First DCS gentle mudspike

Thought i’d have a go at an AAR.

only just getting to grips with Dcs as a sim, the editor and the mighty Su-33 so i thought it might be interesting for you old hands to show me where i am (believe me i am) going wrong.


i set up a very VERY simple mission on the editor. Basically ive found out how to use wingmen and set simple tasks for the enemy to do. nothing on the scale you guys do obviously but i’m having fun with it and learning more everytime i use it.

myself and my wingman take off from batumi fully fueled and armed, overfly the conveniently placed Kuznetzov head NW on a wide CAP north and back to the coast. Midas is placed to the south heading north at 15000ft so i can catch him when i run out of go juice (fuel management is decidedly NOT my strong point)

On the blue side I have a flight of Warthogs heading south to bomb batumi (armed with heaters as well)
a lone mig21bis on patrol and from Sakumi i have a pair of B1B heavys (which turned out to be 1…not sure why) heading on a bomb run as well.

now most of you will be reading this assuming this is an easy mission and i totally agree.
I have no idea how to use the radar
i have no idea which missiles do what (i THINK the r73 is a heat seeker)
I only have a very vague idea about the TWR and i really really dont know how to use the radar…

now i assume i could do the training missions for the su27 and it would mostly be the same if not very similar.
but that is no fun at all and i really want to play with the 33 more
plus Mudspike may enjoy my failures and give free advice.


simple enough for a veteran

First hurdle!! Im fully loaded, fully fueled and im airborne!!

cool shot of the Kuz

all seems to be going well, ive figured out the comms at last!! for some reason the original \ keybind would not bring up the comms menu, ive moved to to another location and FINALLY i can talk!! sounds relatively minor i imagine however this is like opening a door in DCS and finding another world. part of the reason i gave up on the A10C was because of this. So yes im a little overjoyed at this.

Now this dude is NOT where i thought he would be, hes closed the distance in a quarter of the time i thought he would my TWR is going bananas and im panicking and dont know what to do.

im still panicking when i should be making decisions. Then i remember!!!

Get him 2!

I am exstatic at this. basic stuff again i know but this has been a night to remember already.
I could kiss my wingman. until i remember hes probably a huge scary russian dude and wont appreciate the gesture.

while that is happening and im feeling a bit more confident of things now my russian guardian angel is on top of things i notice a blip on my radar off to my far right…(i think it may of been the tanker upon watching the track on tacview but by happenstance it got me looking in the right direction)

A10!!! my wingman is off checking his kill ejected or whatever so its up to me. i get a lock on him somehow using the radar.

1 away!!

you want more pictures dont you. Course you do!!

Now im hungry (undertrained, underqualified and massively OVERequipped)

i know they are a flight of 2. I know the other one is close. i am actually assuming I got the lead and his angry wingman is now behind me lining up the 30mm or a heater to bring me back down to earth when i see the black spot!!! YES!!

SPLASH 2!!! in my over excitement i did get a little bit close to him…

but no harm done and its another lesson learned tonight.
fire and forget vic…not fire and stare and stare and barely miss the debris

now i have no idea where the b1 has gone (i assume the kuz took him down)

so its time to head back and land gently on the carrier.
i was gonna top up with fuel but the midas is 150ish nm north of me and the chance of me being able to actually fill up from it is about 5% at best so carrier time…

looking a bit messy but im at least heading the right way but unbeknownst to me 2 has other ideas.

im not sure why he felt the need to sit 20 feet off my wing but i sure as hell didnt realise he was there until…

this terrified me, having him pop out underneath me was very disconcerting. i really have no idea why he was there but in the confusion i drifted away off track a little but i corrected nicely and sorted it out.

little low but i got this.

Mission accomplished.

hope you enjoyed this, i had quite a good time putting it together and will probably do more if it goes down well,

i fully understand this is a serious forum for hardcore simmers and i hope my inept flying doesnt rub anyone up the wrong way, I just thought that as my progress improves and my skill will all aspects of the sim grow that will naturally show in these reports.



Very nice Vic!

If you want to turn off the status bar at the bottom of the DCS screenshots, use LCtrl+Y. I say that, but I’ve never actually remembered in time. :slight_smile:


Ahhh I was wondering about that. I assumed everyone was cropping the pics. I’ll remember next time lol

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Some days are all “А ну, чики-брики и в дамки!” and on other days are all “GET OUT OF HERE, STALKER!”

Good AAR, a few tips:

i key will turn on your radar, o key your IRST, either can be used with any air modes (I don’t know them all but 2 is BVR, 4 is boresight mode, 5 is HMD). You can use CTRL + and CTRL - to adjust how far out the sensors will scan (save for IRST, won’t go beyond 10km).

Russian HUD lists speed in TAS, not IAS, so keep that in mind when watching the HUD.

R-73 is the Archer, IR guided is correct. There’s also the R-27 series, which is the Alamo. Comes in R, T, ER, and ET models. R is radar, T is IR, and E is bigger motor. They all suck. Soviet/Russian SOP is to launch in pairs to increase PK. Get good with the gun because at least 50% of your missiles are gonna miss.

Your carrier landing needs a steeper angle, you’re coming in too shallow and too slow. Trim for AOA, then use throttle to adjust pitch and descent, use stick to adjust for speed. Don’t do big changes is the key. There’s a meatball on the Kuz, so when you can see it, use it and your AOA indexer to make sure you’re doing it right.

Su-33 is probably the closest analog we currently have to an F-14, so if you’re really pumped for that I’d split half your time in the 33 and half in the A-4E. The two will really prepare you for the experience!


Fantastic flying…! Hey…you got some hits…that’s better than I do most of the time! Don’t worry about impressing any of us…you did great!

