DCS World Weekend News – 10 January 2020

DCS World 2020 and Beyond – Non-Aircraft Projects

In last week’s newsletter, we reviewed our 2020 and beyond plans for aircraft in DCS World. One aircraft we forgot to mention was the MiG-23 from RAZBAM. This will be a great eastern aircraft addition to the stable of jets to DCS World, and it is being created by the same RAZBAM team that created the MiG-19.

For this week’s newsletter, we are excited to discuss the many other DCS World projects that are not aircraft. This includes both new modules and core features to DCS World. Like the aircraft, this is a listing of what we will be working on this year, but unless specifically noted, we cannot promise that all these projects will be completed by the end of 2020. In fact, some of the larger projects may extend past it.

DCS: Supercarrier

In the latter part of 2019, we released a video showing off some of the early fun parts of this project. We are now nearing the finish line. Much of the remaining work involves adjusting the complex deck crew animations to support the launching of aircraft from all four catapults; ship lights that include the floodlights, the Improved Fresnel Optical Landing System (IFLOLS), and landing area lights; damage modelling; network copy protection; and up to 14 spawn points in multiplayer for client aircraft.

Following the early access release, more features will be added that include a briefing room, more ships of the class, player IFLOLS operation, and more.

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We are pleased to announce that the DCS: Supercarrier module will also include a greatly updated Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier (without deck animation), the Su-33 Flanker D for DCS World (for those of you who don’t already own it), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer!

  • The Kuznetsov is a Russian-built aircraft carrier that is substantially improved over the existing version in DCS World. It is a completely new model with detailed geometry, textures, lighting, and animations. Players can operate the Su-33 Flanker D from the Kuznetsov, including carrier landings and ski-jump ramp takeoffs. In addition to a formidable suite of surface-to-air defenses, the Kuznetsov is also armed with P-700 Granit anti-ship cruise missiles. The Kuznetsov sister ship, the Varyag, was sold to China and now serves in the Chinese Navy as the Liaoning.
  • A cornerstone of today’s American Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) is an array of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers. Built around the SPY-1D radar and AEGIS battle management system, the Arleigh Burke-class provides an effective air defense umbrella around the CVBG and is also armed with Harpoon and Tomahawk cruise missiles, close-in gun systems, torpedoes, and a 5-inch deck gun.
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These new naval elements to DCS World will be at home in the recently announced Mariana Islands map. Although the island portion of the map will be approximately 400×400 km, the overall map size will be 1000×1000 km in order to provide realistic ranges for modern-day naval operations, sensors, and weapon systems.

As with the new Nimitz-class aircraft carrier model for Supercarrier, the Kuznetsov and Arleigh Burke will be visible to all in multiplayer, regardless if you own the Supercarrier module.

DCS: Supercarrier will be available for pre-order on January 17th with a 30% discount and will deliver as an Open Beta by the end of Q1 2020. Owners of DCS: F/A-18C will receive a discount when purchasing DCS: Supercarrier.

Maps
The Channel Map

In addition to the Mariana Islands map, we are pleased to announce the first dedicated World War II map for DCS World that is created by Eagle Dynamics: The Channel map! This map will represent southeast England, the English Channel, and portions of the low countries and north eastern France. The map is built to support missions and campaigns between the late 1930s and 1945 with a new level of detail and realism not seen before in a DCS World map. Airfields of the map include:

  • Manston
  • Detling
  • Hawkinge
  • Lympne
  • Dunkirk Mardyck
  • Saint-Omer Longuenesse
  • Merville Calonne
  • Abbeville Drucat
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It will also include detailed renditions of the cities, towns, road and rail network, forests, rivers, canals, communication lines, radar stations, of this important region during the Second World War.

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DCS: The Channel Map will be available for pre-order with a 30% discount in early February 2020.

Third Party Maps
While we are focused on the Mariana Islands and Channels maps, our third parties will also be quite busy!

Falkland Islands Map

The RAZBAM map team is making great progress on their Falkland Islands map, while at the same time creating new assets and player-units to suit.

Syria Map

After completing a great update to their DCS: Normandy 1944 map, Ugra Media will continue their work on the ambitious Syria map. This map spans from Turkey in the north to Israel in the south, with Syria and Lebanon in between. After an initial map review, the Ugra Team will be implementing the feedback to move forward on an early access release.

DCS: World War II Assets Pack

Work continues on the World War II assets pack, with the addition of several important air, ground, and naval units including:

  • Ju-88A-4 medium bomber
  • A-20 Boston medium bomber
  • C-47 transport
  • MK.VIII Centaur IV tank
  • Mk.IV Churchill VII tank
  • Elefant self-propelled artillery
  • Stug III tank destroyer
  • M10 tank destroyer
  • QF 3.7-inch AA gun
  • 37 mm Gun M1
  • M45 Quadmount that can be used on different platforms
  • 8.8 cm Flak 41 AAA
  • Flakscheinwerfer 37 and generator support unit
  • Schnellboot Type S-100 E-Boat
  • Type VII U-Boat

We are also looking at adding some exciting new features to the Asset pack, which include Torpedoes, Paratroopers and functional searchlights.

DCS World Core Updates
The core DCS World program will continue to grow and improve in 2020 across several key areas. In fact, more than half of Eagle Dynamics staff is devoted to improving the core of DCS World and not for-purchase products.

Vulkan API Support

In order to improve game performance, particularly in VR and take advantage of today’s hardware, we have been working on the integration of the Vulkan API into DCS World over the past year. This is an important undertaking, but we believe it will be well worth the end-results.

DCS World 2.5.6 Lighting Improvements

This month we begin the testing of version 2.5.6 of DCS World that will include improvements to the lighting system. This will be most evident at night when viewing the cockpits. In addition to cockpit lighting, overall world lighting will appear more natural and balanced with improved tones.

Following this, our goal will be to further enhance world lighting by allowing multiple world-lighting sources. This will provide a much more natural and realistic appearance to the world.

Clouds and Weather
Another important DCS World enhancement in 2020 will be the delivery of substantially improved weather and clouds. The first step is our new system will render many different types and sizes of clouds in multiple layers. These clouds will impact certain sensors, and be synchronized in network play. We are setting a high bar for ourselves, and it is taking a bit longer than expected. However, we trust that it will be well worth the wait.

In parallel, we are also working on significant improvements to the dynamic weather system of DCS World that will also take advantage of this new cloud system as well as pressure fronts.

Voice Chat (VC)
In late 2019 we released the first test version of our free, integrated voice chat system into DCS World. Since then, we have been analysing your feedback to make further improvements. Thank you for all the great comments! In 2020, we aim to deliver peer-to-peer connectivity and user chat “rooms” generation. The next step thereafter will be to support radio modulation and frequencies as well as varied mic and audio characteristics of helmets and radios from different eras. Our final goal will be to include communications jamming and secure voice capability. This will continue to be a free and fully integrated feature of DCS World.

Damage Modeling

Another new feature of DCS World 2.5.6 will be the initial release of the improved damage system for the WWII fighters in DCS. As we have discussed in prior newsletters, this system includes a complex and realistic accounting of damage to aircraft systems, round trajectory and penetration, deflection, and localized damage. We have also added substantially enhanced visual damage effects that include missing structural components, fuel and hydraulic leaks. The new damage model will provide a much more engrossing and realistic experience.

Once we and our clients are happy with the warbirds damage model system, we will implement this new damage modelling to the more modern aircraft, ground units, and naval units.

Aircraft Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In 2019 we made initial improvements to the dogfight AI that delivers more realistic and human behaviour, this also includes implementation of modern control theory Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) and Incremental Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion (INDI) to all our AI aircraft in DCS in 2020. The new approach will extend flight envelopes and improve AI control quality and control response in mass and moment of inertia changes. In 2020 we will continue this effort, but also devote resources to improve other AI areas to include:

  • Beyond Visual Range (BVR) offensive and defensive behaviour
  • Formation keeping and correct use of external lights
  • Air-to-Ground attack maneuvers
  • Very-low level flight and terrain following
  • Defensive threat responses (SAM and AAA)

Airfield Air Traffic Control (ATC)
Another AI task that we will kick off in 2020 is a new implementation of ATC radio communications for airfields. This will be a more realistic and complete ATC system to account for ground, tower, departure, and approach controllers, as well as account for variables that include VRF/IFR and overhead/straight in.

