KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA


First off, let me start by saying, I’m not trying to start a petition for F-16, nor am I inclined to do so because in the world of flight sim developers, all the  emotion and  excitement that I or some other virtual pilot might feel at the prospect of a new product, in this case a desired module, has to be balanced against the developer’s bottom line, which has to be part of any  equation they may postulate, since they have to assume the risk involved.Then there are developmental considerations in addition to cost as well. Is it ‘do-able?’ How hard will it be? how long will it take ,and how many will we sell when we get there? All legitimate concerns to be sure. So I’m not going to add to any pressure devs might get from fans on the ‘Wish List’.Now I know what you’re thinking; …”if it’s not a petition, then what the hell is it?  The simple answer is , it’s a position rather than petition. if it were a petition, I’d be asking you to sign something or ‘like’ something and I’m not doing that. What I’m offering is my opinion as to why, the module should be developed. Such articles can be a method of finding out what people want through feedback I suppose, but mostly, I just like to write about this stuff. But since the ‘F-16 Petition for DCS’ has once again appeared on Facebook last week or other, I figured I’d see what I could come up with, without sticking my neck out too much.

 

“...BMS Falcon is out there, which precludes the need for DCS: F-16C “…

What I am doing is attempting  to make case for this aircraft to be considered by someone, whether Eagle Dynamics or a 3rd party developer as a worthy addition to the “Flying Legends Collection”, and before anyone brings it up(and I know they will), there’s already BMS Falcon and yes I know; ..”they have a dynamic campaign”or ”It’s already been done…blah,blah, blah...on and on. I have heard that argument countless times and while there are proponents in the DCS Community fore a more ‘dynamic campaign, the notion that since BMS Falcon, is out there, precludes the need  for, DCS:F-16C. I say, to hell with that.  Still others will argue that the Viper doesn’t have  ‘undefeated air to air  record say , compared to an F-15C Eagle and that part would be true, some F-16s have been lost in air to air engagements,  but so what? Many Mustangs were lost during ww2. Do any doubt it’s legendary status? Nope. Besides, the F-15C, does currently enjoy an undefeated status to date, it’s still not really part of the “Collection”, so there is already a Modern USAF high fidelity, clickable cockpit, fighter deficit, save A-10C, which we all know is an attack fighter. Then there’s A/G radar modeling that until only recently have the possibilities become real.

Having said all that, let’s take minute examine this remarkable airplane. Most of us are familiar with most general history of the General Dynamics F-16 and that it’s selection, was the result of fly-off completion between General Dynamics in Fort Worth, TX and Northrop Aircraft in Hawthorne, CA for the U.S. Air Force’s Lightweight Fighter competition, and that the General Dynamics entry won the day, and the rest is history. Well, ok. let’s take a look at that history. It’s combat history is a good place to start. Most people, Americans mostly, believe the Viper’s first taste of combat was during Operation Desert Storm, where Coalition , aircrews with their respective combat aircraft, including F-16s were employed with great effect against Saddam’s forces, but, that’s not quite the way it worked out. That particular distinction goes to the IAF (Israeli) in the very early eighties.

israel-F16_2611080b

On June 7, 1981, a flight of eight F-16As of the IAF (Zroa HaAvir VeHahalal), with an escort of six F-15As, made short work of Saddam’s nuclear reactor at Osirik during Operation Opera, returning to their respective bases unscathed, and in 1982, IAF F-16s accounted for 44 air to air kills in the skies over Lebanon. During the Soviet Afghanistan Conflict, Pakistani F-16s engaged and shot down at least eight unidentified ‘intruders.’  Not bad for a little guy. During the first Gulf War, U.S.F-16s played a very limited role, in due in large part the fact F-4G Wild Weasles, had the SEAD Mission tied up and both U.S. and Saudi air forces were operating F-15s at the ‘high end’ and they along with Navy and Marine F/A-18s accounted for the majority of recorded kills and got a fair amount of grief from the ‘Eagle Drivers’. In fact the first  USAF F-16 air to air victory did not occur until 27 December 1992, during enforcement of the ‘No Fly Zone” over Iraq against a Mig-25 Foxbat , and was also the first operation use of the AIN-120 Amraam missile. Since then, however the “Viper” has earned it’s keep, flying sortie after sortie, with excellent overall mission reliability

” While the F-4G was a capable platform the Phantom ll, was get a little long of tooth…”

Nevertheless, F-16″Viper” and their crews, have racked up an enormous number of sorties, in actions over Kosovo, Afghanistan, by NATO forces and USAF over Iraq in Operation Enduring Freedom, flying the SEAD mission at last, and doing so ably. While the F-4G was a capable platform, Phantom ll , was getting a little long of tooth, and F-4Es were withdrawn from front-line service, so the type’s days were numbered in any case. One of the many advantages that the F-16 series had over the F-4 was it’s  smokeless Pratt & Whitney F-100 turbofan engine, which despite being tempermental and sometimes unreliable, still represented quite a leap in engine power and efficiency, and even though subsequent F-16 variants were and pretty much continue to be powered by the General Electric F-110 powerplant, unlike the Phantom which painted a smoky trail across the sky when in ‘military power’, settings, the smaller more agile Viper makes a smaller , harder to hit target than it’s heavier brethren. As a result the Fighting Falcon, has come into it’s own, as an extremely competent multi-mission weapon platform and while it’s viewed as a legacy system, it’s still a very potent aircraft with more than a few good years left. Some proponents  argue that with the rising cost of 5th generation combat aircraft development, long lead times and a ‘fighter gap’ looming for both USAF and the Navy, maybe 4.5th generation combat aircraft, may be the way to go at least as a stop-gap  measure. Not an unreasonable proposal, and worthy of consideration.

One thing I am certain of , is that the F-16C Fighting Falcon or “Viper”,  ‘brainchild’ of Major John Boyd, and Thomas P. Christie’s Energy Manueverability Theory along with  his Fighter Mafia, a near-renegade bunch of air force officers and civilians, visionaries all, deserves to accorded the title; ‘Flying Legend’ and should be added to the Fighter Collection. Just a suggestion. Then, we can all have one..

 

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a mission in the skies near Iraq on March 22. The F-16s are from the 35th Fighter Wing "Wild Weasels", Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby)

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. so to recap, this is not a petition, you have heard all the stories, and gave a history most of already know (in your words), so what was the point of the article again?

    While i do agree with the sentiment that a DCS: F-16C module would bring an incredibly versatile platform to DCS World, it would have been nice to see an article that actually stated “how/why”.

    For example many of the recent additions are great aircraft, and their real world counterparts may have very important roles, but keeping in mind that in addition to being a simulation, this is still a sort of game, and having an aircraft that is only able to carry 2 AIM-9s or a couple iron bombs doesn’t lead to the most engaging game play. Meaning you start off on a MP session or a mission and there is a bogey… you fire 2 AIM9’s defeat your target with some fancy flying, but now your ‘gaming session’ is over. So while that aircraft might have been great in real world cause it was able to do that and bring you home safe, having something like the F-16 that could do that while still carrying some additional A-A missiles like the F-15 and/or lots of advanced A-G armament options like the A-10 really opens up a lot of extended multi-role game play that just doesn’t exist anywhere in DCS. Right now, you can do complex A-G stuff if the advanced A-10C or you can do fairly complex A-A stuff in the simplified F-15C both giving you a decent amount of munitions but almost every either jet/plane is very limited beyond that (excluding a couple other FC3 modules that are also lower fidelity but carry game play that is just a minor variant of the F-15).

    Again the main point here should have been arguing the point on how a multi-role fighter like the F-16 would bring us some really new and engaging game play options to an arguably stagnant combat sim from a game play standpoint. That said, the F/A-18 will likely give us a lot of that muti-role game play, so it may negate that point to some degree, i think the same type of combat sim fun could be had with the F-16 in the midst of DCS world.

    I don’t want to be interpreted as stating that all of DCS game play is boring or totally stagnant, as i am not writing a full article here, i just wanted to highlight a few points that i felt could have made the basis for an article that could have served a more valuable purpose.

    • The Mirage 2000C have been released already and yet that aircraft can carry “only” 4 air to air missiles.
      It can also carry unguided bombs, rockets and GBUs.
      In term of gameplay, the F-16C can provide comparable gameplay opportunities if not more to my opinion.

      But more importantly, the amount of available information about the F-16C is phenomenal and could enable the possibility to create a very accurate module of the real thing in a more “modern” environment such as DCS World and to interact with others very accurate modules.

  2. The point was to start a conversation. I’m pretty sure most game players who are proponents of F-16 are all aware of all these attributes the this particular platform would bring to the ‘gaming table’, in terms of mission potential, as we are all constantly reminded by fans of BMS Falcon who constantly remind the rest of all those things. That being said, I nevertheless appreciate your remarks, which in addition to being helpful to a fledgling author such as myself, let’s me know the most important thing. Somebody is reading this stuff, and I appreciate it, and will bear this in mind in subsequent features.

    Cheers.

  3. It’s worth discussing, and thank you for the article. I agree that it would be a good inclusion to the DCS world at some point, but I think it’s premature. Here’s why:

    1) DCS is indeed lacking a multirole fighter module, however we are five odd years into development of the F/A-18C, an aircraft that is closer to the F-16 than any other western fighter. Anything we can do in a 16 we can do in an 18, for the most part. It also adds carrier ops.

    2) The BMS point is significant. BMS whilst dated in areas, still has a strong following, and still outshines DCS in some areas. So the 16 sim community still has an outlet, albeit in a different sim.

    3) We don’t currently have a fully realised 4th gen Russian fighter module. Perhaps it would make more sense to make the next full DCS module a MiG-29, and possibly the K variant?

    • Good point in that it is true ,that F/A-18C, can pretty much anything that f-16 can, and offers carrier ops to boot. Looking forward to it, personally. My reasons for initiating the discussion in the first place, was something of a response to Facebook post on Digital Combat Simulator, that seems to recur, and so I thought,” why not?”, and so here we are. For me personally, it’s the historical significance of the type, in terms of design philosophy, edge cutting technology and all that other cool stuff.

      On the Mig-29, I would really like to see that, particularly the “K” variant. I seem to recall Razbam was working on one for FSX only. Don’t know for certain if that’s still in the pipe or not. But then, M2000C started out that way too. Still, I wouldn’t hold my breath, since as far as I know, F-15E Strike Eagle is their next priority after the Mirage is fully released. We’ll have to wait and see, same as always. Your remarks are greatly appreciated. Keep em’ coming!

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