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by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday September 10, 2002

PC News
SAS Hero To Create Authenticity In IGI 2
SAS hero Chris Ryan has become the military consultant to Codemasters forthcoming stealth-based first-person shooter IGI 2: Covert Strike, due on PC this November.

Chris was part of the SAS eight-man team chosen for the Bravo Two Zero mission, dropped behind Iraqi enemy lines during The Gulf War. Three of the team were killed in action and four were captured; only Chris escaped. His escape involved an eight-day trek across the desert, often in full view of enemy patrols. It was a harrowing but heroic escape, recounted later by Chris in his book The One That Got Away, which became an immediate best seller in 1995.

Chris, now the author of nine best sellers, will work with Codemasters game designer to advise on the accuracy of the games arsenal of weaponry and how covert tactics can be applied to IGI 2: Covert Strikes gameplay. Chris will also front a series of videos providing players with tactical advice for the game.

New Screens: IL-2 Forgotten Battles
Ubi Soft has released more screens from the upcoming IL-2 Sturmovik add-on, Forgotten Battles. This week the focus is on the He-111 and the searchlights to be included. Forgotten Battles will include two new maps for Finland and Hungary, expanding the battlefield for both single and multiplayer modes. It will also feature more than 20 new single player missions and ten cooperative multiplayer missions. Forgotten Battles is expected to ship to retail stores worldwide in Fall 2002.

Black Hawk Down Demo
NovaLogic has announced that the Delta Force: Black Hawk Down demo that was announced last week is now scheduled for release this Thursday. The demo is set to go live at 12pm PT on Thursday. The Black Hawk Down demo will consist of one map that can be played during the day or night. Humvees drive around the map on a fixed course, and players can jump in to use the .50-caliber machine guns mounted on the vehicles. Players can capture neutral spawn points to give their team additional starting locations.

US Team Factor Announced
Xicat has announced that the US version of US Special Forces Team Factor is set to ship September 24. The game, developed by 7FX, was released as Team Factor in Europe earlier this year. The game has four classes--soldier, scout, sniper, and specialist--that players can choose to play as. The game contains 14 missions and can support up to 30 players in LAN or Internet multiplayer games. For more information on Battlefield 1942, check out our previous coverage of the game.

Military News
USAF Orders AGM-65K Maverick Missiles
The U.S. Air Force has exercised a $9.2 million production contract option with Raytheon Company to produce 301 AGM-65K Maverick missile guidance and control sections. Work on the option will occur primarily at Raytheon's Missile Systems business unit in Tucson, Ariz., and run through December 2004.

The Air Force's upgrade program is creating two new versions of the AGM-65: the 65H, which carries a 125-pound shaped charge warhead, and the 65K, with a 300-pound blast fragmentation warhead with selected fuze delay.

Maverick is a precision, air-to-ground missile that is used against small hard targets, armored vehicles, surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites, and high-value targets such as ships, port facilities and communications centers. The missile has launch-and-leave capability to enable the pilot to lock onto the target, launch the Maverick and then take evasive action.

The charge-coupled-device (CCD) sensors used on the AGM-65H/K increases Maverick's reliability and service life. The CCD sensor permits the AGM-65H/K to operate in lower light levels than the older TV sensors used in the current AGM-65 A and B missiles and extends the engagement range by two to three times over today's AGM-65 A and B missiles.

Inspectors Keep An Eye On Raptor Production
Master Sgt. Richard Bailey and Staff Sgt. Mike Bedtelyon are administratively assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., but they are playing key roles in another state to ensure the base's future F-22 Raptors are delivered with the right stuff.

Bailey and Bedtelyon, both from the 325th Operations Support Squadron, are inspectors on the Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor Acceptance Team located at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company's assembly facility here.

Bailey, an F-15 Eagle crew chief and quality assurance inspector, and Bedtelyon, an avionics technician, are now two of eight specialists on the acceptance team, which also includes experts in electrical systems, weapons, egress and propulsion.

"We have a pretty wide breadth of experience up here," Bailey said.

He said the Air Force has fundamentally changed the way it conducts acceptance inspections. Typically, when a squadron received a jet, it entailed tearing the aircraft apart, verifying serial numbers, checking inside the panels and making sure nothing was wrong with the aircraft.

That process was very costly and labor intensive, Bailey said. As a result, the Air Force decided to conduct the acceptance inspection as the aircraft is being assembled.

"Now we (acceptance team) get the opportunity to go out every day and look at the airplane in certain areas as it's being put together," he said. "We identify to Lockheed (experts) any shortcomings that we see or things we think need attention, and they work the problem.

"In theory, when Tyndall gets a jet, the concept is 'gas-and-go,'" Bailey said. "A gas truck will come out and fill it up, some other minimal things will be done to it, you'll basically turn the jet (prepare it for launch), put a pilot in it and it's ready to fly."

Bailey said that acceptance inspections normally take about 10 days to complete.

"It's not a cake job, though," he said. "What we're doing up here on this airplane is far more in-depth than a normal acceptance inspection. We're getting to see every aspect of the airplane as it's getting assembled going down the line."

The ACC team created an innovative approach to conducting the F-22 inspections.

"We had to come up with everything from scratch," Bailey said. "We made up a list and broke up the aircraft into 50 different areas. Using that list, we go through about two areas a day as the aircraft jumps stations. Then we go back and reinspect those areas again and again. It's an ongoing thing. We're never really finished until the final panel is put on for the last time and painted up."

Bailey said the most interesting aspects of the acceptance team job involve seeing how the Raptors are built, and working closely with the Lockheed Martin assembly team.

"I've never dealt at all with the civilian side of the house, and that experience is very interesting, as well as seeing the way they have the assembly line set up," he said. "The most satisfying thing is when we can catch something...that otherwise wouldn't have been caught and would have caused all the airplanes to be changed. If we catch it here on the floor, we save the Air Force a whole bunch of money and time, because things are getting corrected here before it ever gets out to the line." (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

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