We will be working with subject matter experts to ensure that this new ATC system is a valuable addition to DCS World immersion and enjoyment.

Air-to-Ground Radar and Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR)
Critical to complete the F/A-18C and F-16C, will be the inclusion of completed air-to-ground (AG) radar and Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor systems. Last year, the JF-17 Thunder used our AG radar application programming interface (API) to great success. We will continue to improve the AG radar API and use it for both the Hornet and Viper. We will continue to enhance this area of expertise and work to improve radar shadowing, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) support, and varied resolution based on the type and era of radar.

The updated FLIR API will be used to improve the targeting pod’s infrared (black hot/white hot) cameras. This is a rather large undertaking because it not only involves programming tasks to account for thermal dynamics of world and unit objects but also creating thermal maps for all objects in DCS World and how they behave under different conditions.

Missile Dynamics

Last year we used the AIM-7 as a testbed to implement several air-to-air missile performance and guidance improvements. Early this year we will be doing the same for the AIM-120. The AIM-120 performance in 2020 will be closer to claimed specifications given adjustments to G-induced drag in the trans-sonic region, and we improved the efficiency of the lofting profile.

New AI Units

In 2020 we will continue to update older DCS World units. We are currently developing the SA-5 surface-to-air missile and the SS-1 SCUD surface-to-surface missile (we still need to develop the Short-Range Ballistic Missile flight model), the S-3B Viking, and cows of course! There are other units we hope to revisit to like the B-52H, C-17A, Tu-95, and others.

Dynamic Campaign
Work on the dynamic campaign has been underway for over a year, and the progress has been steady on this very complex task. We understand that this is one of the most awaited features in DCS World and we are giving it the attention it deserves.

Much of the work is focused on the dynamic campaign creation tool layers as part of the Mission Editor, developing machine learning mechanics, and creating an AI neural network for the RTS element of the system. The machine learning and neural network tasks are particularly challenging, but we believe they should provide a unique dynamic campaign experience.

We expect to start testing this feature in the latter part of 2020.

DCS World Weekend News – 3 January 2020

Winter Sale Ends Soon!

Only a few days remain to pick up those modules you have been wanting! The Winter sale will end on January 5th. Save up to 50% on most DCS World products, the only exceptions being:

  • DCS F/A-18 Hornet by ED – 25% off
  • DCS Persian Gulf Map by ED – 25% off
  • F/A-18 Persian Gulf Map bundle – 35% off
  • DCS: Christen Eagle II by Magnitude 3 LLC – 25% off
  • DCS: F-14 Tomcat by Heatblur Simulations – 20% off
  • DCS: F-16C Viper by ED – not on sale at this time
  • DCS: JF-17 Thunder by Deka Ironwork Simulations – not on sale at this time
  • F-86F Hunters over the Yalu Campaign by Reflected Simulations – not on sale at this time

Note that this is the first time the DCS: F-14 Tomcat will be on sale!
We are also taking part in the Steam Winter Sale as well.

Mariana Islands Map Announcement!

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Since the release of DCS World, the sole free map has been the Caucasus Map. Although a great map and the recipient of a huge update in DCS World 2.5, we are happy to announce a second, free map for DCS World! For this new map, we want to use our latest map technologies and provide a very different combat environment in a new part of the world. The map must have the following features:

  • A very large ocean area with a few islands. Ideal for carrier operations.
  • Islands that are situated such that airfields have natural red, blue, and contested locations.
  • Home to at least one modern-day USAF base.
  • Feasible for US, Russia, and China operations in the Pacific.
  • Take advantage of the Chinese Assets Pack.

