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Overview

Jane's USAF is a flight sim developed by Pixel Multimedia and published by EA. Originally envisioned as "Jane's IAF 2", USAF uses many of the gameplay concepts used in IAF. New inclusions include inflight refueling, mission recorder and built in voice command support. Like its predecessor, USAF trades realism for breadth of aircraft available. Players can fly eight fighters flown by the USAF as well as the MiG-29 in multiplayer.

Gameplay

The new Tactical Display

The game plays exactly the same as its predecessor. Rank is now important as it is used to unlock certain missions. Each plane now has a 3D cockpit in addition to a 2D and players can now display the HUD in the third person camera. An updated tactical display returns, allowing players to command a flight of four aircraft instead of two. In addition to key commands, players can use voice commands to command their wingmen. Players can fly any of up to four flights (Austin, Buick, Corvette and Dodge) during missions. Players can hit the ESC key during flight to return to the tactical display to switch flights. Players can now perform inflight refueling to extend the range of their planes. Missions can now also be recorded for later viewing.

Game modes

Fly Now

Puts the player in one of eight flyable aircraft in the middle of an air-to-air scramble mission

Training

  • Basic: The basics of flying a plane are covered here.
  • Weapons School: Teaches pilots the basics of firing weapons
  • Red Flag: Unlocked when the pilot reaches 1st Lieutenant, Red Flag teaches advanced combat scenarios
Airplane Mating Session

Single Mission

As the name suggests, players can fly in a single mission. Missions are drawn from Operation Red Arrow and Operation Sleeping Giant campaigns. Missions that are not tied to any campaign can be flown here as well. If the player has user created missions, they are selected from this mode.

Campaign

There are two historical and two future campaigns. Historical campaigns are scripted, based off of previous wars the US has fought in. All missions are unlocked and can be played in any order. Future campaigns must be played in chronological order. Furthermore, future campaigns are resource driven. The player has to keep track of how many planes, pilots and weapons he has. If supplies are too low, the player must fly a resupply mission and provide escort to the cargo plane. These resupply missions can only be flown twice per a campaign.

Historical

  • Vietnam War
  • Operation Desert Storm
Welcome to the Jungle

Future

  • Operation Red Arrow - Set during a Red Flag wargame.
  • Operation Sleeping Giant - Discontent in Russia grows until without warning, Russia invades Eastern Europe. The USAF rushes to Germany as part of the NATO task force sent to fend off the Russian invaders.

Quick Mission

Take the player to the Quick Mission Editor screen where parameters such as number of aircraft and mission objectives can be edited. Players can also elect to have the computer randomize the settings. Quick Missions can be saved for later or be played immediately.

Multiplayer

Jane's USAF supports up to 16 players via LAN or online through janescombat.net service. The site was closed in 2002. Players can create their callsigns and engage in the same modes from IAF.

Thunderbirds Patch

Shortly after the game came out, the Thunderbirds patch was released. The patch added a new executable allowing players to fly in the USAF Thunderbirds demonstration team. The patch includes three missions teaching players the air maneuvers used by the pilots flying Thunderbirds #5 and #6 planes. Planes #5 and #6 fly solo maneuvers whereas #1-4 fly formation maneuvers. A Thunderbirds skin for the F-16 and the ability to engage smoke trails were added exclusively for this mode. All briefings were narrated by Thunderbirds #6 pilot Maj. Dean "Wilbur" Wright. The Thunderbirds mode can only be accessed through the separate executable and attempting to play regular USAF through Thunderbirds causes the game to crash. Multiplayer is also support provided everyone playing has the Thunderbirds patch.

Missions

  • Split
  • Invert
  • Cuban

Aircraft

USAF features eight flyable aircraft in single player and an additional aircraft in multiplayer. Additional real world aircraft are NPC controlled.

Flyable Aircraft

Weapons

Weapons are from the US inventory and include weapons no longer in service but were used during the Vietnam War. Russian air-to-air missiles are available to the MiG in multiplayer.

Guns

  • M61A1 Vulcan
  • GAU-8 Avenger
  • GSh-30-1

Air-to-Air

  • AIM-9 B/M/X Sidewinder
  • AIM-7 B/F Sparrow
  • AIM-120A AMRAAM
  • AA-8 Aphid
  • AA-10 Alamo
  • AA-11 Archer

Air-to-Ground

  • AGM-45 Shrike
  • AGM-62 Walleye
  • AGM-65 B/D Maverick
  • AGM-88 HARM
  • AGM-130
  • AGM-142 Have Nap
  • CBU-24
  • CBU-52
  • CBU-58
  • CBU-87 CEM
  • CBU-89 Gator Mine
  • CBU-97 SFW
  • Mk 20 Rockeye
  • Mk 82
  • Mk 84
  • GBU-10 Paveway I
  • GBU-12 Paveway II
  • GBU-15
  • GBU-24 Paveway III
  • GBU-27 Paveway III
  • GBU-30 JDAM
  • BLU-27 Fire Bomb

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