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Daily News
By Gail Helmer

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Monday July 15, 2002

PC News
New Screens: Strike Fighters: Project 1
Thirdwire has sent us more screens from its upcoming 60's jet simulation, Strike Fighters: Project 1. Scheduled for release later this summer, Strike Fighters is a fictional campaign is set in the 1960s and features the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Click here to check out COMBATSIM.COM's preview.

New Screens: LO:MAC
More new screens from Ubi Softs upcoming jet simulation, Lock On: Modern Air Combat. Here we have a flight of MiG-29A after a mission and an advancing force of US armor.

New Screens: Xtreeme Forces
Xtreeme Forces is the codename given to the Real-Time strategy game Raptor Entertainment is currently developing. After a massive nuclear war destroys the planet, the remaining civilizations of Earth band together to form a global government called the United Colonies Front (UFC). In order to maintain control of the population, the UFC imposes strict regulations on its citizens. Players will assume control of an ordinary citizen in the society, and they can choose to join a rebel group or fight against the rebels for the UFC. Xtreeme Forces uses a 3D engine that adjusts the level of detail to match the user's system. The game is scheduled for completion in October. No official publisher or release date has been announced. screens

Combat Mission 2 Update announces that its upcoming Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin (CMBB), a realistic 3D WWII ground combat simulation of warfare on the Eastern Front, from 1941 to 1945, will be released for the PC and Mac by September 20th, 2002.

CMBB will be available for purchase online through or from our distribution partner CDV Software Entertainment AG which will release the PC version into most European countries.

Starting with the German invasion of Russia in 1941 through the 1945 storming of Berlin, the player is able to fight with historically accurate forces and equipment of 7 nations from the Black Sea in the South to the Arctic Circle in the north.

CMBB features a full 3D battlefield as tracers arc overhead and exploding shells shake the earth, the tremendous power of the feared Russian Katyusha rocket barrage. Order a tank hunter team to assault a heavy KV-1 with Panzerfausts and magnetic mines in the ruins of a shattered city. A modern hybrid turn-based/realtime system combines with 3D lines of sight, misidentification of targets, location by sound, advanced armor penetration systems, morale and leadership, fire and smoke, wind and weather. screens

Videologic Systems Becomes Pure Digital
VideoLogic Systems, a division of Imagination Technologies, today announced that it is changing its name to 'PURE Digital'. VideoLogic introduced its PURE brand name in October 2001 for a range of premium home entertainment and consumer audio products.

Says Kevin Dale, president, PURE Digital: "The PURE brand has been very well received in the marketplace, building on the equity of our highly respected VideoLogic brand. We've chosen the occasion of the launch of our truly revolutionary third-generation DAB digital radio products, the PURE EVOKE-1 and DRX-701ES, to make PURE our primary brand."

Military News
General Dynamics Awarded F/A-18E/F Gun Systems Contract
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics, has been awarded a contract by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., valued at up to $37.1 million, for an initial production run of 39 F/A-18 E/F 20mm M61A2 Gun Systems, with options for up to 126 additional systems over a three-year period.

The base contract calls for system deliveries from June 2002 through February 2003. Options on this contract would extend production through March 2006.

The F/A18-E/F Gun System has a firing rate of 7,200 shots-per-minute and comprises a M61A2 gun with new, lightweight barrels, and a fully integrated, linkless ammunition feed system. The system serves as the aircraft's last line of defense in close-in aerial engagements. The M61 gun arms virtually all U.S. fighter aircraft.

Eurofighter Typhoon Selected By Austria
Eurofighter GmbH announced they have been advised of a decision by the Austrian Federal Government to begin exclusive contract negotiations for the procurement of up to 24 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to meet a requirement of the Austrian Bundesheer for a next generation fighter. The expected value of the programme is in the region of 2 billion.

The decision by the Austrian Government follows an intense competition for the replacement of the existing Draken fleet that are approaching the end of their operational lives. The intention is to replace these aircraft with an advanced multi-role aircraft that will represent a quantum leap in capability for the Austrian Bundesheer.

The campaign for Austria has been led by EADS Military Aircraft on behalf of the Eurofighter Consortium comprising Alenia Aeronautica, BAE SYSTEMS, EADS-CASA and EADS-Deutschland.

