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Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday, February 23, 2001

PC News
New World War II Online Movie.
Cornered Rat Software has released a new movie from their upcoming massively multiplayer wargame, World War II Online. The Promo movie is 42 MB in size, with both a Mac version and a PC version, and is available at: WWII Online

World War II Online brings air, ground, and sea combat to a real-time, and historically set massively multiplayer game. Players command and crew a variety of accurately modeled vehicles, aircraft, and ships or explore the world and fight as a foot soldier in first person-combat with and against thousands of other players.

IL-2 Friday Update.
Oleg Maddox has posted seven (7) new screenshots. The highlight for today is that the rear gunner position now works! Check out the new screenshots at: IL-2 Forum @ Blue Byte

Fly! II Update.
The Gathering of Developers continues to dribble out tidbits of information on FLY! II.

Here are the latest details:
  • Crisper, Clearer Photorealistic Detail. TerraSene Imagery emulates the accuracy and detail of satellite imagery (30 meter per pixel resolution) currently used in computer games, but the computer imaging offers superior visuals equivalent to a 7.5 meter per pixel resolution image.
  • Increased Visibility Range. Fly! II's Visibility Range (60 miles) is five times greater than in Fly!2K, offering a more realistic representation of what real world pilots experience at high altitudes.
  • High Accuracy Altitude/Elevation Modeling. Fly! II?s Elevation Mesh is four times greater than in FLY!/Fly!2K, allowing for different levels on terrain and a realistic depiction of the jagged topography of actual mountains.
  • All-New Visual Effects. Fly! II serves up a host of new eye candy through effects that take advantage of DirectX8 compatibility, including bump-mapped clouds, water effects (reflection, shimmer), smoke, contrails, heat shimmer, prop wash (Bell 407), prop and landing gear damage.
No Awards for Combat Simulations This Year.
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) announced the nominees for this year's Game Developers Choice Awards and not a combat simulation in sight.

The Game Developers Choice Awards provide the opportunity for developers to honor those that have made creative and technical contributions to electronic gaming, highlight the people behind the scenes and celebrate the art form of games. Games were developed for multiple platforms including PCs, consoles and the Web. Games that landed their makers on the nomination list range from small independently developed ones like "BLiX" to the epic "Shenmue," which took over a hundred developers and a $70 million budget to create. The awards ceremony will be held during the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California on March 23, 2001.. For the complete list of nominees visit: IDGA - Awards

Game Developers Choice Awards Nominees (Highlights):
Game of the Year
  • Deus Ex (ION Storm Austin)
  • Jet Grind Radio (Smilebit)
  • No One Lives Forever (Monolith)
  • Shenmue (Sega AM2)
  • The Sims (Maxis)
Rookie Studio Award
  • Counter-Strike team (Counter-Strike)
  • Free Radical Design (TimeSplitters)
  • Massive Entertainment (Ground Control)
  • Nihilistic Software (Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption)
  • Planet Moon Studios (Giants: Citizen Kabuto)
Excellence in Game Design
  • Harvey Smith & Warren Spector - Deus Ex (game design)
  • Sean Clark & Michael Stemmle - Escape from Monkey Island (puzzles)
  • Shigeru Miyamoto & Eiji Aonuma - Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (gameplay)
  • Ragnar Tornquist - The Longest Journey (story)
  • Neversoft team - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (gameplay)
Military News
Navy To Christen Destroyer Shoup.
The newest Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, Shoup (DDG 86), will be christened Feb. 24, 2001, during a ceremony at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship honors 22nd commandant of the Marine Corps and Medal of Honor recipient Gen. David M. Shoup (1904-1983) for his actions during the initial landings on Betio, Tarawa Atoll, in the Pacific on Nov. 20 to 22, 1943. While in command of the Second Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, he carried out his leadership duties and exposed himself to withering enemy fire despite suffering a serious, painful leg wound which had become infected.

Shoup received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Jan. 22, 1945, the citation read in part: "By his brilliant leadership, daring tactics and selfless devotion to duty, Colonel Shoup was largely responsible for the final decisive defeat of the enemy." He was also awarded the Purple Heart (oak leaf cluster), Legions of Merit with Combat V and the British Distinguished Service order. Shoup has been described as "the bravest Marine who ever wore the uniform." In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Shoup the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Later, he was known as President John F. Kennedy's "favorite general." When President Lyndon Johnson pinned the Distinguished Service Medal on Shoup in 1964, Johnson described him as "strong enough to prevent a war and wise enough to avoid one."

