Report 042: Su-25 Frogfoot
Another report it’s here, this time is to focus only in one single family, the Su-25.
At the moment, the development is already at full speed, however the lack of recent reports is because of the fact that current the development pipeline is quite different from what it was while alpha funding stage.
While in the alpha it was important to maintain a stable build, the development was forced to always be made in small steps and tested before release, but now the development can be progressed simultaneous in multiple features, and it is possible to only finish a features after all the other interacting mechanics are equally completed.
Which this makes these features take more time to be considered completed.
To avoid the reports presented becoming an empty promise, I prefer only to talk about features in report after they are mostly done, so this new development method is less useful to generate a constant stream of reports that the previously used.
The same applies to the aircrafts in the game, they only will be presented where when the all the family is done.
At the moment there are several aircrafts and features close to their completion, so you can be assured that very soon there will be a lot to talk about.
Also, about the promised last update for the alpha funders while waiting the game to be completed, I must apologies for that. That build is already finished ready to be released, but the respective content that would be featured in that last build is not fully ready yet.
The problem comes from that in this “closed” development the schedule is very tight and demanding milestones, at least in these first months, so there has been very little time to fulfill those goals.
But to address this issue, one solution that can be releasing that last build and everything that has been initially planned and it isn’t been done yet it will be uploaded later.
The only thing you need to be aware is that this last update will not reflect the present state of development in either content or features, but it will include the mission editor now PROPERLY tested and fully working, as it was in that build that were made several missions that will be available in the final build.
But now going back to the main topic of this report, the Su-25, this is actually first family to be fully completed after the game become in closed development, as I said above, there are some other are near their completion, so they will be shown very soon as well.
So, now onto the family:
First about this family in general, the Su-25 was an aircraft developed initially to be a day time light attack fighter.
But due to its shape, which is quite similar to the YA-9, its very often compared to the A-10 and regarded as a CAS aircraft, whoever the main role of this aircraft ground attack while as for the A-10 is primarily for Close air support.
This distinction may appear to be insignificant, but in reality the A-10 is more suited against armor, while the Su-25 is intended for other types of targets similar to some aircrafts like the Jaguar and F-1.
With that said, let’s start as usual with the initial prototype, the T-8, sometimes also referred as SPB.
The T-8 shape already resembles the mass produced version, whoever it has some noticeable differences overall.
This version can already carry a significant payload and it is compatible with laser guided weaponry. But the combat capabilities as expected lower than the mass produced version.
But due to the simplicity and traditional wings layout it can be a considered a pleasantly maneuverable aircraft.
The Su-25, a sub sonic attack aircraft and this version already features the shape we are more used to know.
It has the distinctive pitot probes in front of the nose and the air brakes on the tip of the wings.
This version is most common and basic variant, whoever differently to some of the following aircrafts, it features built-in chaff dispersers on top of the engine in addition to the more common flares.
The commercial version of the Su-25 with very slight changes visually.
The su-25K is downgraded version compared to the original SU-25 regarding to avionics, it also lacks in chaff dispensers and uses a less powerful engine, however these changes led to a lost in weight which it gives bit more maneuverability.
The Su-25KM a largely improved version over the Su-25K, it is visually almost identical to his predecessor, with the exception of the shorten tube in the tail.
The Su-25KM, nicknamed ‘Scorpion’ is a fairly recent update of the venerable series, introducing a glass cockpit, digital map generation software, helmet mounted display, and other modern technology in an attempt to maintain the Frogfoot’s performance in a modern battlefield.
This variant is also capable of using NATO armament like the MK-80 bombs and other laser guided weaponry.
Su-25SM is the most modernized variant in the whole family, directly derived from the original Su-25. Although, it may not be as technologically advanced as the T and TM variants, but it features extensive improvements.
Visually it can only be distinguished by the reshaped tail and new airbrakes.
The Su-25SM’s modification package upgrades the Su-25’s engines with anti-surge technology, as well as a new HUD and vastly improved fire control systems, tripling the accuracy of navigation and guided munitions.
This variant also allows the addition of external radar which grants the capability of firing BVR missiles against air targets.
All these changes will allow this aircraft to be viable beyond the year 2020.
The Su-25UB is twin seat trainer version; it has an higher the dorsal bump to allow room for the instructor pilot.
As derived from the original, it maintains the chaff dispenser on top of the engines.
The Su-25UB sacrifices some fuel carriage for the addition of the second pilot’s seat. However, the aircraft does not suffer much reduction in aerodynamic performance and remains fully combat capable.
