The Amazing Data Cartridge of the DCS JF-17 Thunder
Ever since it came out, I have been keeping my eye on the JF-17 Thunder by Deka Ironworks. Recently, I finally got my hands on it. My expectations were rather high since I had heard great things about it from some of my close friends. Expect a full review at some point. The module looks the part and has been masterfully crafted. But today I wanted to talk about the feature that surprised me the most: its functional programmable data cartridge (DTC) system! Not only has this feature been wonderfully implemented, but highlights a gap that exists on several DCS modules.
To access the feature, you will have to go to OPTIONS and the click on the SPECIAL tab. From there, to the right, scroll through your modules until you find the JF-17. You will be presented with all of these options: You can edit your entire DTC from here. You can tune and program your countermeasure programs, set bingo quantities for chaff and flares, select which gunsight type you prefer, set your gun burst time limiter and even switch between different voices for your warning annunciator! Customization seems to have been a priority for Deka it really shows.
After you are done setting it up, the configurations will apply to ALL your flights. No more will you need to program your countermeasures programs at the beginning of each flight. It saves a lot of time and makes flying the Jeff an even better experience. With such a good implementation of a data cartridge already in the game, it makes you wonder why modules such as the F/A-18C Hornet or the F-16CM Viper lack this kind of customization. In particular, I am extremely puzzled as to why the Viper does not have something like this.
The F-16C has a similar DTC system on board, one that can store pilot preferences just like these. MFD page presets per mode, countermeasure programs, radio frequencies, etc. It is a feature I have used extensively in Falcon BMS for a long time, and it is one that I hope gets prioritized by the devs over at Eagle Dynamics. We know the feature is coming from the feature list that ED released earlier this year.
For now, I will just keep enjoying the wonderful DYC that Deka have provided us and just keep on programming my countermeasures every time that I use the Viper, which is quite frequently. About the author: 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 a writer and the co-founder of Skyward ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034