Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Wednesday October 03, 2001

PC News
Exclusive IL-2 Sturmovik Screens
Here are 17 exclusive screenshots from the latest beta release of IL-2 Sturmovik. The screenshots feature new maps and the Ju 87 Stuka in action. Thanks, Jen, for sending us these.

Real War Patch Released
The initial patch for Real War is now available for download here. The patch will address the issues listed below. These are issues that were found between the time the title went gold and duplication.

  • Game Loop AI Timer Fix. -- This fix will help with such missions as USA 4 on high speed computers that were heretofore nearly impossible to beat.
  • Next Mission Button Fix. -- For any of you who might have already gotten to the last US or ILA mission, you may have noticed that there is a NEXT MISSION button. What were we thinking? This patch fixes that bug.
  • Save Game losing Campaign status Fix. -- This fix will ensure that you do not lose saved games while playing Real War.
WWII Online V.1.26 Released
Cornered Rat Software has released v1.26 of World War II Online. Here is the readme file and some notes as posted by WWII Online Producer Chris "Mo" Sherland:

  • Added new sounds to some trooper functions hanged speed values on some trooper functions
  • Enhanced collider for troopers
  • Fixed a vehicle bug where invalid positions were allowed
  • Added 6 new functions to "setting.exe" for more performance gains - a: Suppress Muzzle Smoke = hides smoke sprite when your guns fire; b: Suppress Tracer Smoke = hides smoke sprites that trail on tracer rounds; c: LOD Field Of View = LOD shifts only occur at objects you are looking at (this helps mag views); d: LOD Limit Per Frame = limits the LOD shifts per frame that are displayed - This is a general render enhancement. NOTES: "Smoke" sprites are not the muzzle flash, but the smokey puffs. "LOD" stands for "Level of Detail."
  • Added some loading and display optimizations to increase client performance
  • Audited some vehicle hit files to fix incorrect functionality
  • Added an online connectivity ticker under the FPS indicator (num lock)
"This update addresses some CTDs and other fixes on the client side," said Sherland. "These were ready to go, and rather than wait for 130, we branched the project and got these wrapped up to publish. Not a whole lot in here, but fixes are fixes... Spawn limits will follow this release; stay tuned for news from Gryf on that front. The next update planned is 130." The AutoUpdate function should download the patch automatically as you connect to the game.

WWII Online 1.30 Patch Revealed
WWII Online Producer Chris "Mo" Sherland has revealed the features, improvements, and fixes for 1.30. The Patch goes public - October 8th, 2001. 1.30 will include the following:

  • RPG enhancements
  • Mission system update
  • Missions will now be scored on more data like:

    1) Tally of killed/damaged vehicles
    2) RTB, MIA, KIA
    3) State of your target (defense or offence)
    4) Value of units killed (tanks, planes, boats, troops etc)
  • Blenheim
  • Bf110
  • New troop key commands and states (easier playability)
  • Adjusted troop values for speed ATP and blood loss
  • Allied Axis counters
  • Wing bombs on the Stuka
  • FPS/load time improvements
  • AI will target trucks more aggressively
  • AI will rebuild independently until their facility is captured (no more eternally empty bunkers)
The HE111, MGs, and the Light tank won't make it, but will follow shortly after. The MGs require a couple of systems that need to be in place PRIOR to adding them into the game as "units". One of them is player resupply. Once we get THAT in, medics, MGs, and field rearm and refuel will be possible. Most of those will probably come in an update that features an entirely new UI that is much more polished and function friendly. That UI is about 60% done right now, and is looking very cool.

Spawn limits will be in prior to pay for play. They are being tested now, and can be added independently of a client release. Gryf will announce when they are ready.

As well, the strategic updater will be fixed to finally kill Russian flags once and for all, and restore correct capture functionality.

Military News
Coalition Forces Strike Iraqi Artillery Site
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In response to hostile Iraqi threats against Coalition pilots and aircrews conducting routine monitoring of the southern no-fly zone, Operation Southern Watch Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons Oct. 2 to strike an Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery site in southern Iraq at about 8 a.m. EDT.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing. Officials said strikes in the no-fly zones were executed as self-defense measures in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition aircrews and their aircraft, and are not related to President Bush's campaign against terrorism.

If Iraq were to cease its threatening actions, Coalition strikes would also cease, officials said. The last Coalition strike in the southern no-fly zone was against Iraqi command and control sites on Sept. 27.

To date, Iraq has fired anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles against Coalition aircraft on more than 1,050 occasions since December 1998, including more than 420 in this calendar year. Iraqi aircraft have violated the southern no-fly zone more than 160 times since December 1998.

SNPE Explosives and Propellants Awarded 171 MFF Contract
The French DGA (Delegation Generale pour l'Armement) represented by the SPAe (Service des Programmes Aeronautiques) has awarded a 360 MFF contract to SNPE Explosives and Propellants (171 MFF), a business unit of GROUPE SNPE with SAMP as co-contractor (189 MFF).