The Su-25UBM features the same improvements of the SU-25SM but in lesser degree applied to the Su-25UB airframe, it also has the improved airbrakes but also adds a heat disperser rod in the engine nozzles.
The Su-25UBM has been upgraded with additional electronic capabilities, allowing it to undertake reconnaissance, electronic command and target designation roles in a battlefield environment.
Like any other two seat attack aircraft, the presence of a second pilot reduces the workload of the primary and increases the situation awareness in the cockpit, resulting and higher effectiveness against ground targets.
The Su-25U3 born from extensive modifications to the Su-25UB, the changes include cockpit layout and nose to allow three pilots seated in tandem.
Whoever, this change forces the elimination of the IR target designators in the addition to the removal of the airbrakes.
The Su-25U3 is an experimental concept for a three-seat trainer variant of the Frogfoot to increase the efficiency in training new pilots.
As for actual combat, this aircraft can perform recon and tactical data sharing to other friendly aircrafts. However is far less combat capable that other variants as it can’t use laser guided weaponry.
The Su-25UTG features an arrestor hook and reinforced undercarriage to be able to operate in aircraft carriers with ski-jump.
This navalized version of the Su-25 the improvements applied to the SU-25UBM like the improved brakes and newer electronics.
The weapons compatible with the Su-25UTG are also wider the past variants, allowing it to use anti ship missiles.
The SU-25T is a highly improved version derivates from the Su-25UBM, but removing the second seat to store more avionics. This version is actually the one that should be compared to the A-10, as it shares the same primary role.
This version also includes a passive infrared jammer in the back of the tail, a reshaped nose with the gun moved to outside of the mainframe.
The Su-25T is a specialized variant geared specifically towards anti-tank combat, with an extended nose containing guidance systems for both laser and TV control. It also boasts an expanded inventory of guided weapons for use against armored targets.
This variant, as it is dedicated to anti-armor and it features all-weather and night attack capability, with this specs, it can be more correctly compared to the YA-10B N/AW (Night/Adverse Weather) of the A-10 family.
The changes made in this Su-25 allow it to operate in heavy smoke and low light our while accurately delivers a board range of ordinance,
The final and ultimate variant of SU-25, adds back the chaff dispenser in top of the infrared jammer and includes higher performance engines to achieve greater speeds and climb rates
The Su-25TM (or Su-39) is a direct upgrade of the highly successful Su-25T, with further upgraded weapons capability allowing it to strike naval targets as well as limited support for more advanced air-to-air munitions.
Although the SU-25T and SU-25TM are considered mass produced, they only were produced in very short number due to their high cost compared to the also very capable Su-25SM.
With all variants presented, let’s talk about the family evolution. This is something that it wasn’t mentioned extensively until now, but the aircrafts’ evolutions will be very important in the final version.
Differently from the alpha builds, in the final version only a limited amount of aircrafts will be available to use as soon you start the game for the first time.
If you if you want to be able to use more aircrafts in all modes besides the campaign, you have to unlock them in the challenge mode.
More details about how the challenge mode will work will be provided latter, but I’ll share here the most important ideas for now.
In the challenge mode, every aircraft will have a set of conditions and specific challenges to that unit that must be cleared in order to be able to be used freely.
Also the unlocking of the units must follow the progression if the evolution of that family.
Using the Su-25 as example, the evolution it will presented this way:
If you met the conditions, the first playable unit will be the T-8, after completing the challenges and requirements you will be able to play with it in any game mode, and with that, the Su-25’s challenges will become available,
After unlock this one, it will be possible to try to unlock the Su-25K, Su-25SM and Su-25UB, each with different requirements and with their own set of challenges with varying difficulties.
These challenges can be from, destroying a base as fast as possible using only guns, make the fastest lap in an air race, or even collect as many “coins” as possible in a fixed amount of time.
Also, in the actual game, you only be able to see if the aircraft you are trying to unlock has any following variant. So you can consider the image above as a little help you to choose your unlock route the final version.
In alternatively anyone that knows the evolution of that family will surely be able to go focus in a specific branch to be able to reach the desired variant faster.
One last tip, trainers will have a significant role in this mode, as every plane will have some requirements in form of accumulative points dispersed in several categories, with one type of points is family points, which they are earned by playing with specific aircrafts.
And for this, the trainers will be very helpful as they give more family points than any other variants.
AN in this case, the Su-25U3, will give more Su-25’s family points than any other.
But this will be explained latter in more depth when the challenge mode is implemented.
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.