Weekend of November 13-14, 1999
New @ COMBATSIM.COM
EA hosting a Launch for Janes Combat Simulations
- Review: Flanker 2.0 Part II
Parts 1 and 2 are now live. Not since the long anticipated unveiling of Falcon 4.0 has the combat flight sim community witnessed such a quantum leap in technology and excellence.
- Simulation NEWS and MiG Alley
I returned home from Seattle at 9 AM this morning with a boat load of information on release dates and coming simulations. Rather than make you wait til Monday to begin to hear the latest, this will serve to bring you up to date.
- Downloads: AVI's, Desktop Themes
Check out our large selection of desktop themes and wallpaper. Here too are recent and not so recent AVI's.
Paint Scheme for Flanker 2.0
- Electronic Arts Africa, on the 20 of November 99, are hosting a Branding launch for Jane's Combat Simulations at Swartkops Air Force Base in South Africa. It's located in a Hangar with an old F-86 Sabre and a Mirage III.
They will have 8 high spec PC's running, for the Day we will use World War 2 Fighters with Displays of USAF. If you like more information on this event, please contact Deon van [email protected] Africa
Jane's Defence Weekly for 10 November 1999
- Feel the need to convert your Su-27 into a Blue Angels aircraft? Dont forget to turn your smoke on! Click here to download: Flanker2 Angel
Jane's Navy International
- 'Inflexible' NATO must improve its procedures
NATO must streamline its cumbersome procedures if the alliance expects to prevent, or react quickly to, another Kosovo-type crisis, the former chairman of the Military Committee Gen Klaus Naumann told the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
- Bundestag group calls on Scharping to back Meteor
The influential Defence Committee of the German Bundestag has given a boost to efforts by Matra BAe Dynamics to develop an all-European medium range air-to-air missile (AAM) for the Eurofighter multi-role fighter aircraft.
- USA and China work to resume military exchanges
US and Chinese officials are working to re-schedule high-level military exchanges that were cancelled earlier this year in the wake of a spy scandal and the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during Operation 'Allied Force'.
- Boeing poised to convert Russian drones for USN
Boeing is poised to win a contract to provide the US Navy (USN) with approximately 100 MA-31 supersonic sea-skimming target drones that are converted Russian KH-31A 'Krypton' anti-ship cruise missiles.
- DoD reviews find no trend in systems failures
After holding high-level meetings with top US defence companies to review key weapons programmes, the Department of Defense (DoD) has concluded that the recent series of management and technical problems do not indicate any new or worrying industry trend.
- Slovak decision nears on subsonic fighter
The Slovak government is expected to announce a tender for new subsonic multirole fighter aircraft by year-end that would replace Soviet-era MiG-21, MiG-29, Su-22 and Su-25 fighters, as well as Aero
Vodochody L-39 trainer and light attack aircraft.
- TRIGAT-MR held up by missing signatures
Five months after the UK became the third country to sign up for the industrialisation phase of the Euromissile Dynamics Group TRIGAT - MR (Medium Range) anti-tank guided weapon, the multi-billion dollar programme has moved no further with both Belgium and the Netherlands still to sign.
- Indonesia set to make major military reshuffle
A major military reshuffle expected within weeks is being viewed as an indicator of Indonesia's commitment to reform its armed forces.
- China acquires BMP-3 fire-control system
China has received from Russia the fire-control system of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle and the associated 9M117 Bastion (NATO designation: AT-12 'Stabber') laser-guided missile under the auspices of a 1997 military technology co-operation agreement.
- Israel requests Apache upgrade
Israel has submitted a formal request to the US government for the upgrade of 24 Boeing Apache AH-64A attack helicopters to the AH-64D Longbow standard in a deal expected to be worth $508 million.
- Iran's Zulfiqar MBT enters full production
Iran has begun volume production of its third-generation Zulfiqar main battle tank (MBT), according to statements in Tehran during the recent Holy Defence Week.
- Thomson-CSF throws lifeline to troubled DCN
French defence electronics group Thomson-CSF has proposed establishing a formal partnership with state-owned warship builder Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) to help the latter pull out of its spiralling descent.
Jane's Missiles and Rockets for December 1999
- Finland to get heavyweight hovercraft prototype
The Finnish Navy (FN) will take delivery of a FMk70 million (US$12.3m) prototype multipurpose hovercraft (designated No. 432) in September 2001 from shipbuilder Aker Finnyards. The aluminium and reinforced composite prototype, at 84-tons will represent a step up in capability for the relatively lightweight FN hovercraft fleet.
