Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday June 14, 2002

PC News
New Screens: Strike Fighters: Project 1

Strategy First sent us new screenshots from their upcoming jet simulation, Strike Fighters: Project 1. Scheduled to be released later this summer, Strike Fighters is the 1960's jet simulation in development at Third Wire Productions. For more on Strike Fighters: Project 1, check out our preview.

WW II Online Re-evaluation Program Announced
Strategy First has announced a new reevaluation program for World War II Online: Blitzkrieg, its massively multiplayer online war simulation game. The program, which lets closed-account holders play the game for free between June 14-28, is intended to let former players experience the improvements made to the game with the recently released version 1.6 upgrade. For more information about the program, visit the official World War II Online Website

Military News
Boeing Delivers 100th F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the U.S. Navy
Boeing today delivered the 100th F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the U.S. Navy. The airplane, a two-seat "F" model Super Hornet, was delivered during a ceremony at Boeing in St. Louis.

"The 100th Super Hornet is a significant milestone in this very successful program," said Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations. "The Hornet Industry-Navy team is producing an aircraft with greater range, striking power and survivability that will project dominant and decisive offensive power around the world well into the 21st century."

The first production model Super Hornet was delivered in December 1998, more than a month ahead of schedule. After completing the most thorough operational evaluation in naval history, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet entered operational service in November 1999. The Super Hornet is scheduled to deploy with the U.S. Navy later this year.

The Super Hornet can perform a broad range of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions during the day or at night, in virtually any kind of weather. Equipped with an aerial refueling system, the Super Hornet also can serve as a tactical airborne tanker.

Eleven weapons stations carry a vast array of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons including precision-guided munitions. The Super Hornet can carry more than 17,000 pounds of ordnance, more than 30,000 pounds of fuel and can reach airspeeds of more than 1.5 times the speed of sound.

U.S. Navy Conducts Successful SM-3 Intercept
For the second time in less than six months, the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis Weapon System successfully guided a Standard Missile (SM)-3 to a ballistic missile target hit today. The Aegis Combat System aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and range sensors confirmed a direct hit of the target over the Pacific Ocean. The success of this test moves the Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy closer to a proven sea-based ballistic missile defense capability.

"This test was a critical step in the United States' ongoing sea-based ballistic missile defense efforts," said Fred Moosally, president of the Surface Systems unit of Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS). "Consecutive intercepts demonstrate that the reliable surveillance capability of the Aegis Weapon System and the SPY-1 radar, proven assets in the U.S. Navy's fleet, can certainly play an even larger role once the requirements of a sea-based ballistic missile defense system are in place."

The Aegis Weapon System includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy's most advanced computer-controlled radar system. When paired with the Lockheed Martin-developed MK 41 Vertical Launch System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. The system can simultaneously attack multiple incoming aircraft, missiles, submarines, torpedoes and attacking ships while automatically implementing defenses to protect the fleet. Aegis is capable of countering the existing and emerging threats to a naval battle group, as well as striking inland targets.

The SPY-1 radar, available worldwide in various configurations, provides U.S. and allied nations with the world's most advanced naval surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities. The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on 66 Aegis-class ships on station around the globe, and 34 more ships are planned. Since its introduction to the U.S. Navy more than 20 years ago, Aegis has been approved for sale to Japan, Spain, and Norway.

Today's test, Flight Mission (FM)-3 is part of the Aegis Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile Intercept (ALI) Project, a stepping-stone toward the Navy's goal of a sea-based midcourse ballistic missile defense capability for Aegis ships. The ALI Project includes modifications to the Aegis Weapon System's phased array radar (SPY-1), Weapons Control System, Command and Decision System, Vertical Launching System and the SM-3. The sea-based midcourse defense system is an element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System and is intended to provide regional protection against medium- to long-range ballistic missiles for joint forces, seaports, inland airfields, vital political and military assets and population centers.

The test was sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency. FM-3 was the fifth in a series of planned flight tests that progressively show the Navy's Aegis Combat System's ability to engage ballistic missiles with the SM-3.

You Canít Keep a Tomcat From Fighting
Tomcats were roaring off the deck of USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), back in the fight, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) within 72 hours of receiving an order to suspend F-14 carrier operations, pending their inspection and any needed repairs.

USS John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 crews far exceeded Navy expectations and their own, completing the inspections and repairs on all Kennedy F-14 aircraft in just five days, rather than the estimated two weeks said Cmdr. Scot K. Abel, CVW-7 maintenance officer. "Itís the best example of teamwork and cooperation Iíve seen in years," he said.

"The turnaround is outstanding," said Capt. William Gortney, CVW-7 commander. "It's nothing less than I've come to expect from the Kennedy, CVW-7 team. We didn't miss a beat. Although we were without a critical member (F-14ís) of our team we were still able to meet all our requirements for supporting Operation Enduring Freedom."

For two days, F/A-18 Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadron One Three One (VFA 131) Wildcats and Strike Fighter Squadron One Three Six (VFA 136) Knighthawks flew additional sorties to maintain the air requirement for OEF. The first Tomcats passed inspection and returned to the flight deck in only two days.

Kennedyís Air department handled the aircraft, maneuvering the 22 Tomcats into place, said Abel. There were three primary groups involved in the inspections. "The handlers basically reshuffled the hangar bay every night," said Abel.

The airframe divisions of Fighter Squadron Eleven (VF 11) Red Rippers and Fighter Squadron One Four Three (VF 143) Pukiní Dogs did the initial preparations on the NLG. They removed the hydraulic fluids from the cylinder and lifted the aircraft for the inspection.

Finally, Kennedyís Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) airframes division tested the outer NLG cylinder for corrosion. After completing the inspection, AIMD and squadron personnel worked together to reassemble the NLGs.

Including two spare NLGs, 24 cylinders were inspected in five days. Three installed and one spare NLG came up short of the newly imposed specifications.

Immediate action by Supply Department resulted in two replacement NLGs on board Kennedy in a matter of days. These replacements, combined with the spare that met specifications, were used to make all aircraft on Kennedy compliant with the inspection notice within five days. The quick turnover is a reflection of the professionalism and teamwork of the Kennedy, CVW-7 team, said Gortney.

"Within one week of receiving the inspection notice we had all of our Tomcats certified for flight," he said. "An accomplishment like that is only possible when you're dealing with professionals. From the supply and logistics people to the maintainers and the quality assurance checkers, itís just remarkable."

First Marines Get Back in V-22
As two Marines climbed back into the MV-22 on June 4 after nearly 18 months, "ooh-rahs" echoed throughout Hangar 109, home of the V-22 Integrated Test Team. Maj. Paul Ryan, MV-22 government flight test director and Staff Sgt. Denis Oliverio, V-22 developmental test crew chief, are the first Marines to get re-qualified in the Osprey since it was grounded following the Dec. 11, 2000, mishap.

"Climbing back into the aircraft felt like clock-work. The V-22 team and aircraft were completely prepped and ready to go. The aircraft flew great, it was very 'tight' and performed well. I continue to be impressed by its performance and this flight was a great experience," said Ryan who has more than 175 hours in the MV-22.

This flight enabled both Marines to regain their currency in the MV-22. Ryan and Oliverio flew with Tom MacDonald, chief V-22 Integrated Test Team pilot for this training flight. The 2 1/2 hour flight, which was conducted within 20 miles of the test facility, included low airspeed maneuvers, vertical takeoffs and landings, short takeoffs and rolling landings, 360 degree turns, three conversions, flying at various airspeeds in airplane mode, and an instrument approach.

Over the next several months, a total of six Marine and contractor pilots will begin flying to become current as well. Prior to getting current in the Osprey, pilots continue to train in simulators, make use of computer-based training, and log flight time in other rotor and fixed wing aircraft.

The Osprey returned to flight on May 29, marking the resumption of developmental flight testing here that could last several years. Over the next 18 months and prior to the fleet getting the Block A Upgrade V-22 aircraft, up to seven MV-22 Ospreys all modified with hydraulic and flight control software systems, changes will be part of the methodical and event driven developmental flight test program that V-22 program officials state will "prove out" the capabilities and performance of this aircraft.

"I am happy with all the incredible work that has been done during our 'down time' and I am confident that we are returning to flight with a safe aircraft. It was a great feeling to be back in the air with the Osprey," said Oliverio whose flight time in the V-22 exceeds 250 hours. As part of the phased approach to return to flight, the Osprey will fly a certain number of flight hours and then undergo inspections to ensure that all modifications continue to meet established criteria for safe flight. These inspections will continue throughout the test program here.

"We have a great machine that is mechanically cleaner and safer both in hardware and software than ever before. I am very confident that we are well on our way to delivering a highly capable and safe replacement aircraft for the Marine Corps medium lift and the Air Force Special Operations missions," said Ryan.

F-22 Raptor Completes Phase Of Logistics Testing
The Lockheed Martin-led F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter team has completed an important phase of logistics testing and evaluation (LT&E), in preparation for the US Air Force to begin Dedicated Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (DIOT&E) next year. It is thought that conducting these tests at Lockheed Martin's Marietta facility instead of at Edwards Air Force Base, as originally planned, will have saved the programme approximately $500,000.

Since mid-April, Raptor 4009, the programme's last Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) flight-test aircraft, has been subjected to a series of tests designed to validate how easy the F-22 is to maintain and repair. Bob Rearden, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. vice president and F-22 general programme manager, said the tests results indicate the F-22 will be easier to maintain than the US's current generation of fighter aircraft.

"During the tests, hundreds of aircraft parts were removed and re- installed to ensure the aircraft's maintenance instructions meet the Air Force's requirements," Rearden said. "The test team has also verified the user-friendliness of the Raptor's support equipment and determined that all necessary human factors and environmental safety factors have been considered in the F-22's design and production."

The logistics tests were conducted by a team of US Air Force personnel, including the service's first group of F-22 maintenance instructors, supported by contractor personnel at Lockheed Martin's facility. "This testing was to have been accomplished at the programme's Combined Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base in California," Rearden said. "But the cost savings generated from conducting these tests at Marietta convinced us that doing this here was the smartest path to take."

The F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter, powered by Pratt and Whitney engines, is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing. The Raptor will replace the venerable F-15 Eagle in 2005.

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