2011) Osprey Publishing The Red SAM: The SA-2 guideline Anti-Aircraft Missile (Zaloga SJ, 2007) Osprey Publishing B-52 Stratofortress units in combat 1955 to 1973 (Lake, J 2004) Osprey Publishing Quote from Blackadder Goes Forth (BBC, 1989) Title photo B-52D-65-BO s/n 55-110 weapons loading (USAF)

    DCS weekend News 25 May 2018
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
        Persian Gulf Map for DCS World, Now Available!   We are excited to announce that the Persian Gulf Map for DCS World is now available for download. This is our first modern-day combat theater outside of the Caucasus map, and it will provide many interesting and engaging historical and hypothetic scenarios. To purchase this new map for DCS World, please visit DCS e-shop. Please note that the Persian Gulf Map early access release is only for DCS World 2.5 Open Beta. Once the map becomes final, it will be available in the DCS World 2.5 Release version. The Persian Gulf Map for DCS World focuses on the Strait of Hormuz, which is the strategic choke point between the oil-rich Persian Gulf and the rest of the world. Flanked by Iran to the North and western-supported UAE and Oman to the south, this has been one of the world’s most dangerous flash points for decades. It was the location of Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 in which the US Navy sank several Iranian naval vessels. The region also includes the vast Arabian Sea that is well-suited for combat aircraft carrier operations, and it will be an amazing area of operations for the upcoming Hornet and Tomcat. Be it from land bases in Iran, UAE and Oman, or from the deck of an aircraft carrier, the Persian Gulf Map offers a wide array of combat mission scenarios to prove your mettle. Key Features: 201,000 sq km highly detailed map area that centers on the Strait of Hormuz. As part of DCS World 2.5, this map include highly detailed terrain, textures, seas, and buildings. 17 accurately created airbases in Iran, the UAE and Oman. Airbases include a variety of landing aids that can include TACAN, VASI lights, realistic approach lights, and VOR. Detailed cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bandar Abbas with unique buildings. "Strong Hold" islands such as Abu Musa, Siri, and the Tunb islands. Iran, the UAE and Oman will be added to the list of DCS World nations. Unique trees, bushes, grass and other vegetation using speedtree technology. Varied terrain from towering mountains and valleys to desert plains. New map objects like super tankers, cargo ships, pleasure craft, and dhows. New Iranian liveries for ground and air units. Map expansion coming soon with Kerman and Shiraz airbases in Iran. DCS World Gift System A common request we've had from you, our customers, is a gift system to purchase DCS World products for others. It's here! The gift system allows you to purchase any product on the DCS World e-Shop and send them as gifts to other users registered on WWW.DCS-WORLD.COM. When in the "My Shopping Cart" store page, you now have a "Buy as a gift" button. Upon selection, you can then enter a DCS World username or their e-mail address to gift them the purchase; you can also leave them a comment. Your gift orders will also be listed in your DCS World Store page. Note that when purchasing a DCS World product as a gift, no bonus points are earned, but you can use bonus points to purchase a gift. DCS World and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, a regulation that greatly influences how companies collect, process, and use personal data. Eagle Dynamics SA (EDSA) and The Fighter Collection (TFC) have updated their Privacy Policies to comply with new European Union data protection laws. Please read our Privacy Policy, which describes how we collect, use, and share your information to provide you a better game service. We've recently made important updates to our products and services to help you on your journey to GDPR readiness. Nothing is changing about your current settings or how your information is processed. Rather, we’ve improved the way we describe our practices in gathering statistics data. You can manage the content and information you share when you use DCS World and our website through Personal Section of DCS site. We store data for as long as it is necessary to provide products and services to you. Information associated with your account will be kept until your account is deleted, unless we no longer need the data to provide products and services. You can delete your account at any time. When you delete your account, we delete everything related to that account such as your personal information and purchase history. Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

    Il2 Update 3.003 (Bf-109G14 & Spitfire Mk IX)
