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Old 02-05-2019, 06:28 PM   #121
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In today’s Hornet mini-date, I thought I’d start talking about some of the Data Link (D/L) and Situational Awareness (SA) page fundamentals prior to release. We hope to release into the Open Beta later this month. There is a lot to take in, so let’s get started early. Naturally, there will be introduction videos, academic videos, interactive training lessons, and a manual chapter on this. Let’s talk about some of the elements:

Much like the HSI, you have your TDC relation to bullseye (A/A Waypoint) in the top left corner. In the same manner, you have many of the same waypoint controls like display of the selected waypoint, bearing/distance/time to selected waypoint, and sequence options. If the selected waypoint is visible on the SA display, it appears as a circle with the waypoint number in the center, with north arrow.

In the bottom left corner are your chaff and flare counters. O1 and O2 will come later. Yes, we’ll have option for 120 flares.

When enabled from PB 7, yellow triangle symbols appear along the bearing to air-to-air radar emitters. These have options to be set to off, side, and ID or not.

Green contacts are identified as friendly, red as hostile, and yellow as unknown. This is done through a combination of IFF and NCTR prints.

There are three possible sources of data that can build the SA picture: ownship sensors, other fighters (F/F), and AWACS aircraft like E-2 and E-3 (SURV). These sources are then correlated or they can be toggled on and off from the SENSR sub-level page on PBs 13, 14, and 15. PPLI allows the location and data sharing of networked aircraft.

When only ownship sensors detect a target, only the top half of the HAFU (symbol) is displayed. When only from an F/F donor, only the bottom half is displayed. If both ownship and a donor detect the same contact, then both top and bottom halves of the HAFU are displayed. Contacts only detected by a SURV donor, are smaller in size circle or diamond generally.

When the TDC is assigned to the SA page (indicated as diamond in top right corner), the TDC can be slewed. When placed over a contact, its Mach and altitude in thousands of feet is displayed on either side of the TDC cursor. While hovering over a contact, additional information is displayed in the bottom right corner of the display and this can vary based on its identification. Such data can include: NCTR print, bearing and range from ownship, bearing and range from bullseye, fuel level, callsign, etc.
A small dot on the left side of a green circle indicates it is a donor to the Link-16 network and is sharing data with you. A dot in the center of the circle indicates it is a command and control (C2) asset.

B, C, or D inside a contact indicates it is one of your flight wingmen.

The number shown for red contacts indicates its threat ranking.

A star indicates the track is your L&S target.

More functions will be coming soon, which I’ll talk about at a later point.

Please remember that this is very much work in progress and very much subject to change.

Thanks,
Wags
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:30 PM   #122
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Hornet Mission of the Week
Magnum Force

The Black Sea
24 June 1992, Morning
Fictional

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a renewed conflict in the Caucasus region. The initial attempts by Russian forces to seize Georgian territory were driven back, but that has only strengthened Moscow’s resolve. The Russians continue to build a sizable ground force near Maykop. A fully equipped Motor Rifle Brigade has been identified with additional forces continuing to flow in.

The deployment of additional Russian ground forces to the theater prompted a response by NATO. Cruise missile attacks on Russian airbases and infrastructure bought NATO enough time to deploy air and ground forces to the region. Squadrons of F-15C, F-16C, F/A-18C, A-10A, and Tornado fighter and attack aircraft are now operating from Georgia and the Black Sea. These are augmented by a small number of Georgian assets, mostly L-39 light attack aircraft.

Small detachments of Russian Su-27 and MiG-29 front-line fighters remain active from Krymsk and Krasnodar under the protection of SA-10 SAM systems, but the threat of an air attack on Georgian targets is minimal.

Your mission:

We will provide SEAD support for a small interdiction package aimed at disrupting enemy road activity and damaging the Maykop railyard. Most enemy supplies, equipment and other materiel enters the area through this single location. Disrupting the flow of enemy supplies will interfere with the enemy troop buildup south of Maykop.

