Exhibit: F-15 by Janes Combat Simulations
About 6 missions into the Iran campaign we were tasked with attacking a port facility.
As soon as we reached the Initial Point, about 10 miles out, I knew this was going to be an intense mission. The TEWS lit up like a Xmas tree (see right) with the biggest worry being the SA-10's and SA-12's. Sure enough the missile launch warning went off "deedle deedle" and my backseater called "Missile launch - 1'o'clock". I barely had time to order the wingmen in with Ctrl-G then padlock the incoming missile with Shift- F3.... if I hadn't programmed that into my joystick hat switch I would have been toast!
This TEWS display shows a very hostile environment!
So with the incoming missile padlocked I dropped chaff and wrenched the Eagle upside down, preparing to hit the deck and sucker the missile in. The huge white smoke plume was clearly visible.
Time for payback!
Bear in mind that only 2 seconds had passed since the missile launch was called.. and boy it looked close already!!!! I made a tentative jink... and the missile altered path, obviously tracking perfectly! The pucker factor went up two notches... just time to punch chaff and a wild manoeuvre and zoooommmmm.. the view tracked perfectly as the missile whipped past, engine still burning and trailing a huge smoke plume.
Clear missile trails make life a bit easier... unfortunately they also point back to the launching aircraft - me in this case!
Man oh man, ground attack hadn't been so much fun since Tornado (1993), and SVGA Harrier Assault (1992).
Well I survived the ground defenses and stupidly went back for a couple of extra passes.... my dumb luck held but next time I resolved to send the AGM-65 Mavericks in first then pickle all the dumb bombs in one stick... no more seconds passes!
As it was I ended up scooting away at about 50 feet altitude with no chaff left and dodging SAMs. The F-15 carries a generous supply of chaff but I must have pumped it out during those desperate moments!
These sorts of stunts are best left to the fighter escorts. You can call the AWACS for help and he or she will vector fighters or Wild Weasels to your assistance.
Over the top in the F-15E Strike Eagle
Avoiding an IR missile, the F15 leaves a trail of flares burning in it's wake.This is not a good place to be in the F-15E... the fight should have been concluded well outside visual range. Of course, if you really, really want to mix it up.... well there's no one stopping you...
On the way home from most missions you'll have to refuel... and this is a sim within a sim! Your backseater coaches you in... but a lot of practice is required. Fortunately there is a "cheat mode".
An impressive load of ironmongery!
This is a solid, stable sim which succeeds in recreating the complex environment of modern aerial combat without excessive hardware demands. F-15 needs Win95/98. It runs well on a P 233, sensational with a 3DFX card added! It runs extremely smoothly on a P 233MMX with 64 Meg RAM and a Creative Banshee card.
It's worth mentioning that the sim has a "casual player" mode too, with much simplified controls, flight model and avionics.
As I said at the beginning, the F15E is about "moving mud" and this is where the sim excels. Not since Digital Integration's Tornado (1993), has the world of low level attack been so exciting.