By the G pulling balls of Olds, why no F-4 in DCS?

I just started rereading the book.

The sequel, “The Intruders,” was also great for describing flight operations, even if the end was a bit unbelievable.

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I’m a big fan of the book and movie and agree that the A-6 should be pretty high on anyone’s Vietnam conflict wish list. Likewise the Thud, but both of those aircraft were more focused in their mission than the Phantom, which carried out CAS, CAP, and SEAD roles, not to mention both land and sea operations, dropped some of the first LGBs, was flown by Air Force, Navy, Marines, and was the aircraft used by all of the US aces. It matches up well with the Mig-21, perhaps more with the PF and PFM than the bis model, and like the Mig variants are still very much being operated by air forces around the world.

For mission building consider the Intruder vs the Phantom in a Vietnam scenario. One could have A-6s launch from a boat and attack a target, but which aircraft would complete the strike package doing SEAD, laying chaf, flying CAP and do BDA? AI surely, but often they fail to achieve their mission goals, and you will never get to fly that role. With the F-4, you get pretty much the whole enchilada.

Edit: For sure the A-6 carried out some of those other roles, such as SEAD. Just pointing out that Big Ugly did those too, as well as the CAP and fighter sweep missions.

You could use the F-4G in a Desert Storm scenario too. Just saying.

BTW, an aircraft that DCS has done really well toward the Vietnam era is the Huey. Wow! I’ve recently fallen down that rabbit hole and began consuming everything that I can find on that equally iconic aircraft. Amazing job Belsimtek.


I don’t want to be Colonel Kill Joy, but there are significant differences between the various models of Phantom. The B/N are different from the J/S are different from the C/D/Es are different from the Gs, are all different from the RF-4s. Each branch that operated it had different demands for it, and you see a significant divergence in engines, avionics, armament, and in some cases the wing.

If you’re aiming for DCS quality, it’s not realistic to expect a single F-4 model to be able to do CAP/Strike duties, and SEAD, and Reconnaissance. Those are all very different aircraft configurations.

I’d love a Phantom as much as everyone else, but you’ve got to remember the F-4 is an aircraft with nearly 60 years of service to its name, and has probably spent 59.5 of those years being incrementally upgraded.

Also A-6E TRAM ftw.


Yeah…after “The Intruders” I pretty much stopped reading Jake Grafton books. I mean…the first was awesome…the second was OK…then after that I thought the rest was just reaching.

Kind of had the same feeling with some of Harold Coyle’s books. After Team Yankee…it was really hard to match that…and continuing character books usually sorta go “blah” at some point. Some sooner than later…

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Seconded. Resolution passes without further debate. Do it ED (or Razbam or Leatherneck)…


At risk of derailing this thread, I actually enjoyed Coyle’s later works more than Team Yankee. Not all of them are hits, but he corrected my biggest criticisms of that book: academic dryness and a lack of perceived stakes. Each battle isn’t in doubt: the US wins, the soviets fail, and it all reads like an operational plan from a field manual.

In his later works, the strategic back story often becomes utterly ridiculous, but he dials in on tactical combat and it’s absolutely thrilling. With the exception of his one, later two main characters, all other people in the books are expendable. He will make you care about characters, and then cripple, wound, or kill them without remorse, which is absolutely vital for building tension and establishing stakes in the combat segments. That combined with a less stilted prose creates some of my favorite reading around.

I think it’s a credit to the man that The Ten Thousand, a book which has, hands down, the most ridiculously insane plot I’ve ever read (The US pseudo disowns an armored corps, which then navigates a Germany suddenly run by a crypto-neo-facist chancellor over a dispute regarding seized Ukrainian nukes) is probably my favorite novel outside of Red Storm Rising and Swordpoint (itself another Coyle novel). This is entirely due to his portrayal of armored maneuver warfare from the corps, brigade, and platoon levels. It’s also a credit some of my best Arma missions have been more or less pulled straight from that book.

Okay, that got kind of winded. Back on the A-6/F-4 train.


