New 3D models pics of external model of RAZBAM AV-8B Harrier
sweeeeet can’t wait for this one!
No module excites me more than this one. Even the Hornet doesn’t ring all my bells the way the Harrier does.
Razbam’s Harrier in FSX:
Very much excited for this.
That’s a pretty Harrier!
For some reason I do not care for the Hornet or Tomcat at all… I know everyone is totally excited for those though.
I’ll take the Hornet for sure (it drops stuff)…the Tomcat…meh…it will be really cool and all, but I’m not an A2A guy, so that will definitely be more fun for that type of personality. I know eventually the “Bomb-Cat” became quite capable…but I’m guessing we aren’t getting that late model functionality.
As for the Harrier. Well…I’m sure I’ll be instantly smitten with the thing. Can’t wait to try it out…
I’m excited about them both! Both the multirole F/A-18 and the Maritime air superiority fighter, the tomcat. Especially the idea about having a RIO in the back, or actually being the RIO myself and allowing myself to immerse myself in the systems without being disturbed by mundane tasks like flying an aircraft.
I think we’re still in the dark about getting full or any Bombcat capability. Some of the most important developments that would make a tomcat a bombcat were done in the mid 90’s. The LANTIRN was first mounted in the mid 90’s, with some of the first succesful practice LGB employment by the VF-103 in March '95. In Q3 of '95 we know a tomcat deployed an LGB on a target illuminated by an intruder. The VF-103 became the first to be deployed operationally with the lantirn. The lantirn was continually developed including LTS (Lantirn targetting system) and T3 (Tomcat Tactical Targetting), The latter alowing a Tomcat to generate parametres for a GPS/INS guided weapon (JDAM, WCMD) for a target detected on the FLIR. The latter features didn’t see combat untill afghanistan so they are higher on my doubts list.
On the Leatherneck website we can read
Both -A and -B model Tomcats will be included in the DCS: F-14. We are
aiming for a mid 80’s model -A Tomcat, and mid-90s’ -B. This, for
example, means that the Glove Vanes will be disabled on both models,
while other improvements (Engine, Control Systems & More) will
Ground Attack capability will be included in the -B Tomcat, however the
exact sensor package and ordinance available is yet to be decided. It is
possible that we will expand the available ordinance or equipment after
release to encompass more of the F-14’s later capability.
So yeah, we could be up for anything. Note that despite the primary role of the Tomcat is air superiority it has the capability to drop bombs. It has a SMS (Stores managment system) and some of the necesary software in the AWG-9 (Not sure exactly what, maybe to provide for CCIP or CCRP?). It simply never received clearance to do this in combat untill the 90’s.
F-14 Prototype carrying 14 Mk82’s below the fuselage
WELL. From a pragmatic point of view, I think you’d have a hard time arguing that any module prior to the Bug is going to have half of its mission diversity. It’s a 4th generation, all-weather, naval, multirole fighter. To get that sort of variety right now your only real option is Falcon 4.0. Then there’s the capabilities it’s going to unlock for future modules with its sweet, sweet Air-to-Ground radar.
Sentimentally, it’s because this was not only my first simulator, but one of the first games I ever played as a kid:
The F-14? Air-to-air and especially team-oriented air-to-air with other humans is exciting enough. Now, add in a buddy in the same ship and account for the feedback loop that had to happen between a pilot and RIO. Sounds like a lot of fun to me! Furthermore, the JESTER AI and multicrew experience I think is going to open some nice doors for future modules. Want the Strike Eagle, Tornado, Aardvark, Intruder, or Phantom? F-14’s going to be the proof of concept for things necessary for all of those.
I got F/A-18 Hornet 3.0 as a birthday gift, I absolutely loved that game! Especially going for a quick sortie in hawaii, shoot down the airliners and bomb the airport!
The harrier I’m excited for just because its a different beast. The F-18 I’m excited for because well high speed ground and pound and a american SEAD platform in DCS. And the f-14 I’m excited for because we can do 4 g negative dives with "MIG-28s…inverted.
Will the harrier be carrier ops qualified too?
Yes. They don’t operate from Navy carriers, though. The USMC has their own set of smaller carriers called LHD’s or Landing Helicopter Docks.
Adding to that, VF-41 made combat drops of GBU-24s over Serbia in '94 well before the LANTIRN was implemented. After LANTIRN adoption (it is worth noting the LANTIRN was adopted in both the A and B), Afterwards the Tomcat was able to carry a bomb load equal to or greater than the Hornet, farther than the Hornet, and faster than the Hornet. The resolution on the LANTIRN was greater than the NITEHAWK pods in service with the Hornet community at the time, so the Tomcat was also able to provide more accurate targeting, and was highly sought after in the AFAC role. Leatherneck has been coy about whether they’re going to do the LANTIRN, and the impression I get is that it’s reliant on man hours and technical information available. Point is if does make it, all the Hornets shall tremble in fear at the sight of the mid 90s Tomcat in all of it’s resplendent glory. If it doesn’t, it can still carry more bombs further, it just needs a little bit of helping for the PGMs.
The F-14 was always meant to be able to be multi role in the same vein the F-4 was. You can still find pictures like that from the mid-70s testing the operational feasibility of specific bomb loads. However as all things in the 70s, the Tomcat program began running into significant cost overruns stemming from a great many things. The most egregious were the costs of adapting the TF-30 (which was intended to be a stop gap solution) to the Tomcat, and to developing the TF-30s replacement, the Pratt & Whitney F-401 (A derivative of the PW F-100 found in the F-15As). Finally, it got to the point where the Navy was told to get the Tomcat out the door or resignations were going to be solicited. The F-401 got axed, as did a number of “nice to have” features, amongst them was the A/G capability. (Astute pilots will note the F-14A has an A/G mode selector switch in the cockpit). This would also be the immediate reason the USMC declined the F-14 (they had pilots going through the RAG at the time), and ultimately invested in the Hornet and doubled down on the Harrier.
I’m not 100% sure on deliver modes for bombs. I know CCIP is an option, and that would imply that the AWG-9 can be used for basic air to ground ranging (it cannot be used for mapping). I don’t see why CCRP wouldn’t be available either via coordinates or via a HUD designation. All accounts imply it was certainly available once the LANTIRN arrived.
This is sheer pedantry, but the LHDs are still operated by the Navy. Their component air wing is Marine. Harriers can technically operate from CVNs and CVs, but their operations have a habit of disrupting the CATOBAR landing cycle. If the Navy needs to draw on the marines to fill out a CVW, they generally deploy a Hornet squadron. Interestingly enough this has become a point of concern as the Marines plan to replace their entire fleet of fixed wing strike fighters, Hornets and Harriers, with the F-35B. This means they have to figure out a way to make VTOL play nice with CATOBAR.
Also my extreme overzealousness towards the Tomcat does not diminish my anticipation for the Harrier. On a ranked list of “what I want”, it’s #3. Behind the Tom and the Hornet, tied with the Mudhen, preceding the F-4 and A-6.
Harriers have a habit of disrupting EVERYTHING.
Did someone mention A 6?
EDIT: Between the F/A-18s, the F-15s, and now the Harrier. Someone really needs to make a Warthog controller for that generic McDonnell Douglass fighter stick. So much applicability.