Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday March 07, 2002

PC News
First Look: Combat Jet Trainer
Just Flight announces its latest addon, Combat Jet Trainer . Using software originally developed by actual jet combat pilots to train Ukranian Air Force pilots on the Albatros, Combat Jet Trainer is a comprehensive and accurate expansion for anyone who wants to learn to fight or fly in Flight Simulator 2000/2002 or Combat Flight Simulator 2. Screens

Combat Mission Heads to Retail
CDV Software has announced that Battlefront.com's, Combat Mission, is due for an imminent release in the retail version, showcasing an additional bonus disk. The bonus mod CD contains over 50 new Battles and Operations and over 150 graphics Mods including the widely acclaimed windows based "CMMOS" (Combat Mission Mod Option Selector) Mod Manager Utility. The Mods included represent new textures (winter and summer) for tanks, vehicles, uniforms, guns, terrain and more. On the CD are two types of Mods, ones which require the CMMOS utility above to load and use and those which have their own installation methods. All Mods and utilities come with full documentation included. Screens

Greatest Airliners: 737-400 Special Edition
Just Flight has announced they are shipping Greatest Airliners: 737-400 Special Edition. Two years in the making and including an exclusive behind the cabin door documentary with British airline. Created to let you experience and learn about the most popular commercial jet airliner ever made, almost nothing has been overlooked. Includes 90 minute VHS video. Screens

Sabre vs. MiG Released
Just Flight has released this jet combat upgrade for Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2, Sabre vs. MiG. Sabre vs. MiG transports you to the early jet age of the 1950s and the infamous dogfights over ‘MiG Alley’ in during the Korean Conflict. Custom aircraft, scenery, and missions designed specifically for Microsoft's Combat Flight Simulator 2 are included. Plus, the aircraft contained in Sabre vs. MiG display many lifelike features typically not found in add-on aircraft. Screens

Harrier Jump Jet 2002
Just Flight has updated this popular pack with FS2002 compatibility and added in a new Super Etendard aircraft and great scenery of RNAS Yeovilton too. Includes 23 aircraft, realistic Falklands scenery and Combat Missions (CFS/CFS2 only). 17 Harrier variants - from prototype to twin-seat demonstrator to the latest single-seater versions, each is recreated in high-tech detail. Falklands Campaign for Combat fans. - 20 missions recreate those tense days of conflict for both sides in the South Atlantic. Based on actual events, right down to the time of day, missions include interception, ground attack and anti-shipping. Screens

WarBirds III Launched Online
IEntertainment Network has re-launched WarBirds III with improved graphics and new gameplay features. An air, land, and sea combat simulation, the latest version of WarBirds III has been in development for over two years, and incorporates a new graphics engine that renders terrain for a 35 mile radius around players.

In WarBirds III, players can pilot over 55 World War II aircraft, drive W.W.II tanks and half-tracks, or issue commands to W.W.II ships. Players also can attach to ships, issue navigation commands, and defend the ship from enemy attack using the ship’s weapons. Alternatively, players could launch counter strikes using 5-inch guns, torpedoes, or the sea convoy’s air power. Players can do all this while participating in historical battles with users from around the world.

The new version of WarBirds III will be seen on U.S. retail shelves in the near future. IENT has been extended an offer from a major game publisher, the company said today in a press release. IENT expects to announce this licensing agreement soon. IENT will make three additional products available for retail shipment in 2002.

First Look: Legion
Strategy First and Paradox Entertainment announced today that they have signed a North American publishing agreement for Legion, a revolutionary strategy game based on the Roman Empire. Legion transports players back in time, over two thousand years ago, before the world was ruled by Rome and when the next great empire was set to rise.

Players take control of one of the many tribes, city states or leagues in Italy at the time prior to Rome’s domination of the area. It was a time of change for the rest of the peninsula with monarchies in Rome, Etruria and other areas being overthrown by land-owning aristocracy and republican governments put into power. The time would come when armies would have to become organized, take advantage of terrain and make sure that the best formations were implemented to ensure victory. Screens

Military News
GAO and US Air Force Battle Over F-22 Raptor
The US General Accounting Office (GAO) has urged Congress to slash the low-rate production budget for the US Air Force development programme of the F-22 Raptor, the replacement for the F-15. The F-22 programme began in 1991 and was scheduled for completion in 2004, but consistent problems have led to spiralling costs and delays. In 1998 the GAO was empowered to make annual assessments of the programme's progress.

In the same year a budget cap was placed on the programme of $20.443 billion, a figure which has since been raised to $21 billion. However, costs for the project have continued to rise and technical problems still persist despite Air Force convictions that the stealth fighter will exceed expectations when it reaches full production.

The GAO report submitted to Congress states:"The F-22 program did not meet key schedule goals for 2001, the cost to complete planned development is likely to exceed the $ 21 billion reported to Congress, and the programme is not far enough along in flight-testing to confirm Air Force estimates of the aircraft s performance."

