The latest major update for IL2, Update 4.006 brings with it three new vehicles for the sim, as well as a whole host of improvements, fixes and smaller additions...
First up, the new additions. A pair of collector aircraft, the Yak 9 and the Yak 9T have been released, the former armed with a prop-hub-mounted 20mm cannon, and the latter sporting a 37mm gun originally intended for bomber hunting, but equally as capable when turned to tank-hunting. As well as being available for the QMB, single-player custom missions, and multiplayer, this vehicle saw service in the Battle of Kuban theatre, and as such will be available for use in that campaign if players own the Kuban module.
For tankers, meanwhile, the fearsome SU-152 has finally been released. Known as the "Zveroboy", this SPG is armed with a colossal 152mm howitzer that can fire both APHE and HE shells, capable of knocking out the heaviest German tanks available in the Tank Crew module (representative of the Kursk Offensive, in particular the Battle of Prokhorovka) at particularly impressive ranges. Of course, it doesn't have it all its own way. Its limited armour and traverse angles mean it has to be careful to not be fired upon or outflanked, while the low ammo reserve and slow rate of fire mean that it has to make every shot count. Players will best be able to utilise this machine with support, either from other vehicles of its class (the SU-152 or SU-122) or in concert with traditional tanks escorting (KV-1s, T-34 or M4 Shermans are available in the sim for this purpose).
Up next, a look at the three Scripted Campaigns being added to the sim, two for the Flying Circus module and one for the Battle of Bodenplatte. The "Spring Offensive" and "Kaiserschlacht" campaigns depict both sides of the Spring 1918 period, the last major German offensive of the First World War, from the skies over the trenches. "Lightning Strikes", meanwhile, is available to all players who own the P-38 collectors plane and the base Battle of Bodenplatte module, and depicts combat missions of P-38 pilots from October 1944 until January 1945. An accompanying skin pack is available for download on the IL-2 forums to all players who own the P-38 as well.
Another major feature added this update, although not a typical "content" patch, is the new Deferred Shading graphics rendering engine. The basis of a series of planned upgrades going forward, a number of changes have been implemented for this update, including more natural looking reflections from your plane and better water surfaces.
And, finally, a summary of the other changes coming to the sim. Flight Models and Damage Models for aircraft were updated based on feedback, Soviet fighter pilots have been given a new visual model, and a host of changes have been made to ground and naval targets, as well as for player controlled Tank Crew vehicles. A full changelog is available along with more screenshots of various additions at the following link:
And historical information on the newly added SU-152 can be found here: