Restricted F-16 + Missile Info Leaked In Game Forum!

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Restricted information on the F-16 fighter jet and its AIM-120 AMRAAM missile were just leaked in the War Thunder game forum!

 

Restricted F-16 Fighter + Missile Info Leaked In Game Forum!

Fans of War Thunder are always arguing about fighter jets and their weapons in that free-to-play combat vehicle simulator game, and those arguments can get pretty heated.

One F-16 fighter jet discussion that started in July 2022 became more heated after the F-16 Fighting Falcon was added in the Apex Predator’s update in December.

On Monday, 16 January 2023, a War Thunder gamer called spacenavy90 accidentally posted Restricted information on the F-16 and its AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile, during a discussion on how accurately the War Thunder developers modelled the F-16’s flight and cockpit weapons control system, known as the Stores Control Panel (SCP).

Interesting thing I found during my research. During early AMRAAM testing you can see how F-16A would equip the AIM-120 and use TWS on the non-MFD stores control panel “SCP”:

He backed up his post by attaching four documents. Three appear to be research reports on the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile, while the fourth was the F-16 Pilot’s Handbook for the AMRAAM missile.

  • (U) High-Performance Wingless Missile Research
  • (U) AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), Force Development Evaluation (FDE), Phase 3, Part B (3B)
  • (U) Weapons File, 2009
  • (U) Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Manned Air Combat Simulation (AMRAAM MACS). F-16 Pilot’s Handbook

Recommended : Chinese DTC10-125 Anti-Tank Ammo Leaked In Game Forum!

Restricted F-16 Fighter Info Leaked In Game Forum!

 

Leaked F-16 Fighter + Missile Info : Old But Still Restricted!

Now, the documents were old and no longer classified. In fact, they were all marked “Unclassified”. So the offence wasn’t as egregious as the earlier leak of the Chinese DT10-125 tank ammunition!

The High-Performance Wingless Missile Research document, for example, was published in May 1999, while the F-16 pilot’s handbook on the AMRAAM missile was published in May 1982!

The AIM-120 AMRAAM Force Development Evaluation paper was newer, being published in August 2000, while the Weapons File was the newest document – published in July 2009.

However, they are all still considered Restricted information, as the documents were labelled “Export Controlled” and “DoD Only“, as well as “distribution authorised to US government agencies only“.

As another War Thunder gamer pointed out, “The penalty for conviction of unauthorised disclosure includes up to 10 years in prison, a large fine, or both.

A moderator quickly removed the documents, and replied to the post saying that they contained export-restricted information, and posting them was not permitted “per U.S. Laws on restricted and export restricted data“.

War Thunders developer, Gaijin Entertainment, later issued a statement :

A user posted some information on AMRAAM missiles for F-16. As far as we know, these documents are considered export restricted and are not meant to be shared or used by unauthorised people. We always delete posts containing classified or restricted information from our forum as soon as possible. We forbid our users to share documents like this on our platforms. We remind our users again and again that it’s both illegal and pointless, so they should never do that. We never use documents like this in our work.

So, we deleted the posts. The documents themselves were in fact posted via links to a third-party Discord server, so they were never actually uploaded to our own servers. In any case, we made sure that those links are not available to the visitors of our forum or our employees.

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Restricted F-16 Fighter Info Leaked In Game Forum!

 

F-16 Fighter + Missile : Just Latest Leaked Info On War Thunder Forum!

This is hardly the first time military personnel and enthusiasts accidentally leaked sensitive or classified information during heated arguments.

Just 3 days ago, another War Thunder forum user posted screenshots of a USAF Air Combat Command paper manual published in 2015, and an F-15 operating manual published by McDonnell Douglas in 1993.

Both manuals had a printed warning that they “contain technical data whose export is restricted”, with violations “subject to severe criminal penalties”.

In June 2022, a photo of the tungsten penetrator of the latest DTC10-125 tank ammunition used in China’s main battle tanks was posted together with its classified technical data!

In 2021, parts of the United Kingdom’s Challenger 2 tank user manual was leaked by someone who claimed to be a Challenger 2 tank commander, who was trying to convince the game developers to make their in-game model closer to the real tank!

Say what you will – War Thunder gamers are really passionate about the game, and how accurately it reflects real-life military equipment!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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