After a couple of years of waiting, we finally have our hands on Eagle Dynamics latest iteration of the Ka-50, the Black Shark III! This update is quite extensive so we will only be taking a look at some of the highlights and features that are critical to understanding this module and its place in DCS World.
We did review the Ka-50 Black Shark II before and much of what was said in that article still holds true with Black Shark III. Like usual, I will divide this in several categories for the sake of organization and so that you, the viewer, can scroll straight to the parts that matter to you:
External/Internal Model Changes
Flight Model and Sensor Display Changes.
New weapons and core systems.
Is this upgrade/module for you?
EXTERNAL/INTERNAL MODEL CHANGES
This is the main point of the Black Shark 3 module. It is a comprehensive overhaul of both internal and external models for the Ka-50. It is a great to see that this module is not only one of the most detailed ones to date, but also one that seems to not kill my framerate in the process!
The amount of detail that has been put into the external model surpasses what many would consider as "necessary" or "basic". It has almost every single centimeter modeled to such an insane level of detail that it somewhat puts some other modules to shame. Just look at how brilliant the work is, particularly when it comes down to the internals and the access panel, the pilot model and more!
The internal model seems to mostly be the same as the updated Black Shark II cockpit which was added sometime in the past. Its textures are alright and everything looks mostly as it did when we wrote our review for Black Shark II. That being said, there are some key changes in the cockpit such as the removal of the old laser warning system and its display from the cockpit. Here are some shots so you can judge for yourself:
The best part about this model, though, it is the absolutely brilliant implementation of rotor and blade blur.
FLIGHT MODELING AND SENSOR DISPLAY CHANGES
Just like Black Shark II, it seems like a lot of thought and care was put into making sure that the Ka-50 feels just like it should. It is an extremely unique helicopter thanks to its co-axial rotor system. It feels extremely good to fly and is as stable as I remembered it to be. The fact is that this is pretty much identical to BS2 and that's for the good.
The Shkval sensor, the optical sensor that allows long range tracking and engagement of targets with ATGMs and laser guided missiles has also received an upgrade. Its display now uses a green-ish display which makes things much harder to see at night and even sometimes during the day, when the light hits it in a particular angle. You will now have to constantly adjust the brightness and contrast knobs!
NEW WEAPONS AND CORE SYSTEMS
Black Shark III comes with a new weapon system and a new defensive system: The IGLA air to air missiles and the new Missile Warning System (MWS). Both of these systems have been implemented pretty well, with the exception of the Igla's lack of damage. I have seen Hueys tank 4 missiles and keep flying like nothing happened. I suspect this is also due to the Igla's extremely small 1.2Kg warhead, but still, it feels extremely underpowered at the moment.
IS THIS UPGRADE/MODULE FOR YOU?
If you are upgrading from Black Shark 2, the answer is a definite "yes". For the discounted price of USD9.99, it is a no-brainer. For full price, it is still an extremely solid module!
About the writer:
Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos
Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000's leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities but only started being active around the mid 2010's. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as the co-founder and writer ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034