ASW sims!



Thanks! If I knew anything about FSX mission making, sub hunting and rigging soviet shipping in the N. Atlantic could make for some challenging flying.

The Official 4th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2018 Edition

Yep, it is one thing that is missing in the sim world, and I share your enthusiasm for this topic. As far as I know, there is no really good, in depth ASW flight sim. Triangulating with buoys, picking up scopes on the radar, MAD detection, diesel sniffers…

Betty depth bombs… :scream:

Granted, I think there is something in a game, Dangerous Water, which I have never played, as I did not hear such good reports about it. Up until that time, I think I was the only person to program an aerial ASW game, back in '92 on the Amiga, using the AMOS language. It was a bit “arcadey”, really, as I did not have at hand the wealth of information we have today, but it was based on a career that took you through from the Guardian, to the Tracker, and ended on the Orion. Doubtful, but it might even still be up somewhere on a very old BBS where I posted it. It was called ASW II. LOL!

If someone made a P-3 (or even a Neptune) for DCS, up to the usual level of detail and some associated operations to go with it, I would reinstall immediately. :slight_smile:


Dangerous Waters, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long while… J/K I got it on CD in probably '06 and I’ve had it installed ever since, from XP to W10. Fired it up a couple of times this past week since I took up the Tracker. The flight modeling is ummmmm … lacking. However if you want to hand fly the P-3 or the MH-60 you can, but don’t expect much in the way of accuracy or detail to the modeling. Now the actual ASW part, that they got right. Well as much as a non-classified sim is going to be able to. Not having engaged in professional sub hunting ever in my life, from everything I’ve read and seen it’s very on point and the sonar modeling was always considered exceptional. DW for many folks was the last serious study subsim/ASW sim released.

In DW, in the P-3 it’s really about being the ASW team, finding, fixing, and killing the sub.

I think some FSX missions where’s it’s about the flying would be interesting too, though for a different focus. Getting the call out to the search area, having the TAO give you the bearings and speeds to fly to lay the pattern, darting this way and that way at their call to run MAD searches 150’ off the swells of the N Atlantic. Hearing the chatter from the sonar team as they interpret the data, and give you an attack fix. Etc. The interesting thing about building the mission, would be besides the voice acting, you don’t really need anything else as it’s all over water.


I will heed your recommendation, then, and get it sometime soon. Thanks!


I’ve done quite a few FSX missions - freeware and commercial. Although certainly not impossible, generating an ASW mission in FSX would certainly be challenging. If you think about the Sling Load Tutorial mission, where your “crew chief” gives you directions as you try to hook the load–left, right forward, backward, up, down–you could build a set of ASW contact reports using similar algorithms…still pretty complicate and essentially scripted.

That said, developing ASUW missions would be much less challenging. I’ve got a simple Maritime Patrol mission in my upcoming simNovel and developed at SAR freeware mission that is essentially, “find the ship”.

The one thing that such missions can really benefit from is a surface search radar. There are many air “radars” out but only a few (if that) that will show ship tracks. It obviously can be done (i.e. VRS FA-18E) and one can “cheat” by using ships that are really airplanes…

I have other thoughts on the issue…and would welcome put from others, especially about the surface radar…but obviously off topic…so perhaps a split, oh wise and learned @moderators ?


So what I was pondering, is the for the pilot of the ASW aircraft (to the best of my understanding, I chase people on land, not subs at sea) is that the TAO is basically making the tactical calls and the pilot is putting the AC in the right spot. If that’s wrong, then disregard all that follows.

It would basically be a series of fly to point X, and make sure you’re on profile Y(alt, airspeed, course etc). For FSX it would be highly scripted, but I’ve never seen an FSX mission that wasn’t.

For an ASUW or at least patrolling mission, until we get to modern A/C the pilot really has no display to indicate where anything is. A voice call, and possibly a plot update from the PNF (assuming something like the P-2 which has a plotting board on the dash) would be the only SA tool the pilot would have. So that would again be a call out of goto X, and try and see Y.


In general terms, that is true. However, the pilots of S-3s and P-3s (now P-8s) have undergone ASW training so as to know, understand and anticipate what is going on in the submarine prosecution. In the end game, the pilot(s) are ten more involved.

MAD is primarily used as the last, localization sensor. They have (hopefully) gotten the solution down to the point where they have the sub’s location, course, speed and depth. The ASW aircraft then flies a flight path designed to approach the sub, at low level (200 ft AGL) from the stern, on the sub’s heading, and fly directly over top of it–bomb bay doors open and a torpedo ready to drop. If they get it right, at the time they are over the sub, the MAD will show it. When the aircrew on the MAD sees the detection, he/she calls “Madman, Madman, Madman”. The torpedo is dropped. Because of the plane’s speed, the torpedo should hit the water in front of the sub. It then executes a 360º turn to get behind the sub and home in on its wake. If successful, hits/detonates in the sub’s stern.

There has always been debate–mostly between the submariners and surface/air ASW folks–as to the capability of the lighter MK-43 torpedo vs the MK-84 to damage a double-hulled Soviet-designed submarine. However, given the above tactic, any type of hit in the aft end of a sub–props, prop shaft, stern planes and rudder–is bound to seriously impact the subs ability to maneuver.


If nothing else, a torpedo, no matter how light, will get the sub to go defensive, ie make a metric sh*tton of noise.


Okay, so all that DW’s I’ve played over the years is paying, as that matches what I was used to. One thing I could see then that would be a bit more involved for the “pilot” in an FSX mission is for a localization report from the TAO, and the call to setup a MAD run. It would be on the player to have the SA to be in the right spot to be on the right heading, and overfly the notional sub, generating the “madman” call (as an aside, come on guys it’s 2018, “madperson”).

Just spitballing here.

Also this caught my eye…

I imagine a direct hit with a 2000 lb bomb would do some damage to all the machinery at the back of the boat lol In all seriousness though from what I remember they can rig them out with pressures fuzes to turn them into adhoc depth charges.


That’s pretty much the way I see it.

A couple ways to go here…the best way is to have an actual “submarine”. Of course, FSX water is “paper thin” as it were - simply a texture that covers the ground. So the “sub” would need to be a SimObject, probably a boat, that was invisible. Something like a small box with transparent textures (and opaque textures while developing the mission so you can see what is really happening) that travels on the surface.

As long as you have an actual moving SimObject “sub” you can set up Areas attached to it for Proximity Triggers.

Without getting very complicated, I don’t see any other way than to make the “TAO” a scripted series of instructions to the pilot…i.e. “Fly this course”…then once the plane is within a certain area the TAO drops sonobuoys…if you don’t fly within the proscribed area you are told to circle around and try again. Then the TAO makes a bunch of contact reports and directs you to another area, until the sub’s location is localized enough to try an attack.

Probably need some type of scoring system based on how fast you can localize the sub.

It can be done with the standard Mission scripting function, however, SimVar would add a lot of features that could be useful.


We’re basically on the same page, the problem is that I’ve never read the rest of the book on FSX mission making. Any suggestions on where to get started?


Actually there is an app called FSXME that is a graphical interface for mission building. It’s a free limited demo with a small fee for full capability.

It has a Wizard function for creating simple missions. If you build a couple of those and then look at how it did it, it basically explains how missions work.


Noted, investigation launched :+1: