Sunday, July 24, 2022

DCS F1 Mirage - First Kill

 The Mirage F1 from Aerges is now available for DCS World.

In this entry, a short narrative of my first kill, along with newbie impressions about this virtual combat aircraft.

The Mirage F1 is a single engine French fighter and attack aircraft. First conceived as an interceptor, it has seen many variants and expanded in its ground-attack capabilities.

Going back to 1975, when the F1-CE variant (the first variant available for this module) was first exported to Spain, the Mirage must have been a capable adversary for anything the Warsaw Pact could throw at it. Everything changed, of course, when the Mig-29 entered service.

For demonstration purposes, I'm debriefing you on a absolutely-senseless mission created with the editor. The area of operations is the Persian Gulf. I'm flying solo in a Mirage F1 CE of the Escadron de Chasse 1/13 Normandie-Niémen. I'm armed with 2x R550 Magic (IR guidance) and 2x R530F EM (semi-active radar guided) missiles. Scrambled from Al Minhab airbase as a response to a single Iranian Mig-23 that violated the United Arab Emirates airspace. 

If the busy and intense panels of a second generation fighter is your thing, you belong here.
Take off from Al Minhab. I went creative and decided to trim the aircraft instead of just deploying the flaps. Bad idea: upon reaching 150 kts I got a tail strike.

The scope of the CYRANO IV fire control radar is nominally able to detect targets at 60 nm. Our nominal Mig-23 is a bit more stealthy than advertised. But not as bad as the Mig-21s, for which you have more chances of crashing on it before getting a radar return.

Until I finally I got a lock. Note the radar detector panel on the lower right. We are being tracked pretty by the Mig-23. The direction is from the front, and the type of radar signal is a modulated pulse. This is the equivalent of hearing a bad dude yelling your name and walking towards you in a dark alley. 

The HUD showing the radar lock (yellow square, top right of the glass). This is one of the rare occasions in which I fenced-in semi-decently. The big green dot indicates that the firing solution is OK, which I doubt because the interception cue is all above my flight path marker (yellow aircraft-shaped symbol). My fear of loosing airspeed is overblown and I dare not to climb up there.

In the middle of all the internal deliberation of air combat maneuvers, I notice that the interception cue does a crazy dance and moves to the right and down. The bastard is breaking and diving! In a split second I take out my attention from the jettison button and fire two consecutive Matra, radar-guided missiles. I break left and instead of punching the fuel tank, I punch the afterburner. 

The first missile could not keep up with the Gs the Mig has pulled. It continues aimlessly down, its trajectory seemingly a collateral damage nightmare. This is a heavily populated area, Sharjah the third biggest city in the Emirates. The TacView file shows that the missile landed near the west end of the main taxiway in the Sharjah airport.

The second missile, a different story. With a few seconds advantage, it had no problems to lock on a less G-loaded aircraft. It guides like a dog chasing a car. This bite is going to be heard down below.

Splash one. 

I performed a quick overfly of the area where the Mig-23 crashed. It was on the east-bound side of route E-88. Major traffic jam today, says the guy zooming past at 450 kts.

RTB navigation. My TACAN station is 99X and I am not going to do anything fancy. I am here just after dialing for a radial at 90 degrees.

The navigator indicator offers a variety of signal sources but I am sticking to TACAN today. 7 nm toAl Minhab. The thick arrowhead indicates the direction of the TACAN station.  

A combination of horrible trimming, bad throttle work and lack of anticipation resulted in a landing borderline crash. If there is anything like flying behind the jet, I extended it to all the airborne time.


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