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Update 3.003   Hello everybody,   One month after the last update we present you another one. The new update 3.003 starts the Bodenplatte Early Access program - if you pre-purchased it, you can fly the first aircraft from its plane set right now.   At this early stage, only two planes are available -  Bf 109 G-14 and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe (with old pilot models since new, late war ones, aren't ready yet).   Bf 109 G-14 is the last fighter model from 109 'G' lineup. This model has the completely new canopy with the increased field of view 'Erla', transparent armored glass headrest and the increased rudder surface. The more advanced DB-605AM engine is equipped with the automatic water-methanol mixture injector system that engages at maximum throttle, allowing for increased intake pressure and engine power as the result. The running time at maximum throttle has been increased to 10 minutes with less engine overheat and required radiators opening. The aircraft armament is similar to Bf 109 G-6, but it can carry heavy unguided rockets 21cm WGR-21 (9.5 kg of explosives and up to 30 kg of fragments in each rocket).     Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe is the most well-known and widespread model of the legendary WWII British fighter. Thanks to the number of selectable modifications we have implemented, you're effectively getting four aircraft, not one. By selecting certain modifications, you can have Spitfire LF Mk.IXe (with the Merlin-66 engine for lower altitudes) or Spitfire HF Mk.IXe (with the Merlin-70 engine for higher altitudes) or their modifications with clipped wings. In addition, you can select either the standard Mk.II gunsight or the advanced gyro gunsight G.G.S. Mk.IID that automatically shows the correct target lead provided you have the target base and distance set! Also, unlike the lend-lease Spitfire Mk.Vb, this model is equipped with rockets and bombs.     Our new Engineer-Programmer Kirill Konnov describes how the gyro gunsight works in detail:   The gyro gunsight is an advanced device capable of automatically calculating and correcting the lead angle for firing at a moving target. The attempts of building such a device begun even before the war in Great Britain and Germany, but first gyro gunsights appeared only in 1941.    It is taken for granted that airspeeds of the own and target aircraft are nearly the same or close enough, so the required lead angle is in direct ratio to the angular speed of the target. Therefore, to calculate the target lead angle, three values are required at any moment: distance to the target, projectile flight time and the angular speed of the own aircraft.  The pilot set the distance to target himself, therefore the simple optical rangefinder was part of the gunsight - adjusting the distance knob changed the size of the moving circular reticle. If the target base (its wingspan) is set correctly using another knob, then adjusting the circular reticle to be the same size as the visible (angular) target size effectively sets the target distance.   The time required for a projectile to travel the required distance has been set in the internal structure of the gunsight parts themselves and couldn't be changed. The angular speed of the own aircraft is the same as the angular speed of the gunsight itself.   But how to calculate the correct angular target lead using these values? There were no computers in the modern sense of this word at that time, so a really complex optomechanical system has been invented. It included the round mirror attached to the gyroscope with three degrees of freedom.       The rotor of the gyro has been rotating in the magnetic field created by inductance coils (Picture 2). The current in the coils has been adjusted according to the set target distance so the resulting deviation from the aircraft axial line during a banking turn projected the targeting reticle to a correct lead angle.       There were four operating modes: fixed reticle, gyro and fixed reticles, gyro reticle and night mode. In the night mode, the target lead is calculated for the fixed distance of 150 yards, ignoring the distance input from the user (but the optical rangefinder in this mode is still functional).   According to the historical data, an average hit accuracy with this gyro gunsight G.G.S. Mk. IID was more than two times better than with regular collimator gunsights on the same aircraft. The main principles used in this gunsight were used in the development of new gunsights and targeting equipment all the way to 1970s.   Having analyzed the level of complexity and unpredictability of the internal processes of this device (many parts of the gunsight are actually crosslinked and serve more than one purpose) I have decided to model the entire system 'as is' without significant simplifications. Therefore, the behavior of the lead indicator in the sim is close to the real gunsight as it is possible.     Update changelist:   1. Bf 109 G-14 is available to all Battle of Bodenplatte owners;
    2. Spitfire Mk.IXe is available to all Battle of Bodenplatte owners;
    3. Finishing a mission no longer results in an incorrect results screen while using automatic login via autoplay.cfg file;
    4. Multiplayer server ban time control has been fixed;
    5. The random black screen issue while joining a multiplayer server should be gone now;
    6. The multiplayer modifications blocking logic has been corrected;
    7. Two units that were AI-only are joinable now: 15.(span)/JG 27 (BOM) and 13.(slow.)/JG 52 (BOK). In addition, two new pilot biographies were added. Big thanks to the community enthusiasts who wrote the texts!