Taken as a whole, there is only one natural choice: the Mariana Islands. It will initially be a 400 x 400 km map with the option to expand further in the future. Home to one of the largest USAF air bases in the region, Andersen AFB on Guam serves as an anchor of US forces in the Pacific region, but it is within reach of both Chinese and Russian Pacific forces to the north. The same island chain also served as the backdrop of the World War II battles of Guam, Saipan, and Rota, as well as the carrier vs. carrier Mariana Islands battle.

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At release, the following islands will be included and modelled at an extreme level of accuracy using our latest map and graphics technologies:

Guam

  • Andersen AFB.
  • Weapons storage bunkers northwest of Andersen AFB.
  • Ordnance Annex in south-central next to Santa Rita.
  • Antenna array installation on the west coast.
  • Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport.
  • Abandoned Northwest Airfield in the northeast corner of the island.
  • Abandoned Orote Airfield at Crote Pointe.
  • US Naval station and Guam Port Authority at Apra Habor / Sumay.
  • Fort Soledad and Fort Juan Muna.
  • Urban areas of Talofofo, Yona, Tumon, Yigo, Maggilao, Asbeco, Dededo, Inarajan, Santa Rita, Agat, Piti, Asan, Hagatna, Barrigada, Magilao, and Adacao, Agana Heights, Asan-Maina, Chalan-Pago-Ordot, Mongmong-Toto-Maite, and Umatac.
  • The University of Guam.
  • Leo Palace Resort.

Saipan

  • Saipan International Airport.
  • Port of Puerto Rico.
  • Urban centers of Kagman, San Roque, Tanapag, Garapan, San Vucente, Dandan, Chalan Kiya, Susupe, Chalan Kanoa, Afetna, and Chalan Kiya.
  • Golf courses at Agingan, Kagman, and along the eastern coast.
  • Memorial at the east end.

Tinian

  • Tinian International Airport.
  • The abandoned airfield at the north end of the island.
  • Urban areas of San Jose / harbor and Marpo Heights.
  • Antenna array along the central west coast of the island.

Rota

  • Rota International Airport.
  • Urban areas of Sinapalu, Songsong, and Teneto Village.
  • Golf course on the northern coast of the island.
  • Abandoned weapon storage area on the east end of the island.

Farallon de Medinilla

  • Air-to-ground weapons training range

Aguijan

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We are very excited to bring this new, free map to you in 2020 that will offer new gameplay, home to new units, and a new chapter for DCS World.

DCS 2020 and Beyond Update – Aircraft Modules
From all of us at Eagle Dynamics, we want to wish you a happy new year and every success and happiness for 2020! 2019 was a wonderful year for us with the release of several outstanding aircraft for DCS World. These included the release of the F-16C Viper, Fw 190 A-8 Anton, F-14B Tomcat, JF-17 Thunder, Christen Eagle II, I-16, completion of the C-101, a new A-10C cockpit, and continued development of the F/A-18C, Harrier, M-2000C, and other modules. It was an extremely busy year for us, but we will further accelerate development in 2020.

Now is a great time to try one of these new modules while the Winter Sale lasts:
https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/

What follows is a listing of aircraft projects that we and our valued partners will be working on in 2020. We do not expect all these projects to be released in 2020, but this is where our development focus will be in 2020.

DCS: A-10C Warthog 2

Following the free A-10C cockpit update, we will be releasing A-10C Warthog 2 in 2020. This will be a dramatic visual and systems upgrade to our A-10C. Once the new features have been finalized, we look forward to sharing them with you.
In addition to DCS: A-10C Warthog 2 being available as a new module that will replace DCS: A-10C Warthog, it will also be available to existing A-10C Warthog owners at a significant discount.

DCS: Ka-50 Black Shark 3

Since the release of the DCS: Black Shark 2 upgrade many years ago, our technology has improved greatly to allow us to create an even better Ka-50 Black Shark! As with the A-10C Warthog 2, this includes both graphical and system upgrades.