The contract calls for the production of more than 6000 General Purpose and Penetrator bombs type Mk84, Mk83, Mk82, BLU111 and BLU109. The works start in 2001 and completion is expected by 2007. These bombs are to be used by the French Air Force and the French Navy. SAMP has the responsibility of the complete supply including the bomb bodies and accessories.

SNPE is in charge of bomb loading with cast Plastic Bonded Explosives (PBXN-109). This explosive charge contains 64% of SNPE insensitive RDX (I-RDX), which permits to reduce the shock sensitivity of PBXN-109 by nearly a half, while other characteristics of the composition remain stable (e.g. chemical and physical features, performance, reactions to fast and slow cook off, bullet impact).

European leader in the field of cast PBX, SNPE Explosives and Propellants is the unique company to mass-produce I-RDX and consequently the only company capable of supplying enhanced PBXN-109 explosive charges worldwide. SNPE is also a prime supplier for cast PBX compositions as testified to by its numerous references for applications such as missiles, bombs, underwater mine, torpedoes, shells

Goodrich Supplies Components and Systems to F-22 Fighter
Goodrich Corporation is a major supplier to Lockheed Martin's F-22 "Raptor" fighter jet which has been approved for initial low-rate production. The company supplies the aircraft's landing gear, ejection seats, titanium engine bay doors, sensors and fuel delivery technology. Full production of 295 aircraft, which is pending Congressional approval, would lead to a significant revenue stream for Goodrich over the life of the program.

Goodrich's scope includes the ACES II ejection seat -- the most widely used in production today. More than 8,000 of the seats, also in use on the F-16 and a variety of other tactical aircraft, have already been produced for the U.S. Air Force and international defense customers. The seats are currently in use on F-15, F-16, B1B, B-2, F-117 and A-10 aircraft.

In August, Pentagon officials announced that the Air Force could proceed with initial low-rate production of the long-delayed F-22 fighter, which is to replace the F-15 Eagle fighter. Currently there are five F-22 aircraft in use in test flights. Along with the 10 planes planned for completion by fall of 2002, 13 additional are slated for later that year, with total production proposed at 295 pending Congressional approval.

Transformation Key To US QDR
The key thrust to the Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR), released to Capitol Hill on October 1, is the idea that US forces should be reshuffled to meet the ongoing uncertainty of the international landscape. Critics may consider that in the wake of the events of 11 September this seems an understatement, but the review had been ongoing since February. Furthermore, it is a reassuring sign that many of the questions raised by the terrorist actions have been covered to some extent by the review.

For much of the nineties US planning revolved around the intention to possess the military capability to be successfully engaged in two campaigns simultaneously, an intention held by most commentators to be unmanageable even with the superpower's considerable resources. The emphasis now seems to be one of maximising the potential of US military forces at their current levels. With the arrival of the concept of asymmetric warfare, the intention is now to be able to engage effectively in two overlapping combat situations overseas, while simultaneously having the capability to protect American shores. Therefore, although no concrete development plans have been revealed, the QDR has put significant emphasis on the development on the Reserve and the Guard in terms of homeland defence.

In a background briefing on the QDR, a senior defence official cited "Transforming capabilities" as the key phrase for the review. "We're looking to have a force, which is able to, first and foremost, defend the United States, the base of operations," he said. "Secondly, capable of defending or deterring forward; that is a force which over time their capability will be increased as a consequence of our transformational capability."

The review identifies four main areas of risk to be explored - force management, operational risk, future challenges, and business management. Within these areas, six critical operational challenges have been recognised as those most pertinent for the US to develop its armed forces into a 21st Century capable machine - protecting the base of operations, information operations, projecting power into anti-access environments, depriving adversaries of sanctuary, space operations, and finally leveraging information technology. Perhaps, the single biggest question raised by the review is whether these six challenges were identified before or after 11 September. The horrific occurrences of that day and its aftermath have brought all of these military considerations sharply into focus. For example, "projecting power into anti-access environments" could not be much more relevant than an invasion of Afghanistan with winter approaching. Furthermore, "depriving adversaries of sanctuary" could be lifted directly from the lips of President George W. Bush in any recent speech.

The review reiterates the importance of the US's allies with regard to achieving this latter challenge and reaffirms the importance of Europe as a power base. As the defence official said: "Part of it has to be co-operation with our friends, allies and other states willing to co-operate with us...It means that we have to have the ability to have intelligence which sees beyond the horizon. It has to mean communications to allow us to move rapidly. And it means having the wherewithal to move our forces quickly and then to strike at long range if that's necessary."

The QDR can not have come at a more significant time as a manifesto for the development of US military tactics, as the nation seeks redress for last month's "Act of War". The senior defence official said, "It is not a surprise that we were attacked in a way that our conventional military forces were not designed to defend against at that moment." It now remains to be seen how the US military will redefine conventions.

Sikorsky H-92 Introduced In Canada
Sikorsky Aircraft's H-92 helicopter has been introduced to audiences in Ottawa as part of the aircraft's first flying visit to Canada. The trip to Canada from the United States also marks the first international flight for the H-92, which Sikorsky is offering to replace its Sea King helicopters currently in service with the Canadian Forces.

During the H-92's three-day stay in Ottawa, potential customers, government officials, Sikorsky business partners and industry representatives have been invited to see the helicopter in flight and on static display, and selected Canadian Forces pilots will have an opportunity to fly the aircraft.

James Satterwhite, Sikorsky's Vice President, Business Development, said "Canada is an important market for Sikorsky. We're very proud of the H-92 and the visit is an opportunity for Canadian audiences to see this remarkable aircraft first-hand. The H-92 was specifically designed to replace Sikorsky Sea King aircraft in service around the world. It is a large, robust, state-of- the-art helicopter, and we think it is ideally suited to become Canada's next maritime helicopter."

In June 2000, Sikorsky and Bombardier Aerospace teamed for Canada's Sea King replacement program. Bombardier will be responsible for in-service support of the Canadian H-92s.

Jacques Auger, President of Bombardier Aerospace, Defence Services, said "Our unique blend of expertise in the area of military aircraft fleet management and in-service support, combined with Sikorsky's unmatched maritime helicopter experience, provides the Canadian government with an extremely capable, value-for-money solution for Canada's maritime helicopter requirements."

The Sikorsky H-92 evolved from the proven S-70 BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK aircraft, which have accumulated over five million flight hours, and incorporates more than 50 years of Sikorsky civil and military multi-mission experience.

Available in a 19-passenger commercial, a 22-troop utility and a multitude of mission-specific configurations, the design offers a large stand- up cabin, rapid convertibility, operational suitability and a full cabin-width rear ramp. It will be the first helicopter fully certified to the harmonised FAA, JAA Part 29 requirements.

War On Terrorism
'Eyes' in fight against terrorism
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- When the United States wages war against terrorism, it will fight looking through the eyes of Air Force Space Command. The United States will never go to war without the space systems operated by AFSPC, said Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, AFSPC commander.

"Whatever this nation does, wherever they do it, they're not going to leave home without us," Eberhart said while discussing the role his command plays in national defense and global stability. "The capabilities we provide in terms of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and global communication are very important in the on-going Operation Enduring Freedom."

Operation Enduring Freedom is the military campaign to combat terrorism announced by President Bush following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and hijackings in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

The command's high-tech data is now more useful than ever, Eberhart said. "The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery we're able to get is much easier to read," he said. The data is also sent to U.S. warfighters much more quickly thanks to how AFSPC operators receive the images from satellites and pass along the data to battle commanders.

The military satellites operated by the command now provide information the Department of Defense can not get reconnaissance aircraft like the U-2 Dragon Lady or SR-71 Blackbird. And those communication satellites enable the United States to remain a global power.

In 1970, Eberhart logged 300 combat missions in Vietnam as a forward air controller, learning first-hand the value of combat communications. The accuracy of the munitions used in Vietnam was no where near the accuracy of the precision-guided munitions used today. In large part that is because of the Navstar Global Positioning System, or GPS, Eberhart said.

GPS is a space-based constellation of orbiting satellites that provides navigation data to military and civilian users all over the world. The GPS constellation is designed and operated as a 24-satellite system. GPS satellites orbit the earth every 12 hours, emitting continuous navigation signals.

"The reason we're able to be so precise and usually destroy a target on the first pass and not have to send our people back into harm's way is because the munitions are precision-guided," Eberhart said.

The secure voice communication inside jet aircraft, which allows them to talk to other jets and people on the ground, is synchronized by GPS, he said.

As DOD leaders view the current global situation through systems overhead operated by AFSPC, Eberhart said the vivid images seen on TV Sept. 11 remind all of us what we are fighting against.

"If we stop and think about those nearly 7,000 lives snuffed out, unsuspecting," he said, "what we do in terms of deploying forward, leaving family and friends for a period of time, pales compared to that tragedy."

CIA Reportedly Trained Pakistan Forces to Hit Bin Laden
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA trained and equipped a Pakistani commando team in 1999 to strike at Osama bin Laden inside Afghanistan but the plan was thwarted by a military coup in Pakistan, The Washington Post said on Wednesday. The paper said the CIA secretly trained about 60 Pakistani commandos in coordination with the government of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. [More...]

Powell Says U.S. Had Signs of Plot Before Attacks
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States had received "a lot of signs" that attacks were being planned against it but efforts by intelligence agencies failed to pick up enough information to stop the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks, Secretary of State Colin Powell told The New York Times. The newspaper said that in an interview on Tuesday, Powell expressed frustration that, despite a summer of warnings of possible actions against American civilian and military sites around the world, the information was not sufficient to identify the specific targets that were struck -- the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington. [More...]

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