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NS 430 Navigation system

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BetaIcon.png This is a beta module.

This module is still being developed and may still be missing some features and equipment options. It is playable and most of the content is there, but some final touches and fixes for minor bugs are still in the works. It is probably safe to buy unless you crave absolute fidelity and/or very few bugs.

There are modules and there are modules, and then there is this oddity. It is exactly what it says on the tin: a GNS 430 “NS 430” GPS/Nav/Comm system for a whole slew of aircraft — notably ones that do not already have any kind of GPS functionality. Originally, this module was a plugin for the the Mi-8MTV2 that bolted into the dashboard, but it has since been changed to be more universally applicable as a 2D overlay, and sub-modules are instead available that create in-cockpit interactive parts.

It is a very accurate recreation of the GNS 430 (which, coincidentally, can be studied and learned in Garmin's own 400/500-series simulator app), and with the expansion to allow it to be used in more than just the Mi-8MTV2, it has almost become useful even though it is not the prettiest thing when just used as a 2D overlay.

Features

Just like the real GSN 430, this module offers:

  • Dual VHF and VOR tuning with quick flip-blop between active and preparation frequencies.
  • GPS and VOR location tracking.
  • Moving map display with terrain and altitude warning indications.
  • Flight plan and waypoint management, including fuel planning.
  • Airport, navpoint, and beacon database, including departure and approach procedures and emergency divert functionality.

It also contains navigation and terrain data and tools for planning routes between and approaches to airports, which allows for more complex navigation under more adverse conditions than the baseline instruments do.

Missing features

The NS 430 is labelled as “early access” in the DCS shop, in part because the developers are still being rather coy about which aircraft will end up getting full integration with the module, and in part because some functionality is still outright missing. In particular:

  • Mission-editor options for selectively enabling/disabling the module are still lacking.
  • The COM/radio option can not be used for communications and is not integrated with any on-board radio systems.
  • The NDB/VOR receivers are not integrated with any on-board navigational systems (but can still be used in the NS 430 for regular waypoint navigation).
  • The manual is still a work in progress in terms of describing how to operate the module.
  • It is not fully compatible with VR, and has some bugs related to multi-monitor setups.
  • The actual navigation is not entirely accurate, with ground track and bearing errors that suggest some miscalculations between true and magnetic headings.

Supported modules

At the moment, the NS 430 is available as a 2D overlay in the following aircraft:

A-10A F-5E-3 I-16 MiG-29A, G, S Su-25T
AJS-37 F-5E (MAC) L-39 (MAC) M2000C Su-27 / J-11
AV-8B F-86F MiG-15bis P-51D Su-33
Bf 109 K-4 F-86F (MAC) MiG-15 (MAC) SA342 TF-51D
C-101 Fw 190 D-9 MiG-21bis Spitfire UH-1H
F-15C Hawk MiG-21 (MAC) Su-25 Yak-52

In addition, there are two sub-modules that further expand on the NS 430's integration for other aircraft.

Note: while it is not immediately obvious, you can use the mouse to interact with the 2D overlay even in “non-clicky” FC3-style aircraft by first turning on the cursor (LAltC) and then clicking away. In full-sim aircraft, this is the default state, so there is no need to do this extra step, and in the fully integrated cockpits, it is no different from other cockpit instruments.

NS 430 Navigation System for Mi-8MTV2

The Mi-8MTV2 is not exactly lacking in navigation and radio equipment as it is, between its R-863, YaDRO-1A, R-828, ARK-9, and ARK-UD homing receivers and its DISS-15 doppler navigator, but they all rely on the presence of the appropriate transmitters, or on accurate relative position data and somewhat careful flying. It is all (mid-)20th century tech — the NS 430 brings the Magnificent Eight into the new millennium, or at least into the 1990s, with the ability to home to more modern aviation beacons and to use GPS navigation.

If you already own the Mi-8MTV2 and the NS 430, this extra module turns the NS 430 into an actual in-cockpit system that exists alongside all the other dials, buttons, and gauges on the co-pilot's console. The functionality is the same, but you now manipulate it like any of the other stuff in the helicopter.

(Perhaps not entirely) coincidentally, one of the campaigns for the Mi-8MTV2 is the Oilfield Campaign, which is all about mastering the helicopter's various navigation options. The NS 430 could certainly have helped with that particular problem, but the GPS is fortunately not available there, so getting it for that reason would not work. Then again, doing so would mean that half the challenge of the campaign is removed — and the NS 430 will also not do sling loading for you, which is the other half.

NS 430 Navigation System for L-39C

In sharp contrast, the L-39C, is not exactly blessed with an abundance of navigation aids. It has its NDB homing system, and the RSBN/ИСКРА radio navigation system — both of which rely on beacons that are increasingly rare. Indeed, ИСКРА is only half-available on the Caucasus map, and completely unavailable everywhere else — the ПРМГ landing mode is even less rare, as it is only supported by three airports in the entire game. This may make sense if you are actually a cadet trying to learn how to fly; it makes things quite inconvenient in all other cases.

Here too, if you have the L-39C and the NS 430 already, this extra module adds the NS 430 as a 3D-rendered in-cockpit clicky system for the pilot. If the holographic sight has been removed in the L-39 Special options tab, the NS 430 will show up in place of the sight in the L-39C front seat, otherwise, it will be available in the back-seat. This allows the instructor to find new ways to challenge and monitor to poor front-seat student. The navigation system is not available (at least not as an integrated 3D instrument) in the ZA variant.

Links and files

Related DCS modules

DCS World
Add‑on modules Combined Arms · NS 430 Navigation system · WWII Assets Pack