- Australia considers Anzac proposal
British Aerospace Australia has proposed a 'cut and plug' solution for the Royal Australian Navy's Anzac frigate Warfighting Improvement Project. The A$2 billion programme proposes that a 10m, 300-ton module be installed amidships, to provide additional volume for new equipment in order to meet operational requirements.
- VT unveils flexible OPV alternative
Vosper Thornycroft (VT) has launched a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) concept designed to provide an affordable and flexible platform for Exclusive Economic Zone management. VT's OPV concept will allow for operations ranging from fisheries protection, to medical support to the deployment of special forces craft.
- Coast Guard closes the gap on high-speed smugglers
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has adopted a new strategy to combat the small, high-speed smuggling vessels, which account for 85% of illicit maritime drug trafficking entering the US. Two MH-90 Enforcer helicopters armed with 12.7mm sniper rifles and a variety of non-lethal weapons, patrol the waters between the US and Caribbean with orders to detain suspect vessels or, if necessary, use disarming fire.
- Greece opts for Super Vita FAC
The Hellenic Navy has selected Vosper Thornycroft's Super Vita-class fast attack craft (FAC) to fulfil its requirement for three 62m missile-armed FACs to replace the navy's ageing French-built
Anninos-class (Combattante II) vessels.
- Up close: Charles de Gaulle finds its sea legs
The new 40,000-ton French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, last month entered a six month post-trials refit in Brest at Direction de Constructions Navales' (DCN) shipyard. It was confirmed that, although not resulting in any limitations to the flight deck operations, the ship does require a 4m extension in order to accommodate the extended arresting distance of embarked E2C Hawkeyes.
- CVF rivals shore up teaming arrangements
It has been announced that Rolls-Royce and Harland and Wolff have formerly joined British Aerospace's (BAe) industry team bidding for the UK's £2.2 billion (US$2.5bn) Future Carrier (CVF) contract. BAe have not ruled out adding further industry partners.
- Merger increases Europe's potential submarine share
Sweden's Celsius AB and Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) have merged their naval shipbuilding operations, creating a new global force in the international non-nuclear submarine market, 'HDW Group'.
Jane's Defence Upgrades for 1-15 November 1999
- Serbs used 'do-it-yourself' air-defence missile
Lacking modern mobile surface-to-air missiles to defend their forces against NATO air attacks, Serbia adapted air-to-air missiles originally purchased to arm their jet fighters, turning them into
crude ground-launched anti-aircraft weapons.
- New life for old warheads
When you modernise an anti-ship missile by removing its current pattern of high-explosive warhead and fitting a better version, what do you do with the old warhead? The US Department of Defense plans to fit them to a new version of the US Army's ATACM surface-to-surface missile, creating a new version which will allow missile-armed artillery units to attack targets such as bridges or buildings up to 300km from the launch point.
- Iskander will replace ageing Scuds
It's so new that within hours of its being revealed at a defence exhibition, Russian military authorities demanded the missile be covered up then removed to prevent the West learning more about it. Iskander is Russia's newest and most accurate ballistic missile - the long awaited replacement for the infamous 'Scud'. An unidentified nation has already placed the first export order.
- Ramjet BVRAAM used in Gulf War combat
The UK is about to select a future long-range air-to-air missile to arm the planned fleet of Eurofighters, and has been offered an improved version the US Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The US missile is supposed to be the latest and best that the US has to offer, but another secret long-range missile is known to have been developed - and used in combat by the US Air Force during the 1991 Gulf War.
- Russia shows its latest tank-killer
The latest tanks are protected by special armour developed to deal with anti-tank guided missiles, but Russian designers have developed a heavy anti-tank missile intended to cope with these latest types of armour.
- Phalanx Block 1B surface mode upgrade enters service
USS Underwood, the first US Navy Perry-class frigate to receive the Block 1B surface mode upgrade for its Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, deployed last month. This follows completion of
in-depth testing conducted by the Raytheon Systems Company and the US Navy.
- FSL proceeds with Invincible upgrade
Fleet Support Limited (FSL) has substantially completed major structural alterations to the forward deck area of the UK Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible, as part of an Extended Docking
Period which began in August. The work, undertaken by FSL at Portsmouth Naval Base, has seen the removal of the GWS 30 Sea Dart missile system and the extension of the flight deck to improve air
group operability and better sustain embarkation by RAF Harrier GR.7 STOVL attack aircraft.
- NVGs for Australian Black Hawks
The order for 12 sets of Elbit Systems ANVIS/HUD (Aviator's Night Vision Imaging System/Head-Up Display) systems - essentially night-vision goggles (NVGs) - placed in August 1999 is a direct
response to the crash of two Australian Army Aviation Corps (AAAvn) Sikorsky S-70A-9 Black Hawk helicopters on 12 June 1996, which claimed 18 lives. Following the crash, HQ Aviation Support Group, responsible for all technical airworthiness and safety matters in the AAAvn, instigated studies into the conduct of the NVG missions and investigated ways to reduce the associated risk.
- RAF equips tankers with JTIDS
In another example of Kosovan 'fallout', Aerosystems International of Yeovil, UK, reports the successful installation and integration of a Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) terminal to three Royal Air Force (RAF) air-to-air refuelling tankers: two TriStars and one VC10 in just three months. After successful test flights of the TriStar at Brize Norton in September and trials by DERA, Boscombe Down, the RAF released the JTIDS system for operational service in October.
- BACKGROUND BRIEF:
SIFF effort 'revolutionises' UK IFF capability Following the collapse of the NATO-wide programme to develop a common new-generation identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) system, the UK Ministry of Defence has launched the Successor IFF (SIFF) effort to upgrade the IFF capability on 51 platforms operated by the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Martin Streetly explains.
- TECHNOLOGY INSERTION:
A Light Gun for the 21st century The Royal Ordnance (RO) Weapons and Munitions facility at Nottingham, in partnership with the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, has developed - using its own funding - a Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) package for the combat-proven 105mm Light Gun. Christopher F Foss describes the MLU.
Friday, November 12, 1999
New Rogue Spear Mods
Aces High Updated
- The Rogue Spear Database has posted 3 new mods:
- Black/Gold Skins - Makes the Desert 1 Skin's camo black and gold (Uninstall)
- Blade Zero 1.0 - A weapon mod that adds new weapons and modifies current ones with accessories (grenade launchers, silencers, etc.).
- Sniper Rifles 1.0 - Adds 35 new weapons, all of which are sniper rifles (including silenced ones) but one (the non-sniper gun is a US SOCOM Pistol).
Creative Labs Annihilator Drivers
- HiTech Creations has updated Aces High. Aces High is "Warbirds" type of online World War II fighters and bomber simulator. Players connect in a real-time air combat arena against other players. Click here to download from 3DFiles.com
Flight Simulator 2000 Add-On's
- 3DFiles.com has posted new drivers for the GEForce based Creative Labs Annihilator. Click here to download.
New @ Frugals World
- You've had FS2K now for about a month and your itching to add your favorite pieces to enhance the realism. Here are a bunch of recommended sites and files that contain military aircraft and neat applications from FlightSim.COM:
- Flight Crew 2000 - want to hear all the latest sounds of a real airliner? From the pre-taxi message to the seatbelt sign, as the pilot you control it all. Click here to download.
- F-16 Falcon - FS2000 USAF Lockheed F-16C Fighting Falcon in Thunderbirds demonstration team colors. Also has moving flaps, flashing strobe light, wing tip navigation lights, formation lights. Click here to download.
- Tipton Army Airfield in Fort George Meade, Maryland (MD). Scenery adds some static aircraft and objects to the default airport. Click here to download.
- FS98 Convair B-58 Hustler. This B58 took over 10 months to complete and to this date probably the most complex AC for FS98. It features a unique paint scheme, accurate panels, sounds, landing lights, full array of moving parts as well as a fully tested FDE. Two part download: Part1 & Part2
- Frugals Worlds has posted an article by Ryan "Kosmo" Cowley of the 187th Avengers VFW. This article entitled Missing Missiles: The Missing Link is designed to improve your survivability against A2A missiles in Falcon 4. Here's a snippet:
"The incoming missile is confined in it's maneuvering capability, as the rocket motor has a limited burn time. Usually only a few short seconds. During the burn time, most missiles will immediately begin a climb, above their intended target."
Click here to view.