Shoup died on Jan. 15, 1983, at the age of 78. No previous Navy ship has been named for Shoup. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. William A. Whitlow, director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Zola Shoup, widow of the ship's namesake, and Claudia Natter, wife of Adm. Robert J. Natter, commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, will both serve as ship sponsors. In the time-honored Navy tradition, they will each break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen Shoup.

Shoup is the 36th of 58 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress and the 16th of this class to be built by Ingalls Shipbuilding. These multi-mission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. These combatant ships are equipped with the Navy's Aegis combat systems, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating "Forward... from the Sea."

Commander E. Bernard Carter, a native of Hopkins, S.C., is the prospective commanding officer of Shoup with a crew of approximately 383. Upon its commissioning in 2002, Shoup will be homeported in Everett, Wash., as an element of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Shoup is 509.5 feet in length, and has a waterline beam of 59 feet. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,300 ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. (US Navy Photo)

Thursday, February 22, 2001

PC News
New 3DMark2001 Screenshot.
MadOnion send us the latest kick-ass teaser screenshot of the new benchie 3DMark2001.

For more information, and screenshots on the upcoming release visit: 3DMark2001 CONFIDENTIAL

Academy Announces Game of the Year Nominations.
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences announced the finalists for the fourth annual Interactive Achievement Awards. British Comedian and commentator Martin Lewis will host the event in San Jose, Calif. on March 22. Highlights include an overall Game of the Year as well as Game of the Year Awards presented in the computer, console and online areas. The Academy will also honor John Carmack, owner and technical director of id Software, who will be inducted into the Academy Hall of Fame.

PC Game of the Year finalists include:
  • Age of Empires II: The Conquerors
  • Asheron's Call
  • Baldur's Gate II
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
  • Deus Ex
  • Diablo II
  • Disney's Magic Artist 3D
  • EverQuest: Ruins of Kunark
  • FIFA 2001
  • Links 2001
  • MechWarrior 4
  • No One Lives Forever
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes
  • Sacrifice
NVIDIA Introduces GeForce3.
NVIDIA® Corporation today introduced the world's most advanced graphics processor, the GeForce3TM GPU for the Macintosh® platform at Macworld Expo Tokyo 2001. Powered by the new NVIDIA nfiniteFX(tm) engine the new GeForce3 GPU enables users to experience a rich, interactive environment. 3D scenes have ambiance with GeForce3 because objects appear photo realistic and custom lighting heightens drama and emotion. Characters and living creatures have organic behavior and unique expressions-their personality emerges. Programmability and performance are the catalysts for this graphics revolution. Geforce3 graphics on the Power MacTM G4 will be available next month as a configure-to-order (CTO) option at the Apple Store and through Apple resellers.

Military News
Army To Honor World War II Paratroopers.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki will honor more than 100 surviving members of World War II's heroic 551st Parachute Infantry by presenting the unit with the Presidential Unit Citation Award in a ceremony to be held in the Pentagon's Auditorium, February 23. The Army unit spearheaded the Allied Forces counterattack, in the 82nd Airborne Division's northern sector, in the Battle of the Bulge beginning on December 27, 1944. The unit endured its heaviest fighting on January 7, 1945. More than the 200 guests, including families of the veterans, and dignitaries plan to attend the ceremony honoring the exceptional heroism of this unit that helped successfully turn the tide during one of the most decisive battles of World War II. On January 8, 1945, Adolf Hitler ordered the German Army's first pullback from the Battle of the Bulge.

One of two independent U.S. parachute battalions deployed during World War II, the Army constituted the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion on October 30,1942, and then activated it in November in the Canal Zone. The unique unit is credited with participating in the first daylight combat drop in the European Theater in Nice, France, only two months after D-Day; the capture of several high ranking officers of the German Army at Draguignan; and later the capture of the towns of Dairomont and Quartiers in France. The 551st was deactivated on February 10, 1945 with its soldiers reassigned to integral units of the 82nd Airborne Division. The Army reconstituted the unit as the 551st Parachute Infantry on May 12, 1947. WWII campaign participation credit includes American Theater, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland and Ardennes-Alsace. The elite parachute unit was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Silver-Gilt Star by the French President for the magnificent bravery displayed in the capture of Draguignan.

Aging Aircraft Fleet Tops Concerns For USAF.
In today's Air Force, the average aircraft platform's age is more than 20 years old. To ensure the Air Force continues to have viable warfighting platforms that can accomplish the mission, the Air Force Materiel Command is aggressively working to modify and sustain the aging fleet, the command's commander in chief, Gen. Lester Lyles, said during a visit here recently. "Our whole reason for existence is to provide assistance to the warfighter," Lyles said. "That support crosses from cradle to grave for every weapon we have in the Air Force inventory, from information technology systems, to F-22s, to F-16s, to F-15 Eagles."