One of my favorite later books by him was God’s Children. The personalization of almost the entire cast made it a very good book in my opinion. I guess I don’t too much mind the dry delivery - which is why I liked Red Storm Rising and Larry Bond’s Red Phoenix pretty well. Bond’s later books…not so much… I probably need to go back and reread some of Coyle’s stuff. They are all in a box in my attic. I do remember liking the 10,000…

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I still really, really want an F-8. Isn’t there also supposed to be an A-4 in the works right now? Those two would satisfy my fast mover craving while the A-6E TRAM/ A-7E/ F-111 late Cold War Gone Hot scenario is developed.

Oh, and an F-105G for some YGBSM Wild Weasel play.

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Oh man. I complain about how difficult it is to put something as forgiving as the Hornet on a Nimitz in the sim, I can’t imagine the brutality of trying to cram an F-8 on an SCB-125 upgrade Essex at night…

I’m definitely game to try it.

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We did it Mudspike! A-6 is on the way. And people say flight sims are hard to make. tssh. :slight_smile:



Many aircraft that we’re all wishing for, are A-to-G platforms. Or have the capability. This seems to be the achilles heal for DCS mods. The F/A-18 will be the benchmark for a ground radar equipped striker. Once they get it sorted, I’m hoping more modules will follow to fill in the huge gaps.



Well, that was an emotional rollercoaster.


Hey, if Hoggit can do it, why can’t we?

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That was Colonel Kill Joy?? Touch this!

Whats all that noise about the Vietnam? I dont feel like Vietnam at all.

We have M21. F5 + F14 coming, Strait of Hormuz coming, F1E in planes so I would rather see the 1980 Iran vs Iraq with all the other aircrafts involved. :sunny:

Joy reloaded: F4 will fit enormously :wink:

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keeping with tradition of Eagle Dynamics, It would not be forth coming for them to keep the air war balanced with the aircraft built for that era, they would as soon as build the Wright brother albatros than build a F4 or F16 for that matter.

keeping with tradition of Mastiff, an incredibly overly dramatic post :wink:

I would not be surprised to see an F4 for DCS at some point.


Ha! Well said Mastiff. Like the avatar too.

Concerning the long development of the F-4, the B/N, C, and D could share more or less the same 3D model and handled all of those roles previously mentioned, I thought that the development path would be more palatable. Albeit, the RF-4C has the chin camera. If there was a naval version similar to the E model, that would make it easy just to do an E, but alas they adopted another aircraft called the Tomcat :smile:

I guess the point I’m trying to make is trying to lump all the F-4s into one mega F-4 is contradictory to the idea of a DCS module.

Do the F-4 B, C and D look similiar? Yes. But they’re not the same aircraft. Say you made the B and want to make a C. The C has a different wing to accommodate a wider landing gear, a different air to air refueling system, a different radar, and a different configuration of equipment in the back seat (due to the radar, and a the air force demand all crew have access to flight controls). Going from the C to the D would be easier, but once you get to the E that’s a whole new wing, a new nose for the cannon, a different radar, new and different avionics to handle the GBU-8 and AGM-65.

On the Navy side the N and J have a completely new wing optimized for dog fighting and new engines, the J has a new radar. The S has a whole slew of new avionics. I have no clue what the cockpit is doing in all of these, but I know it changes considerably with each iteration. Also of note the Navy to my knowledge never invested in making the F-4 a precision bombing role like the Air Force did, they were content to let the A-4s, A-6s and A-7s do that.

Outside of an extremely limited run of F-4Cs, two F-4Ds and a single F-4B (all of which were eventually returned to the standard configuration), none of these aircraft had dedicated SEAD capability outside of lead sled it in Mk-82s and Zunis".

So if you were to start with the B, could you save time and eventually modify it to be all the different Phantom diaspora? Definitely. A real life example is I’ve sat in an F-4 “D” that was actually an F-4B donated by the Navy to the Air Force for the museum at Wright Patt, and then heavily renovated to to have all the parts of a D. But the dirty secret of DCS is the hardest parts of development are the flight model, and the systems model, in that order. Making the pretty external model is a very distant third. All of those little updates I mentioned equate to years of work in addition to whatever work went into the initial F-4B, all for diminishing returns on the part of the developer.

All of that said, I do hope some day someone is nice enough to give us a B and a J as well as a C and an E.


You guys are all missing the most crucial F-4 model: The EJ!