Thursday, November 11, 1999 (Remembrance Day)
Lest We Forget
Let's all take a moment to pay our respects, in silence, to the men and women who made the supreme sacrifice in order to preserve our freedom and the freedom of untold generations to come.
In Flander's Field
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the Crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We live, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were Loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up your quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-Dr. John McCrae
New @ COMBATSIM.COM
- Interview: Destroyer Command
The first solid information on Destroyer Command, we talk to designer Troy Heere. Planned to connect to Silent Hunter II, this will be the first duo of interoperable naval simulations.
- Review: Maxi-Sound Fortissimo
Back in the spring we posted a summary of the API wars, the battle between industry giants Creative Labs with their EAX standard, and Aureal with their A3d standard. Recently a new contender has arrived in the form of Sensaura Audio.
New Matrox NT Drivers
- Janes has launched version 1.0 of the USAF killboard. Check it out at Janes combat.net.
SpecOps 2 Patch
- Matrox has posted new Windows NT drivers on their website here: NT Matrox Update
These drivers (version 4.31.008) are compatible with the following products:
- Millennium G400
- Millennium G200
- Mystique G200
- MGA G200
- Productiva G100
- Productiva G100 MMS (but no vid tools for the MMS with TV Tuner)
For more information on this driver, please refer to the release notes
Frugals World Previews DI's Super Hornet
ThrustMaster Racing Wheel
- 3DFiles.com has the latest patch for Spec Ops 2. No word on what it fixes/changes. Click here to download: SO2
1999 Walk of Honor is Open
- ThrustMaster announced yesterday their latest product, the ThrustMaster NASCAR® Pro Digital Racing Wheel. Offering USB and Digital connections, it promises a faster and easier response rate. The new wheel also includes four wheel-mounted buttons along with paddle shifters, a gear shift lever, and pedals. The TMNPDRW costs $79.99 (US) and is currently available.
Last Active US WWII Veteran To Retire
- The 1999 Walk of Honor is now open. Please visit WOH. They would like for yo to read the submissions from members of their squadron and take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices all have made during all the wars. There is a guest book available and they would ask you use it to add your expressions to their memorial.
- A total of 16,112,566 Americans served in the U.S. military in World War II. Only one -- 80-year-old Earl Fox -- remains on active duty.
"I've tried to be so busy that they would allow me to continue on," the silver-haired Coast Guard captain said as he strode briskly down a wooden pier, his hands stuffed in the pockets of a navy blue uniform jacket.
During Veterans Day ceremonies Thursday at Arlington Cemetery, Fox will be recognized as the last active-duty World War II veteran. He retires November 19 from the U.S. Public Health Service and his full-time job as senior medical officer evaluating medical disability claims at the Coast Guard Military Personnel Command in Washington.
"He was a gentleman in a bureaucratic world," said Capt. Paul Langlois, a pilot who was grounded on a medical disability but, with Fox's assistance, flew again.
Fox first donned the uniform of his country in 1942 when he was commissioned in the Navy. He left the service after the war and became a family doctor in Florida. At age 55, the Coast Guard coaxed him out of retirement to be a flight surgeon.
He never left the Coast Guard. "They never asked me to leave," he said.
Some of Fox's colleagues are young enough to be his great-grandchildren. His good health and sharp memory would allow him to work longer. But with his time in the Navy and Coast Guard combined, he has completed 30 years with the uniformed services _ as long as any one of his rank may stay, said Lt. Cmdr. Gwen Keenan, a spokeswoman for the Guard.
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
New @ COMBATSIM.COM
GTT's Flanker Camo Commander
Fighting Steel 1.1 Patch
- GTT has finally released Camo Commander for Flanker 2.0. It allows you to choose a camo scheme, see a sample texture, then apply it. Once a choice is made, you can launch Flanker 2.0 straight from the user interface. The Camo Commander has a free 30 day trial and costs $15 to register. Click here to download and here to view the different camo schemes.