    8. Vehicles in a column shouldn't crash into a destroyed vehicle (QMB and Career modes);
    9. Player home airfield won't have an empty callsign anymore (Career);
    10. The Career mission generator won't fail when there are too few aircraft left in a unit;
    11. Many text corrections in the Career mode;
    12. The issue in the Career mode when a pilot transferred to another unit still flew for his former unit has been fixed;
    13. All single missions should display correctly in the mission list;
    14. Default map zoom in has been corrected both in briefing and in flight;
    15. Gunsight settings (set distance, etc.) won't reset anymore when a new enemy aircraft is spawned;
    16. Tank handling (turning) at higher speeds has been improved;
    17. Wrong world scale in Windows Mixed Reality devices such as Samsung Odyssey caused by the doubled reported IPD value should be fixed now.   Please discuss the update in this thread.

    Il2 DD Update Dev Blog 193 (Mapsize Bodenplatte)
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Hello everybody,   The time has come to tell you more about the historical timeframe of Battle of Bodenplatte.   As we said in our previous Dev Blog #192, we're making all four different seasons for this map. Some might think that we'll model only 1-2 days of the actual Bodenplatte operation when the Luftwaffe made the all-out attack on the Allied airfields near Brussels and Antwerp. However, our “Battle of” series is much more than that! The Career mode for this new theatre of war will last from September 17th, 1944 to March 28th, 1945 – 188 days of war in total.   Historically, 11 significant engagements took place in this area during the given timeframe. In the Career mode, you'll see your area of operations, mission types, acting air force units, their home airfields and other details that correspond to the historical data. You'll be flying in and around many famous operations and battles. Of course, we can’t model every skirmish or battle on the ground, but we will have an exciting Career spanning this later stage of the war when the Allies were fighting their way into Germany.    Operation Market Garden (September 17 – 26, 1944)
    Battle of Aachen (October 2 – 21, 1944)
    Battle of the Scheldt (October 2 – November 8, 1944)
    Operation Queen (November 16 – December 15, 1944)
    Operation Watch on the Rhine (December 16 – 25, 1944)
    Allied Counter-Offensive (December 26, 1944 – January 25, 1945)
    Operation Bodenplatte (January 1, 1945)
    Operation Veritable (February 8 – March 10, 1945)
    Operation Clarion (February 22 – 23, 1945)
    Operation Grenade (February 23 – March 10, 1945)
    Operation Plunder (March 23 – 28, 1945)   As said above, we won't be able to recreate these ground operations in super detail, but the overall situation, mission tasks, home airfields and mission targets will change as they should historically just as you experience with Stalingrad, Moscow and Kuban. This, along with the corresponding features of the Career mode like pilot biographies, squadron histories, newspaper articles, videos, squadron rosters, medals and rank progression will create an authentic experience of flying on the Western Front during the late war period. The whole timeframe will be divided into 5 chapters:   Chapter 1: Fighting in Holland (September 17 – October 1, 1944)
    Chapter 2: Autumn Offensive (October 2 – December 15, 1944)
    Chapter 3: Battle of the Bulge (December 16 – 25, 1944)
    Chapter 4: Allied Counter-Offensive (December 26, 1944 – February 7, 1945)
    Chapter 5: Battle of the Rhine (February 8 – March 28, 1945)   To create this new theatre of war, a thorough research will be done on where the units of both sides were based, their tasks and what aircraft they used day by day. Two new award systems for the US and Great Britain are to be created from scratch, as well as the late war pilot models for Luftwaffe, RAF and USAAF along with their chutes. The Newspaper articles is a huge task on their own and takes several months to complete. If you’d like to help with this contact Jason. We also plan on making additional mission types for this unique location and timeframe. All in all, this will be a lot of work for us, but progress is already being made. For example, we have finalized the map boundaries and the airfield locations. This map is bigger than we initially planned (flyable area is 401 x 324 km - it is 129.900 sq.km) and several compromises will have to be made to make it a reality. It will stretch us to the limit of what is possible in our development schedule, but as with our other maps it will be really cool when it’s done. 
        You can discuss the news in this thread

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