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by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday December 04, 2001

PC News
Ubi Soft And Take Two In Legal Battle
A trial date has been set for the first round of the Ubi Soft Entertainment and Take Two Interactive Software Europe Ltd legal battle, concerning Take Two’s sales of Red Storm Entertainment Inc.’s products. The date for the London-based trial of a preliminary issue in the case is January 22, 2002.

Prior to its acquisition by Ubi Soft, Red Storm had granted Take Two the right to distribute, until December 2000, Red Storm's video games in Europe and some other non-U.S. countries. Red Storm is suing Take Two for an estimated £6.3million, which it alleges Take Two owes on sales of Red Storm’s products made by Take Two and for which Take Two has not paid Red Storm.

Ubi Soft, the parent company of Red Storm Entertainment Inc., has been involved in litigation with Take Two for the last 12 months. In July this year, Take Two paid £1.75 million to Red Storm and a further £250,000 was paid by Take Two into Court. The litigation over the payment of the outstanding balance will be started in court this winter. The final claim could reach as much as £7.5 million, after including interest payments and legal fees.

IL-2 Patch Update
Ubi Soft has released details of the IL-2 Patch expected later today. The 14MB patch also includes 4 additional single missions (feat. the FW-190A5)


  • Added FW 190 A-5 as flyable.
  • Modified FW 190 A-4 and FW 190 A-5 to comply with new weapon sets.
  • Included 27 new weapon load outs for FW 190 A-4 and FW 190 A-5.

  • Stall Warning will no longer appear when your aircraft is buffeted from bullet hits.
  • Reworked Bf-109 series handling.
  • Aircraft with dead engine will no longer attempt to stay in formation.
  • Put back VSI instrument needle in Yak-9T and Yak-9K cockpits.
  • Instrument needles will freeze when the instrument is damaged internally.
  • Multi-engine bombers now open bay doors when emergency-releasing ordnance.
  • When flying in a P-39, you won’t receive a “Gunner Killed” notification any more.
  • Corrected torque effect direction on a number of aircraft.
  • When flying in campaign mode, if you don’t have an appropriate rank, you cannot select weapon set or fuel load for your wing. In the previous versions, you could change the “Fuel” control in the arming screen, but to no effect.
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault In January
Electronic Arts has announced that it will ship Medal of Honor: Allied Assault to stores on January 22, 2002. The upcoming first-person shooter is set in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Players assume the role of an Allied soldier and take on a series of difficult missions behind enemy lines. The game features a complete single-player campaign as well as several multiplayer modes.

Virtual Pilot Website Launched
FlightAdventures, a company formed to bridge the gap between simulator and real world aviation, have introduced their new web site. The site, called a Virtual Pilot Center, is the first of its kind in the world. The Virtual Pilot Center (VPC) is the brainchild of Ben Chiu, the author of five Official User Manuals for Microsoft's Flight Simulator products. The VPC is designed to serve both simulator and real world pilots with a multitude of unique functions, including online flight instructors, and virtual "fly-ins" where virtual pilots and virtual air traffic controllers interact online.

Remote Assault Patch V1.1 Released
Shrapnel Games has released a new patch for Remote Assault. The patch, which updates the game to v1.1, adds features, new units requested by the fans and a complete new campaign. Click here for previous coverage.

Features include:
  • Fully 3D environment that allows for full fog of war with true line of sight.
  • Customizable AI that allows you to define how aggressive or passive your units will be upon contact with the enemy.
  • Ability to group units in command structures from as small as squads to as large as groups (of squads). With chain of command you can issue orders to individual units, squads, or groups.
  • Branching campaign structure that allows you to lose some scenarios and still advance.
  • Realistic ballistic modeling on artillery and tank shells. Shell paths are affected by air resistance.
  • Unit damage can be of a limited nature that may affect only sensors, movement, armor, or weapon systems.
  • Hundreds of units can be in battle at once.
Military News
Missile Intercept Test Successful
The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) announced today it has successfully completed a $100 Million test involving a planned intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile target.

The test took place over the central Pacific Ocean. A modified Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target vehicle was launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., at 9:59 .m. EST, and a prototype interceptor was launched approximately 20 minutes later and 4,800 miles away from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The intercept took place approximately 10 minutes after the interceptor was launched, at an altitude in excess of 140 miles above the earth, and during the midcourse phase of the target warhead's flight. This was the third successful intercept for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Segment, formerly known as National Missile Defense.

The test successfully demonstrated exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) flight performance and "hit to kill" technology to intercept and destroy a long-range ballistic missile target. In addition to the EKV locating, tracking, and intercepting the target resulting in its destruction using only the body-to-body impact, this test also demonstrated the ability of system elements to work together as an integrated system.

