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Hornet Roadmap Discussion


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Dear Community and Hornet Pilots,

 

Today I would like to discuss with you our DCS: F/A-18C Hornet roadmap. We look forward to working with you in a constructive and efficient manner to create an achievable and transparent roadmap that covers the features to be delivered by the end of 2020 that will bring the Hornet out of Early Access.

 

I have also included the features that we plan to work on in 2021 to sustain the Hornet after Early Access completion.

 

DCS: F/A-18C Out of Early Access Features:

 

1. Completion of the Litening Targeting Pod (to be delivered with next update)

2. Dynamic launch zone, AUTO mode for JDAM (to be delivered with next update)

3. AG radar. MAP + Fixed Target Track (FTT) (to be delivered with next update)

4. SLAM air-to-surface missile (to be delivered in next update)

5. [ complex ] AG radar. EXP modes (1-2-3), GMT and GMTT modes, and SEA search mode

6. [ difficult ] Azimuth / Elevation air-to-air radar mode with AUTO IFF modes

7. [ difficult ] Coupled autopilot modes

8. [ difficult ] ACLS mode

9. [ difficult ] Datalink symbols, EW symbols, and AG mode for JHMCS

10. [ normal ] Correct possible flare number loaded

11. [ normal ] ASPJ ECM jammer

12. [ normal ] Adjust countermeasure programs when on ground

13. [ normal ] Mark points

14. [ normal ] Offset waypoints

15. [ difficult ] SLAM-ER air-to-surface missile

16. [ difficult ] Harpoon, SEA radar directed mode (FTT)

17. [ iterations during 2020 until completed] Update flight model for ground effect, takeoff pitch effects, auto-pilot based on FPM, touch and go handling, and other remaining flight model issues

 

Complex - 12-20 weeks of development

Difficult - 4-8 weeks of development

Normal - 2-3 weeks of development

 

DCS: F/A-18C Hornet Improvements in 2021:

 

1. Jamming targets not displayed on radar, should be in dugout

2. Aircraft Setup Card in Options

3. Mission Card for 60 waypoints with properties (Sequence 1, 2, 3, PP, PB, Initial, etc.)

4. RWS RAID air-to-air radar sub-mode missing

5. Radar SPOT mode

6. AG radar interleaved mode (SEA and GMT)

7. AG radar. AGR (air to ground ranging) mode

8. HARM Pre-Briefed mode

9. GBU-32 JDAM

10. Select AA and AG on ground

11. TALD decoy

12. AIM-7P

13. Mk-77 firebomb

14. GBU-24 Paveway III LGB

15. IN LAR cue is missing

16. The missing function of WIDE radar auto acquisition mode, cannot slew it

17. UFC BU page

18. Flight member TGT ground target SA page symbol missing

19. Fuel BIT (FLBIT) Page

20. MUMI Page

21. Gun sparks at night

22. INS / GPS full simulation and alignment (carrier and ground)

23. LOFT modes, ARM, JPF, and other JDAM and JSOW remaining functions

24. BDU-45 Training Bomb

25. GEN-X decoy

26. S/A and AUTO countermeasure modes

27. ATFLIR

 

We decided to first focus on the most difficult features to develop and finish them this year. This, however, will slow down our F-16C Viper development efforts. However, F-16C will continue to be updated in 2020, and it will receive updates to the targeting pod, updates for HUD and HSD, steerpoint creation, and the addition of more weapons.

 

We are open and look forward to your comments and requests. Let’s discuss it and finalize the plan!

 

Sincerely,

The Eagle Dynamics Team

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Well, I guess my initial concern earlier this year was legitimate. Hornet wont be out of EA by the end of the year and still be missing basic stuff like GPS/INS, GBU 32, 24 and jamming....

 

To give at least some feedback I'd rather see the SLAM-ER get replaced by the GBU-32 and 24 Paveway III and move up the list for this year. This should be much easier to implement and make more people happy. Unless I am wrong on this one, in which case I'd like to hear everyone's feedback regarding this.


