Heh, yeah, I've got some practice to do before I join a proper multiplayer server. It actually turned out I was mistaking the radar symbology when using the IFF interrogator, meaning even if I had used it that time, I'd still have shot down a friendly. And speaking of practice....
This is the Dassault Mirage 2000C, a lightweight, 4th generation interceptor that flew with the French air force from 1982, and is being replaced with the more modern Rafale. Today I'm carrying two Matra Super 530D short-medium range semi-active radar guided missiles and two R550 Magic II short-range heat-seekers.
This is the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis, NATO reporting name "Fishbed"; the AK-47 of jet aircraft. Produced from the 50s onwards, it still serves in a number of air forces around the world, including North Korea and Syria. This is a 2nd generation fighter, and is considered woefully outdated, though it can still be deadly in the right hands. There are a total of 6 MiGs to our 4 M2000s.
I scan the airspace over the Nevada testing grounds.
I lock one up. Fox 1!
Still, plenty more Fishbeds in the sea. Chortle.
I follow one of his wingmen down towards the deck, pulling what was in retrospect a rather silly maneuver to get a Magic lock.
This is Bogdan. Bogdan is currently having his life flash before his eyes and is not available for comment.
The missile missed! Bogdan must be breathing a sigh of relief. No matter, I hit the burner and close to gun range.
Oh Bogdan, you're not going to lose me by dumping flares.
Think about your mistake as you float to the ground. I hope you brought sandwiches and something to drink, it's an awfully long walk back to 'Vegas.
My wingmen have taken down another couple of the MiGs, but it's not entirely one-sided. We're a man down too, as this missile launch suggests.
Not that I'm sitting around waiting for them to catch up, mind you. Fox 2! Splash 3!
I start to look up the TACAN frequency for Nellis AFB for my flight home when I notice a ping on my Radar Warning Receiver.
The last MiG heroically charges our three-ship formation.
He has guts, I'll give him that.
Unfortunately I've got both guts and
a radar-guided gunsight. All I need to do is place that partial circle over the MiG and squeeze the trigger.
Bogdan will be delighted to have some company on his way home.
"Nyet. Now I never get medal."
I've only recently started putting any significant amount of time into the M2000C, and now that I'm getting the hang of operating the radar it's proving to be an exceptionally fun little aircraft. Fighting MiG-21s isn't really a good test of its abilities, but sadly the rather limited weapons load (a maximum of two missiles with a range of 10-15 miles and two short range infra-reds, and only 250 rounds between the two guns) means it's less of a match for the more modern Russian fighters currently in the game. The module isn't feature complete yet either, as it lacks some defensive features - it currently won't tell you when there's been a missile launched at you, which is a pretty big issue.
Still, it's amazing fun to fling around, and very forgiving, while still being powerful enough to explore the airspace that the A-10 only dreams of operating in. It's also the only full fidelity 4th gen aircraft available at the moment (the others are Flaming Cliffs models, without clickable cockpits and simplified avionics). It serves as an excellent teaser for the two big US 4th gen fighters (F-14A/B and F/A-18) coming within the next year.