The test involved the successful integrated operation of space and ground-based sensors and radars, as well as the Battle Management, Command Control and Communications (BMC3) function to detect the launch of the target missile, cue an early warning radar to provide more detailed target location data; and integration of a prototype X-Band radar (based at Kwajalein) to provide precise target data to the EKV, which received the target updates from the In-Flight Interceptor Communications Systems (IFICS) at Kwajalein.

The EKV separated from its rocket booster more than 1,400 miles from the target warhead. After separation, it used its on-board infrared and visual sensors, augmented with the X-Band radar data provided by BMC3 via the In-flight Interceptor Communications System, to locate and track the target. Sensors aboard the EKV also successfully selected the target instead of a large balloon, which functioned as a decoy. Only system-generated data was used for the intercept after the EKV separated from its booster rocket. A C-band transponder aboard the target warhead did not provide any tracking or targeting information to the interceptor after the interceptor was launched.

Over the next several weeks, government and industry program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the data received during the flight test to determine whether anomalies or malfunctions occurred during the test, evaluate system performance and determine whether or not all flight test objectives were met. Since the system is in the developmental phase of design and testing, performance of individual elements and the overall system integration was as important as the actual intercept.

Boeing, U.S. Army Sign Contract For 35 Egyptian AH-64D Apaches
Boeing has signed a foreign military sales (FMS) agreement with the U.S. government to upgrade 35 Egyptian AH-64A Apache helicopters into next-generation AH-64D Apaches.

Egypt initially announced its intention late last year to remanufacture its Apache fleet. The U.S. Army authorized Boeing to begin procuring long-lead items earlier this year. Deliveries to Egypt are scheduled to begin in 2003.

The FMS contract for the Egyptian Army Apaches, which includes associated spares and ground support equipment, is valued at approximately $400 million, including the aircraft, ordnance, spares, training and support.

Egypt is one of 10 nations that have selected the Apache.

Defense forces from several current international customers also are considering upgrading to the Apache Longbow. In addition, Boeing is producing next-generation Apaches for several nations, including The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Domestically, Boeing is nearing completion of the first multiyear contract to deliver 232 remanufactured AH-64D Apache Longbows to the U.S. Army. Boeing and the U.S. Army signed a second five-year, multiyear contract to remanufacture an additional 269 Army AH-64As into the Apache Longbow configuration through 2006. (Boeing Photo)

General Dynamics Awarded Submarine Work
The U.S. Navy has awarded Electric Boat a $42.3 million contract modification for nuclear submarine work. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. The award is a continuation of a contract awarded in May 1999 to provide design, engineering, material and logistics support for the Trident program, the Trident UK program, the two operational Seawolf-class submarines, NR-1, and efforts supporting Los Angeles-class ships. It also supports work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bangor, Wash., to backfit older Tridents to accommodate D-5 missiles, and D-5 pre-ERP (Extended Refit Periods) work at Kings Bay, Ga.

X PRIZE Space Race Heats Up
X PRIZE competitor Steven Bennett of Cheshire, UK recently completed an unmanned launch of his Nova spacecraft, becoming the fourth X PRIZE entrant to successfully fly a spacecraft prototype that eventually will take citizens to space. Bennett is planning a piloted launch in Spring 2002, the next step in his quest to capture the $10 million X PRIZE.

The St. Louis-based X PRIZE Foundation is awarding $10 million to the first privately funded person or team to fly a three-person spacecraft to 100km on two flights within two weeks. The first space-based incentive prize of its kind, the X PRIZE is modeled after the Orteig Prize, won by Charles Lindbergh in 1927 for his historic transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis. Bennett is one of 21 registered competitors from five countries vying for the X PRIZE.

"The goal of the X PRIZE is to open space to tourism. Steve Bennett's successful test flight puts our dream of getting to space one step closer," said Peter H. Diamandis, founder and chairman, X PRIZE Foundation. "His flight demonstrates the ability of small, entrepreneurial teams from the private sector to successfully build technology which was previously only possible by large governments."

"Following our success with Nova we will push ahead with a full-scale test launch of our X PRIZE vehicle, Thunderbird, next year with the goal of making an assault on the X PRIZE within 18 months," said Bennett. "We intend to win the X PRIZE and open space for everyone."

Asked about when he expects a winner, Diamandis commented, "The X PRIZE has more than eight teams who are building and demonstrating hardware. We expect an increased number of test flights in 2002 and hope to have a winner before the 100th anniversary flight in 2003."

In 1999 Burt Rutan flew Proteus, the "first stage" of his two-stage X PRIZE entry, and Mike Kelly successfully demonstrated his patented "tow-launch" technology. In 2000, the Argentinean X PRIZE team carried a scale model of their capsule to 100,000 feet, successfully recovering the space capsule following its re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. Earlier this year, both X PRIZE Canadian teams, daVinci Project and Canadian Arrow unveiled full-scale mock-ups of their vehicles.

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