Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday December 21, 2001

Holiday Message From COMBATSIM.COM

Everyone at COMBATSIM.COM would like to extend the warmest holiday wishes to all our readers and friends. We would also like to thank all of you for your support over the year, and we look forward to bringing you more news and stories in 2002. Our next issue after December 21st will be on January 2nd. If there is any news of immediate importance in the intervening period we will publish it as it becomes available.

PC News
OpFlash Ultimate Upgrade 4
Bohemia Interactive has released Ultimate Upgrade 4. This latest upgrade includes, Real Paintball, - a fast-paced paintball-style multiplayer game. Download

CH Products Release Patch for XP
The new version of the Control Manager software is finally here. Now you can use your favorite CH Products' USB controllers in Windows 2K and XP. You can obtain this software for download on the CH Products website. Click here Gameport drivers are in the works, and will be available by early summer 2002.

Matrix Ships Three Titles
Matrix starts shipping three of its five December lineup. The new games that span from Napoleonís glittering armies to deadly combat above far-flung worlds. The titles shipping includes; La Grande Armee at Austerlitz, Starships Unlimited: Divided Galaxies and Fortress Europe.

Ghost Recon Heads to North Africa
Ubi Soft Entertainment has announced the March 2002 release of the first mission pack for the tactical first person shooter, Ghost Recon. The mission pack will see the elite members of the Ghost Recon outfit undertaking military operations in the war-torn lands of North Africa, where overt conflict has broken out between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The mission pack will see the introduction of new weapons, vehicles and enemies, 8 new single-player missions, and multiplayer maps for LAN and online play via ubi.com.

NovaWorld Upgrade Completed
After several weeks of backbone upgrades, NovaLogic Inc. today announced that the newly configured online gaming service NovaWorld, will go live today. This announcement also means that the eagerly awaited online multiplayer feature for Comanche 4, where up to 16 players can shoot it out in the skies over the internet, is ready to roll. Click here

Panzer Elite Gold Edition Released
JoWood's Panzer Elite: Gold Edition, a special edition of the 1999 tank simulation game Panzer Elite, has shipped and will soon be available in stores. The special edition features the full version of Panzer Elite, which includes more than 80 scenarios based on real WWII battles from 1942-1944 in Europe and North Africa, along with new campaigns, new vehicles, and a complete landscape and scenario editor. Players will command more than 100 different vehicles, including the German Tiger and American Sherman tanks, and they can take part in winter campaigns in Russia and Britain, as well as night missions. [More...]

Wolfenstein Demo & Map Today
Return to Castle Wolfenstein demo will be released today, and it will include the beach map from the previous demo, which includes the basic multiplayer and stopwatch modes, as well as Trench Toast, a brand-new map that features the checkpoint mode. The new map will also be available to download for those who own the full version of Wolfenstein. Trench Toast is a terrain-based map that features lots of fortifications and sniper positions, as well as a number of canals and trenches for players to use as cover. The new map supports far more players--up to 32--than the original checkpoint map included in Wolfenstein, and it features lots of hidden areas and a wide-open style rather than the streets featured in the other checkpoint map. [More...]

Military News
Hungary, Sweden Sign Lease Of JAS 39 Gripen
The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and the Hungarian Department of Defence's Acquisition and Security Investment Bureau (ASIB) have signed the final agreement on leasing 14 JAS 39 Gripen for the Hungarian Air Force. Both sides have agreed that the value of the deal remains classified for commercial reasons. The agreement contains an option clause, which offers the Hungarian government the opportunity to buy the aircraft equipment after negotiations at the end of the lease period.

The agreement includes in broad terms the following:

  • Leasing of twelve single seat and two twin seat aircraft during a period of ten years beginning at the end of 2004. The final batch will be delivered in June 2005. Hungary is responsible for the costs of technical adaptation of the 14 aircraft and also the total costs (i.e. training, operation and maintenance) for the use of the aircraft during the leasing period.

  • Operational and tactical training for 15 pilots in three batches, technical training for 32 maintenance technicians, two technicians for flight simulators and five fighter controllers. This training is mainly carried out in Sweden.

  • Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) gives the Hungarian as well as the Swedish Air Force, through "pooling", access to all kinds of spare parts/exchange units for Gripen aircraft in whatever of the countries they are accessible.

  • Technical adaptation of the aircraft to the same extent as for the main part of the Swedish fleet of aircraft comprising new communication systems, auxiliary power units, general electronic control units, and full authority digital engine controls.

  • In addition to this Hungary-specific changes include an IFF System, Instrument Landing System, Have Quick Radios, revised weapon functionality for external weapons and a software modification/upgrade.

    Gyorgy Matolcsy, Hungarian Minister of Economy and Ian McNamee, managing director Gripen International, signed an offset agreement linked to the lease of the Gripen aircraft.

    The value of this agreement Budapest, will exceed Hungarian commitments connected to the aircraft lease agreement. Offset activities will be carried out within nine years from the effective contract date.

    "We have already delivered pre-offset worth US $661 million to Hungary and are in discussions with over 40 companies to build on this existing commitment," states Ian McNamee

    Offset programmes will be targeted to meet the business sector priorities identified by the Hungarian government.

    Australia Signs Eurocopter Tiger ARH Contract
    The Australian Government has formally signed a A$1.3 billion contract with Eurocopter International Pacific for 22 'Tiger' Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters under Project Air 87.

    The project will create up to 180 jobs in Brisbane, including 150 during the assembly phase from mid 2002 to mid 2008 and another 30 jobs from the production line. As part of the Australian industry involvement initiative.

    Eurocopter will also establish a production line to produce EC120 civilian helicopters in Australia. The production line will produce between 30-50 helicopters per year for the Australian, New Zealand and Asian markets and have an annual turnover of about $50 million.

    The first of the 'Tigers' is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2004.

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