Two flights of two L-39s armed with bombs, callsign Pontiac 1 and Pontiac 5, will depart from Gudauta AB and proceed north to the Maykop railyard target. Additional flights of A-10s, callsign Tusk 1 and Tusk 5, will patrol south of Maykop and destroy enemy ground forces operating in the open. They will be supported by a SEAD flight of four F/A-18C Hornets, callsign Springfield 1 (player), who will orbit southeast of the targets and engage any radar equipped air defense units that become active. A CAP flight of F-15Cs will also be on station to deal with any airborne threats.

The primary target is a railyard consisting of fuel processing facilities to the northeast and warehouses to the southwest. The Pontiac 1 and 2 L-39 flights will ingress separately and attack the target from different headings. Pontiac 1 will bomb the fuel related facilities to the northeast while Pontiac 2 bombs the warehouses.

See the mission planner for a look at the package ingress and egress routes and for detailed navigation planning.

Your F/A-18C SEAD flight, Springfield 1, will be on station to suppress any radar guided air defense threats in the area. An SA-6 SAM site has been identified at Maykop AB and may become active at any time. This site is known to operate very conservatively and to cease transmitting for a short time if an anti-radiation missile launch is suspected. Adjust your tactics to ensure this threat is suppressed while the Pontiac L-39 flights are in the area.

Additional mobile threats may be present in support of ground forces. Radar guided systems may include SA-8 SAMs or ZSU-23-4 AAA. Monitor the radio for the status of radar threats in the area and engage any threats to allied aircraft if able.

Pontiac and Tusk flights will announce when they have left the target area. Springfield 1 may leave the area and return to base after all flights have safely egressed.

An AWACS controller, callsign Focus, will provide early warning of approaching aircraft. Requests for the current situation can be made at any time in your radio AWACS menu by choosing PICTURE or BOGEY DOPE.

Carrier Admin:
TACAN: 74X
ICLS: 11


Success criteria:

- Reach the target area, protect the other flights and return safely to the carrier.


Design notes:

- Enable 'allied flight reports' in your gameplay options. Calls are filtered so only relevant information comes through.

- Open the mission planner for detailed navigation planning. The enemies present on the map represent current intel and is information you are intended to have.

- Different enemy air defense plans are built into the mission. It will play out differently each time.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:22 AM   #123
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Hey everyone,

As always, we are reading everything being said and we understand that some of you are having difficulty with weapons delivery accuracy and the pullup cue/break X. Based on the next planned Open Beta update, I made this video to help show correct fuze settings and delivery that provides accuracy and staying above the pullup cue.



This should be available in the 13 February 2019 Open Beta update.

- Wags
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:00 PM   #124
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In the next F/A-18 Open Beta update for 13 February 2019 we plan several improvements that include weapon accuracy and pullup cue / Break X logic. This video demonstrates some of these upcoming changes over the Nevada map. This video is also meant to demonstrate accuracy regardless of target MSL elevation or mission temperature / barometric pressure.

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Old 02-11-2019, 04:45 PM   #125
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Hornet Alternate AGM-65F Maverick Slew OPTION

In the next Open Beta we plan to release a new option for the AGM-65F Maverick slew that does not require realistically pressing down on the TDC switch while slewing. This video is to help set it up and understand the logic. This is added to address issues with the Warthog throttle mini-hat.

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Old 02-12-2019, 03:10 PM   #126
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This rambling video provides a look at how I set up my graphics and controls for the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet.

