“We would like to announce a promising change in our internal structure. Over the years, Belsimtek has been working hand in hand with Eagle Dynamics, and together we have succeded in creating a number of complex modules for DCS World, which we hope you enjoyed. We wish to further develop this success, and as such we have decided to focus on strengthening the unified brand, Eagle Dynamics. The Belsimtek team will remain unchanged, with the same leadership, the same approach to development, and the same quality which have made our success. We are confident that the future will hold big surprises, notably with The F-16C Block 50, Mi-24P, AH-1S Huey Cobra and F-4E Phantom II in the development pipeline, which are sure to make DCS World grow even more. Together, we will continue to bring DCS World and Eagle Dynamics to new heights. Thank You.”
Could be. The W’s been in service for 30 years at this point, I’m not sure there’d be much difference in avionics between the S and an early W before they started throwing on LTDs and FLIR.
Engaging full on speculation mode, Belsimtek was originally pretty set on a G model (there was/is one floating around in the game models). That makes since from a rework prospective: the G is a UH-1 drive train thrown into a skinnier body, lots of steam gauges similar or the same as the Huey, without any digital FCS or avionics to muss with. There’s also the issue the W’s use a separate drive train from the AH-1G/Q/S/E/F family. The Marine Cobra/Huey line diverged with the UH-1N and the AH-1J.
There was a fair amount of pushback however, because once you get past the initial “Wooo 'Nam! It ain’t me!” reaction, there’s the realization the G doesn’t have much of a role in DCS currently. There aren’t enough soft targets, the infantry is pretty rudimentary, and most of what you’d fight are tanks that will mirthfully laugh off a barrage of 2.75 inch HE rockets before blasting you with the main cannon. Huey’s and Hips have to put up with this too, but they have the transport role. The Cobra is just all dakka, all the time.
There are more AH-1S’s than you can shake a fist at (technically the AH-1S/P/E/F are all variants of the AH-1S), so there is a 20 year window of things we could be getting here. In basic the S has a more powerful engine than the UH-1H we have, but otherwise retains the same rotor / drive train design (pretty sure). They should have TOW in some form (Belsimtek are sticklers, so I dunno if this will be the basic TOW, the ITOW, or the TOW2). I’m pretty sure the original S had the 7.62mm chin turret from the G, but depending on how late they go this could be replaced with the same M197 cannon on the W.
Personally I’m more excited about than anything else on that list. Lawn Darts are dime a dozen, Russian helos don’t do it for me, the Phantom and I will have a beautiful relationship, but winding through trees and trying to blunt Soviet armored thrusts will be a novel experience* I’ve wanted to try out for quite a while.
I’ve never felt I got good enough value out of the Gazelle HOT3’s in terms of what I thought I would do and what I actually ended up doing. I wonder if the missing bit was not having a JESTER-AI type helper effort for that WEPs seat to help single players? The only time I think I actually used the Gazelle in dual cockpit MP was with @BeachAV8R (which proves we’re looking at Unicorn Poop level of odds and frequency here ).
If the Cobra is just hot-seat flipping like the Huey then I wonder how practical it will be flying alone - can the TOW be entirely fired from the back seat alone? Dunno.
I should really give the Gazelle more of a dual seat MP go again…
I’d imagine EDSIMTEK is applying the same “Jester-esque” package they’re developing for the Hind.
My experience with online multicrew in the Gazelle was pretty positive. Me and @Tyco ravaged some armor while winding through downtown Krasnodar. I just felt in the Gazelle it was a lot of work to do that with little pay off: four missiles and nothing else. The Cobra can carry twice the missile load, with rockets, and some form of gun.
Also between this, the F-4, the Hind, and the existing asset set, whom do I have to threaten to get a Cold War Germany map?
All those announced aircraft will be 100% certain preorder sales to me. All my life I have been seeing F-16s in the skies, so of course I want one of those in DCS. I flew enough Falcon in my life to pretty much have some brain stem level reflexes and memorisations on that crate. Even if the viper and the bug are pretty damn comparable in the avionics department, especially a block 50 viper, the difference will lie mostly in the flight model.
While the bug excels at low-speed nose pointing contests, the viper is a monster of an energy fighter. It accelerates like a stuck pig in heat. So yeah, that should be fun
Then there’s the Mi-24P. While I had hoped for a -24D variant, the -24P is most likely actually more fun because it rocks a really potent gun, unlike its earlier brother whose gun is really only good vs infantry in the open and scratching the paint off of flying things. The Hind is about the most iconic soviet machine of the cold war. It’s menacing anhedral wings, bug-eyed cockpit and lumpy nose full of sensors and guns and probes is the stuff of my childhood nightmares. To get to fly that (again) is like a dream come true.
The phantom… wow. Such an iconic jet. So much history is written with those J-79s smoky trails. It should make for a really interesting DCS experience being a helluva complex machine from well before the digital age. Dropping the first generation of paveways using the first generation of targeting pods is something that I’m really looking forward to. (and napalm, yeah baby!)
The cobra looks like a fun ride, also one with a lot of history. It makes for a good matchup against the hind and complements the huey perfectly. All we need is some creedence. Of these four machines, its the one I’ll buy last though.
Now we need a 'nam 69 map and a Fulda gap 1983 one.
p.s. A couple days ago four helicopters flew over my house; two royal navy Merlins and two polish hinds. It was the first time ever I saw a hind in real life and I was hopping and yelling and worked up like I was nine years old again