DCS Black Shark 2 Testing

After a nine month hiatus from the game and an epic rant I decided to dust off my flight stick and do some basic flight and daylight attacks on stationary targets to see if anything has changed. All of a sudden I can now hit targets with the 9K121 Vikhr anti-tank missiles as long as I am at a sufficient height and distance (perhaps this was my issue before, however I don’t recall having this problem in the original Black Shark).

The Shipunov 2A42 30mm cannon fire was still largely ineffective though as rounds seemingly did little to no damage to the target MBT’s, and back in February I came across a post on the DCS forums where someone else had this issue during a campaign scenario. However a respondent to that thread pointed out that the tanks are heavily armored and need to be shot from the rear (which makes sense to me however this also was not an issue in the original Black Shark).

The basic flight plan included five waypoints with the attack run occurring between three and four and the targets were three German Leopard 2 MBT aligned to a road in a holding position outside of Senaki. The MBT are no slouches though as they will pop smoke, move (even if initially stationary) and obviously fire back if within range.

This is clearly not a tactical deployment for these forces however I have not flown the game for almost a year so I am taking baby steps.

After completing the startup sequence (auto start left windows key + home key for us weekend warriors) the aircraft is ready and the rough map overlay shows the route sequencing that has been fed into the ABRISAdvanced Moving Map System.

I enter waypoint one into the PVI-800 navigation computer and select route mode so that the aircraft runs the course on autopilot. During this time I struggle trying to turn off the navigation lights however I finally give up after a few minutes.

This is a good reference video for the accurate usage of the ABRIS and PVI-800 systems in the game (as I don’t pretend to know exactly what I am doing yet).

After reaching waypoint two the helicopter banks and heads towards the attack point.

Here I am distracted trying different things to turn off the navigation lights (I know it is in the options somewhere) and almost fly straight into some power lines.

I put waypoint three near some train tracks for visual reference, and once I complete the turn towards waypoint four I will be approximately 3.5km away from the targets off to my right. At this point I have to disengage route mode in order to orientate the airframe towards the targets.

The first Vikhr is released and crashes far in front of the target. I have an acceptable distance, but my height is too low at 069p on the HUD.

To remedy this I raise the aircraft above 100 and let another missile go towards the closest target.

All of the targets have been hit and are either destroyed or brewing up.

Back in route mode the helicopter flies over the destroyed German MBT’s along the road.

On the approach to the airbase I fly over an urban center to grab a screen shot of what some of the built up areas look like. While these graphics may be dated and not up to par with what is currently on the market, they are more than adequate for this simulation.

Almost wheels down for the end of the mission. This was completely oversimplified as I did not contact the control tower for any permissions or guidance and simply just flew the aircraft in. There will be time for that more advanced stuff if I can stick with this long enough to get into the campaign scenarios.

For some reason I like driving it back to the rear areas (called paddocks?) because the valet service around this place sucks. One time this conscript put a scratch in the side…

After-action Report

Take off, kill some tanks, land. I still don’t like the fact they list the pilot as “Pilot # 001” when in the original it listed the actual call sign (such as “Lab Rat”), but that is a minor gripe now that I can employ the anti-tank missiles better. The cannon fire is still problematic and I will have to practice different approaches to the targets to determine if I am simply aiming at the wrong spot.

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