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Outstanding AAR! Well done.

Funny story. Looks like you’re having fun! I’m still learning how to run by aircraft and key bindings r a pain in the butt. Hoping to get hooked up with it Flyers here don’t mind helping a guy

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Well done Vic, have a look at your private inbox :santa:


You won’t find a nicer place dude. I have been here a couple of months and it really is the best group of helpful friendly people you will find.


Hey @franze thabks for the tips. Could I ask a couple of questions more on the subject. I figured out the different modes. And also the reticule movement in BVR mode. I could adjust the range out to about 150 which I assume is in km being Russian. However what range should I be able to get a lock? It didn’t seem to matter what missile I was using it was always around that about right?

I found it easier to use the HMD to get a lock off boresight up to about 45 degrees but still needed to manoeuvre to get in firing position so what is the point of locking them up off boresight. Is it just a way of having less to do when time to shoot comes or am I missing something else.

The IRST was completely different to how I expected it to work. I was imagining a screen with heat blips or at least some kind of diso8tk show what it does? How does it work other than putting the letters showing its activation on the hud. What am I missing?

As for then landing. I came around the pattern about 1500ft. dirtied up downwind and on final lost so much speed and height that at one point I had to climb a bit. I tried to trim for about 12 degrees aoa but I couldn’t keep my speed or my height. With the scooter I had it trimmed and on the deck fairly easy but I’m assuming this would be nearly twice as heavy and needs a lot more throttle. Is there a anywhere I could get some solid numbers for the 33. Pattern height aoa speed power etc.

American stuff I can get manuals a piece of cake but I’m having difficulty with anything red lol.

Cheers for the positive comments guys it was just a bit of fun while I learn the jet. I’ll update with my progress as it comes :+1:


On the fc3 jets (su 27, 33, j11 and MiG-29) radar and irst work the same. So no difference inoperation but some difference in performance and tactical application. Irst is silent you see. Very sneaky.

The helmet mounted designator is great at the merge. Look at it, lock it, fire r73 at it. Very nice. Americans took like 30 years to field their version of it with the f18s jhmcs/aim9x combo.


Ok thanks dude. So if I have this correct I could (theoretically) get on someone’s tail and use IRST instead of radar and they shouldn’t know I have them locked up until the missile warning system tells them one is in the air.?
I’m really not up on the Russian equipment.
I always thought it would be kind of like a thermal imaging system and I would be looking for hot spots on it. I’m very surprised this is how the system operates.

So would this system work better from below against a cold sky or from below?

I feel myself falling down a rabbit hole here.
Funny how one good plane can change the way you think. I bloody love that blue beast now. I always thought it was a nice looking thing but my lord what a beast it is.

Nice AAR! Getting kills is always harder than it seems. For me getting any kill that is not a friendly is a massive bonus :slight_smile:


My fratricide to enemy ratio is dropping at last lol. The Russian tanker fleet has taken an absolute pounding the last few days

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Looking up from below is best and yeah that’s the gist of it.

But that’s just the technical part. The art is in manoeuvre. Keep your speed up. Trade speed for altitude when you have too much of it. Have fun!

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Awesome AAR man! Keep it up, you got this!

Enjoyed the AAR. It’s always fun to read when you know the Player is having a great time from what they wrote. :sunglasses:


Might be some redundancy so, forgive me if it’s already been answered…

Lock range or launch range? Depending on the target size, lock range can vary in a big way, so you can acquire a big target like a C-130 from way out but a smaller one like an F-5 might be much closer. Launch range is going to depend on your speed, heading, and altitude in comparison to the target’s. If you’re at 40,000ft and they’re at 20,000ft and you’re both going head on, you’ll find your missiles have a greatly enhanced “range.” Reverse that and you’ll find your launch range is extremely curtailed.

The HMD lock is primarily intended to be used with the R-73 so you can shoot a missile at a target when they’re not directly on your nose. If the circle is blinking, you’re outside of the seeker constraints; if it’s solid, you can shoot. This will also work with R-27 missiles but the seeker constraints are far more limited, as is the maneuverability, not to mention your radar will have to be on for the radar guided variants.

IRST is functionally identical to the radar, just with a shorter range and it won’t guide radar missiles. In multiplayer, it’s popular to forego all radar guided missiles and rely on IR guided as the IRST won’t ping on RWRs.

I don’t have any raw numbers for carrier landings on the Su-33 and I’m not sure any exist, but I follow a similar procedure as with the Bug: trim for 8-9 degrees AOA, speed at 130kts, full flaps, altitude at 600ft 3/4nmi from the carrier. The trick is to constantly be on the throttle to ensure a steady glide slope and try to avoid using the stick. Keep your eye on the AOA indexer and once you can see the meatball, rely entirely on them. Green arrow = add power, red arrow = reduce power, doughnut = you’re doing fine, keep doing that. Don’t make large corrections, but consistent smaller ones. Keep in mind that landing weight can wreak havoc with any numbers you have, so if you’ve got a full tank of gas you’re going to be coming in faster than you might on half a tank.


@franze @schurem you’ve both been a great help. I think now I’ve had some decent success and seen that everything is pretty much do-able for me I think my next step is really just to nail the flight side of things down.
Definitely need to work on the carrier ops and without any doubt need to to work on refuelling. As I said in my aar I only just found out my error with the comms key binding so there is definitely more to learn there as well.

Main thing I’ve taken from this is that the sim is not this impenetrable wall I had been building it up to be. After my abject failure with the a10c I am seeing where I went wrong now. Its started becoming dare I say it. Fun!

That’s what it’s all about though in the end isn’t it.


Flankers have gigantenormongous fuel tanks. Its like they carry three bags of gas if they’re 100% full. So you might not want to do that at all times…