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Old 02-12-2019, 04:05 PM   #127
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Hey everyone,

After our meetings today, I can update you on our current near-term planning for the upcoming Hornet features. For the 27 February update we plan (not promise):
  • JDAM basic operation minus dynamic launch zone
  • HARM TOO and PB modes
  • Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) and Track While Scan (TWS) air-to-air radar modes

Following those, priority items will be:
  • Data Link / Link-16 / MIDS. This has been a huge undertaking and will take a bit more time to get right, particularly for multiplayer data-sharing and creating a unified picture between clients. We want to get this right.
  • New IFF system tied to D/L
  • NCTR tied to D/L
  • JDAM dynamic launch zone.
  • Data Card. This won’t just be a data card but allow you to customize many aspects of your aircraft set up.
  • Lightening II Targeting Pod
  • JSOW

Again, I need to emphasize that this is planning and not a promise. Things can certainly change. We try to be open and provide you insight into our planning, but with the understanding that this is not set in stone.

- Wags
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:37 PM   #128
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The Data Link (D/L) Situational Awareness (SA) page and new radar functions are making steady progress, so I thought I’d make another little update using images. This all very much work in progress and subject to change.

The first image shows the radar format on the left DDI with Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) selected and the TDC hovering over a brick. The brick now displays the selected weapon Launch Acceptable Region (LAR) as well as target Mach (left of HAFU) and altitude in thousands of feet (right of HAFU). The next step would be to designate the target as the Launch and Steering (L&S) target and the ability to set a secondary Designated Target (DT2). Along with a hover over contact, you can get additional information up to three contacts in LTWS mode. With MSI enabled, you’ll also then have D/L information available. Once LTWS is done, then we’ll take care of Track While Scan (TWS) mode.

On the right DDI is the SA page five unknown contacts at the top of the page., They are yellow because they have no ownship IFF interrogation (hover over contact and depress sensor hat switch to interrogate). The staple at the top of the HAFU indicates the player has no IFF on a target, but the lower chevrons indicate friendly donor aircraft (F/F) have set the targets as hostile. Once both the player interrogates the contact and comes back negative, then the HAFU would change to red and be a diamond. In this way, the color and top and bottom of the HAFU tell you a lot about the classification of the contact.

Remember: staple = unknown, chevron = hostile, and semi-circle = friendly. Yellow = unknown, red = hostile, and green = friendly based on ownship.

In the second image the left DDI now shows a target locked in STT with Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) enabled. A successful NCTR print of the target depends on range and aspect angle into the intakes of the contact.

On the right DDI we see that the target is identified as an IL-76 and the star HAFU indicates the STT L&S track. It is yellow because no ownship IFF interrogation has been made. Because the radar is in STT, it is not scanning for other targets. As such, all other contacts on the SA page are from F/F and SURV sources over the D/L. The smaller red triangles are SURV tracks from an AWACS that only the AWACS is seeing. The red lower chevrons with the dot is from a friendly donor (F/F) source.

- Wags
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:30 PM   #129
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Hornet Mission of the Week
Tolicha Peak Shootout


This week’s Hornet mission is back in the Nevada map and focuses on SEAD. I have included both a single player version and a heavily modified 4-player coop version.

Operated as part of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) between Groom Lake and Tonopah Test Range (TTR) is the Tolicha Peak Electronic Combat Range (TPECR). Operated by the 554th Range Group, it is located on the Pahute Mesa and in the middle of nowhere. The TPECR is reported to operate a large array threat air defense radars and associated Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems. The facility is used to evaluate these systems and allow aircrews to train against them. Just as the Air Force has the Red Eagles flying Soviet aircraft out of the Tonopah, the TPECR is the Soviet SAM equivalent.

In this mission, you will takeoff from Tonopah Air Force base and fly south to the TPECR and engage SAM threats as they activate. As you kill one, another will activate. You are loaded with four AGM-88C HARMs, and if you’re good, you can go four for four on the threats. If not, you can rearm at Tonopah.

Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:19 PM   #130
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A new datalink / SA page element was added today to support for SAM threat zones. These are determined before hand and are static indications based on Mission Editor settings. If the unit is hidden it will not appear on the SA display, if it is not hidden, it will display. Just like the real system, this is NOT a dynamic indication based on RWR or any sensors. It simply alerts the pilot of a reported SAM threat that was entered in the mission file before they even took off.

- Wags
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