We will first release a free update to Ka-50 Black Shark 2 that provides a free overhaul of the cockpit graphics. This is not simply updated textures, but rather a completely new cockpit 3D mesh and high-resolution textures. This will also address any remaining cockpit lighting issues.

Later in 2020, we will release DCS: Ka-50 Black Shark 3. This upgrade will build on the free cockpit update and add the following features:

  • Option for weathered cockpit textures.
  • Completely new external model with a much-improved 3D mesh detail and textures. It will also account for the new systems like the Missile Launch Warning Systems, Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) and the Igla air-to-air missiles.
  • Ability to carry up to four Igla air-to-air missiles.
  • Integrated Missile Launch Warning System (MLWS) system with display system.
  • Integrated Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system with integrated display system.

In total, it will make the Ka-50 much more deadly and survivable on the DCS World battlefield.

As with A-10C Warthog 2, Ka-50 Black Shark 3 will replace the current Ka-50 Black Shark 2, but existing owners of Ka-50 Black Shark 2 will get a significant discount for version 3.

DCS: P-47D Thunderbolt

Our next warbird for DCS World will be the P-47D Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt will be our first allied radial-engine warbird for DCS World, and it will fill in fun and interesting role in operations over western Europe and beyond. Combining both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission capability, it will provide a wealth of mission types, heavy armament, excellent protection, and long-range.

The P-47D is far along in development with mostly flight model tuning, adding object details, and creating the mission content. Suit up!

We plan to release a new World War II Europe map to coincide with the release of the P-47D.

DCS: De Haviland Mosquito FB MK.VI

Following the P-47D, our next warbird will be the Mosquito. Noted for its impressive speed and heavy armament, the Mossy will provide a unique element to DCS World in both the attack and reconnaissance roles. Skimming Europe at tree-top height at high speed will be thrilling!

DCS: Mi-24P HIND

The Mi-24P has been in development for the past year, and it is on track to be released in 2020. The HIND will be the next helicopter for DCS World and will include cooperative multiplayer, next-generation graphics for the external model and cockpit, and a wide range of mission types from anti-armor attack to troop transport.
The Mi-24P will be an outstanding partner to the Mi-8MVT2!

DCS: F/A-18C Hornet and F-16C Viper

While our warbirds and helicopter teams are focused on the P-47D and Mi-24P, our modern-day jets team will be working diligently on the Hornet and Viper, with the goal for both to be feature complete and out of early access by the end of 2020.
Important development aspects for both will be the air-to-ground radars, a new Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system, additional radar modes, new weapons, and more.

DCS: UH-1H Huey

For 2020, our next improvement for the Huey will be the addition of cooperative multiplayer. This is currently in internal testing, and we hope to have it to you soon.

Modern Air Combat

Over the past year, a massive amount of work has gone into Modern Air Combat in order to make it a AAA title. During this period, we have also expanded the scope and features of the product substantially. This has led to us push back its release date to 2020.

Modern Air Combat will not be a DCS World product, but rather a new series for us that focuses more on action, gameplay, and a shallowing learning curve.

DCS: OH-58D Kiowa Warrior

Developed by Polychop-Simulations, the developer of DCS: SA-342M Gazelle, the OH-58D will add the first American attack-reconnaissance helicopter to DCS World. Using the Mast-Mounted Sight (MMS), the Kiowa can acquire and track targets while in cover, and it has teeth that include Hellfire anti-tank guided missiles and unguided rockets.

DCS: F-15E Strike Eagle

Building upon their excellent M-2000C, Harrier, and MiG-19, RAZBAM is hard at work on the iconic F-15E Strike Eagle. Given the massive complexity and mission flexibility of this aircraft, it will be a very challenging module that we are sure RAZBAM will exceed expectations.

While there are other 3rd party aircraft in development, they are currently not under a development license agreement. Once they are, we look forward to providing you with updates on them.

In next week’s newsletter, we’ll talk about the non-aircraft projects and core DCS World improvements that we’ll be working on in 2020.

Happy New Years and thank you for the support and kindness,
The Eagle Dynamics Team