"In June 2001, the Air Force extended the development test program 8 months and delayed the beginning of operational testing. However, even with the extension, it is unlikely that the development and operational tests programs can be completed as scheduled for several reasons, including the fact that test aircraft are taking longer to assemble and are being delivered late to the flight-test program."

The Air Force is currently working on problems with the aircraft's horizontal tail section and cracking in the cockpit canopy, which have delayed the testing process. However, in a bid to keep the programme going forward, the Air Force is looking to produce 22 aircraft next year in low-rate production while the testing programme continues. The GAO argues that this number should be cut to 13 as further technical difficulties could lead to costly alterations.

"We are recommending that the Air Force reassess the cost to complete the F-22 development program and report the results to Congress. We are also recommending that DOD limit the low-rate production of F-22 aircraft until operational testing is completed and manufacturing processes are in control. We are further recommending that the Air Force monitor the status of the contractor s key manufacturing processes."

The Air Force has blamed supply problems for some of the delays and argues that if low-rate production is cut, it will create problems for the contractor in ensuring a system is in place when the programme enters full-production.

Visby Stealth-Corvette Ready For Pre-Commission Inspection
The Visby corvette has begun the programme of pre-commission checks to be conducted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) before the ship is accepted into service. The pre-commission inspection programme is scheduled to continue until May.

The shipbuilder Kockums' own test and preliminary trial programmes are subject to approval by the pre-commission inspector, Commodore Olov Andersson. He is appointed jointly by FMV and Kockums, with responsibility for subjecting the vessel to thorough pre-commission checks.

"We have completed our engineering sea trials and preliminary test programme with excellent results, and the FMV pre-commission control process can now be initiated. This is a red-letter day in the annals of the Visby project, something we are extremely pleased and proud about," notes Karl-Erik Hallsten, Kockums, on hearing the news. He has been a member of the project's senior management since its inception.

The Visby corvette is the first vessel in the world designed to full stealth specifications and constructed in carbon fibre, making her extremely difficult to detect, even when using the latest and most sophisticated radar and IR-surveillance equipment. Five vessels are currently on order, with an option on a sixth.

BAE SYSTEMS Delivers Front Fuselage For First GAF Eurofighter
BAE SYSTEMS has handed over the fully equipped front fuselage for the first Eurofighter that will enter service with the German Air Force. The front fuselage of GT001 (German Twin Seat No.1) was delivered to Manching, the final assembly line of BAE SYSTEMS German partner, EADS - Deutschland, following completion of systems testing at the BAE SYSTEMS Samlesbury site near Blackburn, in Lancashire.

The fuselage was shipped at a higher specification than had previously been achieved and included fully fitted and tested systems such as hydraulics, fuel, environmental control systems and crew escape as well as brakes and parachute checks. Another first achieved on the delivery of GT001 was the fitting of the windscreen before shipping - this had previously been done as part of final assembly.

Jon Evans, Product Manager Front Fuselage at BAE SYSTEMS said: "The shipping of GT001's fuselage to the customer, is a major achievement. Thanks go to everyone involved in making this a success; a great deal of effort was put in by them all."

"It is important that we continue up the curve in terms of specification and ensure that each fuselage that is delivered from Samlesbury improves. This requires everyone involved, both within BAE SYSTEMS and our suppliers, to continue to hit programme deadlines. It is a challenge that I am sure everyone is up to."

The Eurofighter partner nations will take delivery of 620 aircraft: 232 for the UK, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy and 87 for Spain.

ARC Completes Ramjet Engine Test
Atlantic Research Corporation (ARC) has completed heavyweight ramjet engine development testing for the Supersonic Sea Skimming Target (SSST), designated GQM-163A, for the US Navy.

The SSST System is under development to provide the Navy with an affordable capability to meet early 21st century fleet training and weapons systems test requirements to simulate Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles.

Orbital Sciences Corporation is the SSST missile target prime contractor, and is supported by Raytheon for missile avionics, and ARC for propulsion. The ARC contract covers a three-year development and flight-test program, and includes options for two years of production.

The SSST engine, designated MARC-R-282, is based on the Variable Flow Ducted Rocket (VFDR) ramjet engine cycle. On the SSST program, ARC is transitioning the VFDR technology to a level of maturity required for use in a missile system.

Initial testing of the MARC-R-282 ramjet engine has been completed to define the ramcombustor geometry, the solid fuel formulation, the fuel valve and injector design, and to verify assumed levels of engine performance. The newly expanded ARC ramjet test facility was used to simulate sea-level flight at over 2.5 times the speed of sound for this development testing.

The MARC-R-282 engine will now progress into flight hardware, with flight testing planned to begin late next year. These flights will represent the world's first flights of a VFDR engine, which is emerging as an important capability required to meet future US weapon system propulsion requirements.

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