Commenting on the announcement Aloysius Rauen, President and CEO of EADS Military Aircraft stated "The Eurofighter Consortium had put in place an offer for partnership that would provide significant capability enhancements for the Austrian Bundesheer combined with a long-term plan for production and high technology industry participation by Austrian industry."

Bob Haslam, Managing Director Eurofighter commented "This announcement confirms Eurofighter at the heart of European Air Power. Based on the capabilities of four nations our ability to deliver an outstanding aircraft combined with a credible industrial partnership is unique."

Eurofighter, together with the Eurofighter partner companies, will now begin detailed contract negotiations with representatives of the Austrian Federal Government, Austrian Bundesheer and Austrian industry with a view to formulating a contract for signature later in the year.

CV-22 'Suspended' For Countermeasures Testing
The CV-22, the U.S. Air Force variant of the V-22 Osprey, began testing its electronic countermeasures in the Benefield Anechoic Facility here recently.

The aircraft will spend about three months suspended from the ceiling of the facility while the CV-22 Integrated Test Team checks out the electronic countermeasures package, called the suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures, or SIRFC.

"This is kind of the heart and soul of the aircraft's defensive countermeasures," said Lt. Col. Tom Kennedy, the CV-22 program manager at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

The suite includes state-of-the-art integrated threat location and jamming technology, according to Kennedy. The emphasis of the testing is to characterize the performance of the SIRFC countermeasures.

Prior testing showed some of the antennas on the aircraft were not in optimal locations, Kennedy said, so the Edwards CV-22 ITT people relocated the antennas. Testing in the BAF will determine how well they are placed.

The chamber time also will be used to test interoperability of the SIRFC with the multimode radar on the plane.

"If something is emitting electrons, we have to make sure it doesn't interfere with other systems," Kennedy said.

"Interoperability is critical," said Maj. Ernie Tavares, CV-22 development systems manager. "The CV-22 belongs to Air Force Special Operations Command, and one of its intended missions is low-altitude ingress -- less than 300 feet. If the SIRFC and the multimode radar aren't working together, it could jeopardize that mission."

According to Kennedy, the BAF is geared to simulate flight conditions, mitigating the risk of building the aircraft, flying it and then having it not perform.

"This phase of testing will be the verification of the homework the government and the contractors have performed," he said. "This is the last major hurdle. The next step would be to take it out on the range and fly it."

The aircraft currently being tested, called Ship 9, is one of two Ospreys here. The other plane, Ship 7, will be resuming flight testing sometime in late summer, according to Kennedy.

He said the electronics testing and the return to flight are two major milestones in the CV-22 program.

"The fact that Ship 9 is going into the BAF is no small achievement," Kennedy said. "The CV-22 ITT people had to do all the return-to-flight modifications and the SIRFC antenna mods -- it's a very complex procedure. At one time it looked like it would be late, but the maintainers got it back on schedule -- they even had it ready early."

Since January, the CV-22 ITT has had 704 maintenance events, or tasks, that had to be completed.

One of the major tasks was an almost entire rebuild of the vertical stabilizers.

"It's pretty much a brand new tail," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Achimasi, a CV-22 ITT avionics craftsman. "We took the old tail, tore it apart and added structure to beef up the support for the SIRFC antennas."

Both the send and receive antennas were relocated to the aft section of the tail because they encountered interference at their previous locations because of the tail structure.

Staff Sgt. Isaac Clayton, a 418th Flight Test Squadron avionics craftsman, was also involved with the modifications.

"We started this job just before Christmas, and we just finished it up last week," he said. "One of our structures specialists, Technical Sergeant (Thomas) Coons, handmade the fiberglass fairing inserts for the antennas to improve aerodynamics."

Other tasks included adding radar absorbent material near other antennas to reduce reflections, rerouting wires and replacing the original 16-foot fixed refueling probe with an 18-foot retractable one that sits flush with the nose when not being used.

According to Staff Sgt. Erik Halverson, a CV-22 ITT crew chief, the original probe had to be removed from the aircraft during the shipboard operational testing to get the plane to the flight deck.

"The new probe will save a lot of man-hours," Halverson said.

The maintainers agreed that, although there have been some difficulties working with the aircraft, they have all enjoyed the challenge.

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