Delta Force2 Patch
- SSI has released the final 1.1 patch (the one released in last August was a beta.) There are numerous fixes - too many to mention. Click here to download from 3DFiles.Com: FightingSteel 1.1
Rogue Spear Add-On
- Novalogic has released the patch for DF2 as a regular download. It's 3.2Mb and updates you to patch version number 8. Click here to download form 3DFiles.com: DF2
- RougeSpear Retreat has posted information on RedStorm's Add-on pack for Rogue Spear:
Information is out about the mission pack for Rogue Spear being developed by RSE. It is titled Rogue Spear: Urban Operations, and is centered in a counter-terrorist team's worst nightmare: an urban setting. It is slated for a release in the first half of 2000 and includes the following:
- Five new "spaces" located in real-world famous cities, with four game types for each
- Five-plus new multiplayer "spaces" that can be played as single-player terrorist hunt or lone wolf
- Five classic levels from the original Rainbow Six
- Terrorists with new skills
- New weapons
- RougeSpear Retreat has the latest on Ripcord's latest production:
Ripcord and Zombie VR Studios recently celebrated the launch of Spec Ops 2: Green Berets. At the release party, GameSpot News found out that that Spec Ops 3 has been in development for about two months already, and will feature the Navy SEALs. Levels will consist of HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jumps, underwater insertion into enemy territory, and other flashy military maneuvers.
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
New @ COMBATSIM.COM
WWII Fighter Command
- Preview: Silent Hunter II
There isn't much new to report on SH2, but watch for a complete update on Destroyer Command later this week. In the meantime, here are a batch of screen shots from Silent Hunter II.
- Feature: Erich Topp on Wolf Packs
Erich Topp joined the German U-Boat arm in October 1937 (Crew 34), and a year later was appointed as a watch officer on U-46 (Kptlt. Herbert Sohler). After four patrols, Topp was given command of U-57, a Type II boat, with which he sank six ships totaling 37,000 tons. In this essay he comments on the use of the Wolf Pack
- Feature: Flying the Bf109
RAF pilot Captain Eric Brown had a thirty-one year career in the Royal Navy. After the war he became Chief Naval Test Pilot at the RAE at Farnborough, England, where he served for six years. Here is part of his report on flying the 109 (from Flight Journal).
USB PRO PEDALS
- 3D Gaming World has posted a review of Psygnosis' Nations: WWII Fighter Command. Click here to view the article: WWII:FC
The Drop Zone
CH Products has officially announced the release of their new Pro Pedals in USB format. It features a forward/backward slide motion, and differential braking. Expect to pay $110.00 at most stores.
US Army Grounds Apache Fleet
- Looking for a time portal to the conflicts of history, check out this web site: The Drop Zone
- The US Army announced yesterday today that it's Apache helicopter fleet (AH 64 A & D) will undergo a one time inspection and possible replacement of a specific series (basic configuration) hanger bearing assembly. The assembly is part of the tail rotor system. A recent failure of a basic configuration hanger bearing assembly resulting in the loss of an aircraft and minor injuries to the two-man crew was determined to have been caused by hydrogen assisted corrosion cracking. Preliminary indications are that hydrogen embrittlement, a hardness heat-treat process, may be the cause for the stress corrosion fractures.
The US Army changed the manufacturing process in 1993 and hanger bearing assemblies produced after that change do not have the potential for stress corrosion fractures. The inspection of all 743 AH-64 aircraft will determine if the specific series of hanger bearing assemblies are installed, and if they are, they will be replaced. Unaffected aircraft will be returned to flight status immediately.
Monday, November 8, 1999
Delta Force 2 Patch
G-Sector Alpha Release
- For those of you who own Delta Force 2, the latest patch is now available through the applications update/patch feature. Simply run the autoupdate within the game to download.
War With the 16TH TFW Postponed
- 3DFiles.com has posted a new combat game called G-Sector. Its a 3d action game based around hoverboard combat--a hybrid between an "extreme game" and a third-person shooter. Players control the heroine Cyra as she hoverboards thru futuristic cities and arenas. Gameplay is based on using ramps and tricks to build velocity and avoid opponents' shots. Using a chasecam and customizable mouse/keyboard interface, G-Sector should be familiar to players of the 3D shooter genre. Click here to download: G-Sector
- Kevin "Darkstar" Brown from the 187th VFW has informed us that their Virtual War has been postponed due to technical difficulties with Falcon 4. Here's his press release:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the war with the 16th TFW has been postponed for one week. This was decided by the command of both squadrons due to some issues related to 4 versus 4 multiplayer. It seems as though our efforts to really push the Falcon 4 simulation to the edge were a bit too ambitious.
Teams from both squadrons will be working to re-align the missions so that the war can take place, as advertised next weekend, November 14th & 15th. Engagements will begin at 3pm both days