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by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday August 13, 2002

PC News
Stronghold: Crusader Demo Released
Take 2 Interactive has released a demo for its "castle sim", Stronghold Crusader. This successor to Stronghold, Crusader is set in a distant Arabian land, that combines the finest aspects from the city builder and a real-time strategy genres. Players will journey to Arabian lands renowned for brave warriors and fearsome weaponry, while reliving heroic battles of the historic Crusades. The player’s challenge is to build and defend medieval desert fortresses and lay siege to fearless enemies. As European nobles or Arabian warriors, players must conquer the harsh terrain in the legendary Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries.The game is set to ship this summer. Download

Military News
Lockheed Martin To Continue Solid Fuel Ramjet Research
Lockheed Martin has received a $3.1 million contract to continue development of a Solid Fuel Ramjet (SFRJ) and conduct full-scale tests at cruise conditions of over Mach 5.5. Development and testing performed under Phase I of the contract for the first time demonstrated SFRJ continuous, stable thrust-producing combustion at flight conditions representing cruise of Mach 5.7 at altitudes above 70,000 feet.

The contract, SFRJ - Phase II, awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., calls for Lockheed Martin to demonstrate full-scale components and operation of the SFRJ at Mach 5.5 cruise conditions within the next 12 months.

"This contract is for the development and integration of a full-scale solid fuel ramjet propulsion system, along with the carbon/carbon combustor and airframe section," said Frank Powell, vice president - Naval Munitions for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We view this an important step in producing affordable hypersonic missiles for future naval and other military applications. The technology we're developing has application for both the Navy's Advanced Land Attack Missile program, as well as the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's (DTRA) Super Sonic Cruise Missile Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program."

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is the prime contractor for the Solid Fuel Ramjet Missile Technology Program, managed by the Propulsion Division of NAWC China Lake. The program is developing a ramjet propulsion system for tactical missile applications using an air-breathing solid fuel ramjet combined with carbon/carbon structural components. Lockheed Martin is designing and integrating the airframe and inlet for an air and ship launch tactical missile. ARC, Gainesville, Va., and SRI, Birmingham, Ala., are principal subcontractors for the propulsion system and carbon-carbon development respectively. The U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research sponsors the program.

Phase I of the SFRJ program successfully demonstrated the technology in rigorous sub-scale testing at both Mach 5 take-over and cruise conditions of Mach 5.7 at altitudes above 70,000 feet. Phase II will demonstrate a full-scale tactical missile-sized propulsion section and carbon/carbon structure at those same conditions.

The SFRJ engine offers the most efficient fuel packaging of all air-breathing engine options, thereby enabling high speeds and long ranges to be achieved within the envelope of a tactical missile system. Additionally, since the SFRJ fuel grain contains no oxidizer, it is consistent with the services' Insensitive Munitions requirements. On Lockheed Martin's SFRJ, there are no moving parts or complicated electronics, therefore lowering the cost and providing a much higher degree of reliability compared to conventional liquid fuel weapons. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has more than 40 years of experience with guidance, navigation and control of supersonic missiles. The company has determined that currently available tightly- and deeply-coupled Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS) and precision guidance technologies, along with fully integrated high-performance electro-mechanical control actuation systems, will fully satisfy Mach 5-plus tactical ramjet cruise missile accuracy requirements.

Due to its simplicity of construction and operation, a Mach 5.5-plus solid fuel ramjet tactical missile could potentially be fielded within three or four years of a successful flight-test technology demonstration following this phase of the development. High-altitude cruise between Mach 5 and Mach 6 offers an ideal solution to engineering, cost, risk and operational trades for tactical missiles in terms of range capabilities, time-of-flight, thermal environment, inlet design, combustion processes, survivability and payload packaging.

TRW-Built Gel Propulsion System Cold-Fire Tested
A TRW-built gel propulsion engine has successfully completed the first cold test firings of such a system at the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) facilities in Redstone, Ala. The system was subjected to multiple cold temperature firings from ambient temperature down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

This test demonstrates the ability of the gel engine to perform successfully over the anticipated operating range for a variety of Army tactical missiles and interceptors such as Common Missile, Modernized Hellfire, THAAD, Advanced Kill Vehicles and the Low Cost Interceptor. TRW verified that the motor fired successfully multiple times while achieving over 96% of the ambient temperature thrust level, which will enable consistent missile launch capability across operational temperature ranges for Army tactical missiles.

"TRW's gel propulsion system is proving it can operate effectively over the environmental range required for operational systems," said Gary Joseph, director, TRW Lasers, Sensors, and Propulsion Products. "Combined with the results of earlier testing that showed its range, target speed and direction can be tailored for optimal performance, this gel system is verifying it can meet the demands facing today's tactical missiles and interceptors." Gel systems are fueled with a very viscous, semi-solid propellant and combine the safety features of solid propellants with the throttling capability of liquid propellants. In previous testing, TRW's gel system demonstrated more than twice the range of a comparable solid motor with increased maneuverability. This flexibility will allow one missile system to perform multiple missions, reducing an operators' overall operation and support cost.

Northrop Grumman Delivers 17th Navy Aegis Destroyer
Northrop Grumman Corporation Monday delivered to the U.S. Navy its newest warship, Preble (DDG 88). The new vessel is the 17th Aegis guided missile destroyer built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss.

Preble is the 38th ship in the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis guided missile destroyers, the Navy's most powerful destroyer fleet. Following DDG 88, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems has seven additional Aegis destroyers under contract, with six of these ships under construction.

These highly-capable, multimission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the national military strategy.

In naming DDG 88 "Preble," the Navy for the sixth time honors Cmdr. Edward Preble, (1761-1807), a pioneer in U.S. naval and merchant marine service.

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