This is coolbert:
Also from that StrategyPage article the Iranian F-4 Phantom "Shy and Retiring":
"Iranian engineers designed and built flight simulators for the F-4. These entered service in 2008.
"The first Iranian F-4 simulator cost about a million dollars to develop and build, and it apparently used a lot of off-the-shelf hardware and software. With that approach, and an F-4 cockpit wired into a PC running the whole thing, you could create a credible simulator for really cheap. Large screen flat panel displays and high end video cards can provide a reasonable approximation of the dome type displays used in high end Western simulators (which go for $40 million and up)."
That Iranian having an abundance of crude oil but lacking the refining capacity to produce AVGAS [aviation gasoline]. Iranian pilots and especially those pilots assigned to the Phantom F-4 [several dozen still fly-able and in the inventory] flying time limited but using home-brewed simulators of indigenous design, those simulators effective and very CHEAP [while remaining effective] as compared to internationally available analog designs. Iranian F-4 pilot using these simulators at least able to maintain some level of proficiency.
ONE MILLION as compared to FORTY MILLION and up!
This approach quite valid NOT unique to the Iranian.
I am reminded of a prior blog entry, off-the-shelf PlayStations configured by the American Air Force into a super-computer of some pretty good capability. Super-computer with a single [?] application for a single purpose, but done on the CHEAP and producing results comparable to the most advanced super-computer available!
"New US military computer made from nearly 2,000 PlayStation consoles"
"The United States Air Force has transformed almost 2,000 Japanese Sony PlayStation consoles into a powerful supercomputer suitable for military tasks. "
Necessity is the mother of invention and all that stuff. In some case it is so!