|This is an alpha module.
This module is still being developed and is missing central features and equipment options. While it is playable, it may have major bugs, and procedures may have inconsistent or unexpected results. The intrepid and very interested may want to buy it; others should probably wait for a more stable or complete release.
DCS: Supercarrier is a long-anticipated and long hyped attempt at injecting a bit more realism into one of the more complex parts of aviation: putting a fighter jet onto a heaving carrier deck without exploding. This module adds a more detailed version of the Nimitz supercarrier than is already present in DCS, with more navigation aids, animated deck crew, more advanced spawning options, more elaborate ATC and approach procedures as well as additional not-quite-spectator roles such as Air Boss and LSO, similar to the JTAC and tactical commander roles available in Combined Arms.
In addition, the module adds a few more decorative static objects and vehicles to round out a fleet-based mission, just in time for the release of the Mariana Islands map: deck vehicles, the Arleigh Burke destroyer, as well as updates to the Russian Kuznetsov carrier.
According to the pre-sale blurb, Supercarrier will feature:
- Updated and animated models of the CVN-71 through -75 Nimitz-class supercarriers.
- An updated and animated model for the Kuznetsov carrier.
- The Arleigh Burke destroyer.
- Suitable on-deck vehicles and updated air defence systems.
- Updated landing aids, including more involved ATC procedures and more detailed landing and navigation lights.
- LSO, Airboss, and briefing room stations, complete with Combined Arms integration.
- Drastically updated abilities to set up spawn points of aircraft in the mission editor.
While only owners of the Supercarrier module will be able to interact with all of this and use the assets in the mission-editor, non-owners can still fly in multiplayer missions where the supercarriers are used — they just can't spawn, launch, or do (proper) recoveries on them.
The Supercarrier module is still in early access, and while the announced feature list is nice, there are quite a few things missing:
- The different crew stations, other than a rudimentary PLAT camera view for the LSO.
- Keybinds, interactions, and multiplayer crew slots for the different stations.
- Full integration with all carrier-capable aircraft, notably the Harrier and the helicopters.
- A full set of options to turn some of the more annoying and spammy features off, such as landing grades being broadcast to everyone everywhere whenever anything lands.
On the other hand, the implementation of Supercarrier, even in the base game so as to support its existence in multiplayer missions even for non-owners, means that some features have been backported into the old carriers and solved some long-standing issues with them. Spawn queues and spawn slots are now less of a limitation (but still do not work properly for the Harrier).
While it is completely non-interactive, it is possible for observers to get a full view of the new launch operations with all the funny-coloured men running around and waving in the air. A new catapult camera view can be accessed using RCtrlF9 that gives a close-up of the action.
Carriers in DCS have had a recovery view for ages, but it has been somewhat hidden and even its one feature — a zoom — was removed at some point. With the Supercarrier, the LSO view is back, now with fully animated PLAT cam screens and controls, some of which might at some point become interactive. For now, the LAltF9 key combination accesses the view on any selected carrier, and while the station itself offers no interaction, the screens still display ship, wind, aircraft, and glideslope information that can be used in multiplayer to guide other people down.
Links and files
- DCS: Supercarrier in the DCS shop.
Related DCS modules
- Nimitz-class aircraft carrier on wikipedia.
- Admiral Kuznetsov carrier on wikipedia.
- Arleigh Burke destroyer on wikipedia.
- CVN-68 Nimitz-class on globalsecurity.org.
- Project 1143.5 Kreml class Aircraft Carrier Cruiser on globalsecurity.org.
- DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class on globalsecurity.org.
- CV Procedures P-816 flight training instruction manual.