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by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday April 9, 2002

PC News
New Screens: LOMAC
Ubi Soft has released 4 new screens from their upcoming jet sim, "Lock On: Modern Air Combat". These early development shots depict some new textures and new cockpit functions of the work in progress. The shots showing the HUD and Radar are not final and are early versions of these features. One Shot shows the new textures for the MiG-23. Note that the terrain in this shot has not been updated. Another is a shot of an F-15C launching a missile. Note the new smoke and missile plume art. A shot of the F-15 HUD in gun mode and another depicting a locked target in BVR mode are also early versions that include several problems with various buttons and displays.

New Screens: Project 1
Thirdwire has sent us 18 new screenshots from their upcoming jet simulation, "Project 1". This time these screenshots feature the fully detailed 3d model of the phabulous Phantom.

X-Plane Update v6.12
A new update for X-Plane is now available, taking the comprehensive flight simulation by Laminar Research to version 6.12. This release offers notable framerate improvements and a sizable list of bug fixes, and as before you can use a small patch from the previous v6.11, or a full upgrade from any older version (which also serves as a time-limited demo). Also, a price increase is scheduled for X-Plane, the price is set to return to $99.99 on May 31.

Military News
Boeing Successfully Completes Demonstration of EA-18
Boeing has completed the third successful flight demonstration of its EA-18 Airborne Electronic Attack concept aircraft. The test, conducted April 5, used an F/A-18F Super Hornet to carry three ALQ-99 jamming pods and two fuel tanks while measuring noise and vibration data and assessing aircraft flying qualities. Boeing teammate, Northrop Grumman, instrumented the ALQ-99 jamming pods to gather the noise and vibration information.

The EA-18 is one of the platforms under consideration to replace the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft. The U.S. Navy has an operational need to begin replacing the Prowler by 2008.

"We expanded the test envelope for this flight; the aircraft flew higher and faster than in the first two tests," said Paul Summers, director of F/A-18 derivative programs. "We're extremely pleased with the results we've seen so far. All of our testing verifies that the EA-18 is the right platform for the Navy's Airborne Electronic Attack requirement."

The EA-18 will perform full-spectrum electronic surveillance and electronic attack of enemy threat radars and communications nets. A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet - a platform which is in production today - the EA-18 leverages the U.S. Navy's investment in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet platform and Northrop Grumman's Improved Capability III radar receiver system, which represents a significantly reduced risk approach over other unproven platforms and systems.

The EA-18 is 99 percent common with the Super Hornet and is expected to significantly reduce support and training costs for the U.S. Navy.

The combination of a validated design, proven platform and proven electronics positions the EA-18 program to begin a system development and demonstration phase as early as 2003, and have aircraft in the fleet as early as 2008.

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