Edited by Airhunter
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Not sure how the definition of a released aircraft can change just like that... many of the so-called “improvements” post release are features that were promised long before early access release. I mean, we’ve been hearing about work on HARM PB mode for a while now, now suddenly it’s not an essential feature and it’s been pushed to 2021 out of early access? Multiple weapons, radar modes, even ATFLIR, the only targeting pod we were originally supposed to get, are all now not release features of the hornet? The viggen is several times more feature complete than your planned “release” state and it’s still in early access.

"Fighter pilots have ice in their veins. They don't have emotions. They think, anticipate. They know that fear and other concerns cloud your mind from what's going on and what you should be involved in." -Buzz Aldrin

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Personally i would interleave the difficult and normal stuff a little bit. The small improvements can do quite a bit for overall quality of life in the simulation. They're not hot and flashy new missile or feature but make things so much more enjoyable. Like being able to setup your plane before the mission, dispense programs, waypoints etc. That isn't planned until next year but I see it as a big quality of life improvement. Some of these new flashy features i have a feeling will be used once or twice by the majority and that's it where as the small changes are used constantly.

 

I would also be interested if you could look at other modules that have the features and make a determination if they are as popular or needed as others based on actual usage. Sometime what we want and what we use can be very different!

 

Thanks for the opportunity to be in the discussion ED. Great comms on this and look forward to the next updates.

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DCS: F/A-18 Platypus

 

ED,

 

With the recent update on the Hornet's roadmap, what is the definition you are using to define a released (complete) product? At the end of 2020 the Hornet will be out of EA but still missing over 20 items. How exactly is this product out of EA? What state are you considering it to be in at the end of 2020 and what will it be considered at the end of 2021?

 

 

- Thump

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I’m just going to say it once

 

Saying ‘out of EA in 2020’ and then the long list of fixes to be done in 2021 are mutually exclusive statements and indicate you are attempting to move the goalpost.

 

Secondly, it is good you have indicated the Viper will slow to a crawl. I take this as tacit acknowledgement you have bitten off more than you can chew.

 

Going from purchase of an EA model in 2018, to a failure to deliver in 2019, with several announcement re ‘complete in 2020’ for the Hornet to THIS, basically has ensured I will never trust ED again with money for an EA product.

 

Your treatment of the Hornet has burned any goodwill to ED as an organisation I have left.

 

I will not reply to any comments by any member of the community or ED on this statement, and I hope that it will be left here instead of moderated so it is a visible representation of at least one of your consumers unhappiness.

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Wait and see, I guess. You never know, a lot of things might be checked off rather quickly if a certain problem gets solved. But then, it's a plan. We'll see if it works out or not.

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I'm perfectly okay with you missing the 2020 "Out of EA" target, and pushing into 2021, especially with 27 more items to do on a "released" product.

 

The A-10C was before my time, does anybody know how many weapons/features were added to the module after the declared release? Is there precedent for this, or is the Hornet new territory for this practice?

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I'm having more and more difficulty understanding the difference between an Early Access Module, a Released Module, and a Completed Product.

 

The definition seems to shift week to week, product to product, I don't believe this is the way things should be.

 

Thanks for the update...

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Thank you for that comprehensive update, Wagz!

 

I have a question about the AIM-7P. I fully understand this item is quite low-priority for the Hornet, but would this be something that can be developed in cooperation with Heatblur to speed up its development time (or bump it up in priority)? Since the Tomcat would benefit from that missile...

Or if it's going to stay as ED-only item, will it be compatible later on with the Tomcat, without the issues we witnessed with the -7M (ED aircraft and the F-14 having a different development version of the same missile)?

 

 

The definition seems to shift week to week, product to product, I don't believe this is the way things should be.

Indeed: we clearly see that with the Mirage 2000C, which - 3 years after "release" status is it? - is still not completed. It sets a bad example, rather than something other developers should follow...

 

Thanks!


Edited by Elysian Angel
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One constructive addition. Aircraft and mission cards should be a priority as both a QOL change, and one that could impact many planes. It was teased a year ago and then went silent. It should have been released sooner and doing it this year would also benefit the Viper.

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One constructive addition. Aircraft and mission cards should be a priority as both a QOL change, and one that could impact many planes. It was teased a year ago and then went silent. It should have been released sooner and doing it this year would also benefit the Viper.

 

This 100%

 

It would benefit more than just the Viper, every module in DCS could be positively benefited from adding this.

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Aircraft radar and systems need to be finished before everything else. Weapons can come after the aircraft is coded to support it lol
Second this. Weapons can come later.

Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tze

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Well, well...I just cant believe this. Seems like ED lied us again: "Hornet will be out of EA by the end of 2020". :music_whistling:

 

No, it will not be out from EA, it will be with 27 missing features, cmon. We wont have even main TGP (ATFLIR)...

 

And no, I dont want to discuss that, I just want Hornet finished in the end of 2020.That was i paid for.

 

3 years for EA is more than enought, it should be finished a long time ago.

 

But now we wont have it ready even in the end of 2020...

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I'm perfectly okay with you missing the 2020 "Out of EA" target, and pushing into 2021, especially with 27 more items to do on a "released" product.

 

The A-10C was before my time, does anybody know how many weapons/features were added to the module after the declared release? Is there precedent for this, or is the Hornet new territory for this practice?

 

A10C was feature complete and 'released' within about 5 months. No new systems/weapons were added during that time, apart from tweaks. As far as I recall.

 

It was essentially complete, functionality wise, at release.

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Wags,

 

Thank you for the update. I am glad that although it may take a bit longer, you and the team are not compromising features just to get the product out of the door. I look forward to flying in DCS as a close simulation of the aircraft.

 

Please continue with the communication throughout development and be open and honest with the challenges the team is facing. We understand that it is extremely difficult to develop such high fidelity products.

 

Personally, I would like to see more of the system features added sooner than the new weapons.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

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So what qualifies as 'Out of Early Access'? Because it's certainly not feature complete based on that list.

 

Wags, that's a very long list of important items to be done 'sometime in 2021'. It does not leave the Hornet complete by the end of the year. Which many were assumed the 'out of early access' label meant.

 

If a grown up discussion needs to take place about features vs. manpower this year then fine. As long as the goal posts don't change again.

 

(Data card / INS simulation / HARM pre-brief / GBU-32 should all move up the list - own opinion)

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Did they ever promise though?

While our warbirds and helicopter teams are focused on the P-47D and Mi-24P, our modern-day jets team will be working diligently on the Hornet and Viper, with the goal for both to be feature complete and out of early access by the end of 2020.

https://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p=4160206&postcount=232

 

Granted, not a very lucky formulation/plan just 4 months ago, but things change and can change quick in the world.

- Jack of many DCS modules, master of none.

- Personal wishlist: F-15A, F-4S Phantom II, JAS 39A Gripen, SAAB 35 Draken, F-104 Starfighter, Panavia Tornado IDS.

 

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Thanks for the transparency. I personally did expect some features to come after 2020. But I would like to suggest that you include the full INS simulation, MGRS entry(!), MDATA HSI sublevel, AOT radar contacts and SPOT mode to the Early Access phase. They're integral parts of the jet, in my opinion, at least the INS system.

Also, I would like to ask what are the plans for finishing the following before declaring the Hornet complete?

HOTAS functions.

Full HSI functions, such as the SENSOR and SLEW options, Reference Waypoint etc.

TGT DATA page.

MIDS radios.

As well as addressing a few longstanding issues, such as the issue with the ALR-67v2 azimuth update rate (right now, azimuth updates only when the RWR updates, not with ownship maneuvers, although its readings should be tied to a specific azimuth).

Thanks for the post, Wags. Looking forward to the next updates.

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