The aging aircraft fleet is one of the biggest challenges the Air Force faces today, he said. Buying F-22 Raptors, C-17 Globemaster IIIs and Joint Strike Fighters -- the only platform planned to replace the F-16 -- is how the Air Force plans to modernize the fleet. However, the replacement rate is such that most aircraft platform's average age will not decrease for several years. F-16s are expected to remain in the Air Force inventory until 2024. "That puts a premium on managing our aging aircraft, systems and the fleets we have in the Air Force," he said. "To make sure we have a viable warfighting platform is to ensure we are making the right kind of modifications to put the right kind of equipment into the aircraft so that they can accomplish the warfighting mission."

The 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, has worked since November to convert from Block-30 F-16s, which were primarily daytime capable fighters, to Block-40s equipped with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night system. The LANTIRN system integrates intake-mounted pods that allow pilots to locate and mark enemy targets day or night, and gives pilots precision-targeting capability. "You are getting rid of the older models from the 35th Fighter Squadron, and they will have the LANTIRN-equipped Block-40s to help do that night mission here that is so vital for the defense of the Republic of Korea," he said.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

PC News
IL-2 Sturmovik Live Chat Transcripts.
This past Saturday Blue Byte hosted a Live Chat and Oleg Maddox was on hand to field your questions and reveal loads of new, information on IL-2 Sturmovik. If you missed the chat or just want to find out was sayed, Blue Byte has posted the full transcript - click here

Operation Flashpoint Video Released.
Bohemia Interactive has released a new in-game video, you can see Machine gunner in action. The Machine Gun video is 7megs and is available for download here: Operation Flashpoint Download.

Operation Flashpoint is a military tactical combat simulation game being developed by Bohemia Interactive Studio. Operation Flashpoint brings the player into a complex war game experience, it offers freedom of action integrating command of larger squads and use of any available vehicles with total immersion. Experience the cold war military equipment – infantry, mobile, armored and aircraft.

War in Russia: The Matrix Project v3.0 Now Available.
War is Russia v3.0 has been in development for a while but it's finally done. Arnaud Bouis and his development team have done a terrific job in improving the game and adding new features to it. War in Russia is a divisional level wargame that deals with almost every aspect of the war in the Eastern Front. This is considered by many to be one of Gary Grigsby top game designs. You will find many new features and enhancements in War In Russia: The Matrix Project. Get ready for the fight to the death with this free game by Matrix. A list of features can be found on our War in Russia web site at War in Russia

War in Russia is a complete free game with the manual. The game can be downloaded at War in Russia Download

Gary Grigsby Projects in the Works.
Uncommon Valor is Gary Grigsby newest design. This new strategy game covers the campaigns of New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland and the Solomon chain from May 1942 to the end of December 1943. The scale is 30 miles per hex and the attrition factor is individual vehicles, guns and squads. Phases are one day, composed of two 12-hour impulses. A turn is composed of 1 to 7 phases, at the player’s discretion. Players will have the choice of continuous play and that may interrupt that by pressing a key to give commands to your forces when you need to. Uncommon Valor is do out late Summer 2001

Space Empires: IV Patch 1.27 Released.
Shrapnel Games announced that the Space Empires: IV Patch 1.27 release addresses many AI issues as well as grants the user more in game options and more support for game modifications. The patch can be downloaded from: Shrapnel Games

Eidos To Provide Interactive Entertainment For WAP.
Nokia and Eidos announced an agreement, where Eidos will develop games for WAP enabled mobile phones over the next two years based on new and existing franchises, with the first Eidos game, Gangsters, to be available during the first half of 2001. The games will be offered to consumers via wireless operators and is accompanied with news that Rage Software has also signed a deal to provide game content to Nokia.

Military News
Comanche Team Completes Mission Equipment Package Test.
The Comanche Team has completed an important digital battlefield technology test that demonstrates the power of integrated warfighting capabilities. Test engineers and technicians at the Boeing Comanche Mission Equipment Package (MEP) System Integration Laboratory successfully displayed Night Vision Pilotage System (NVPS) imagery on a Comanche cockpit multi-function display. NVPS is a major component of the Comanche MEP, the RAH-66's fully integrated digital avionics system that incorporates advanced navigation, communication and targeting capabilities.

The integration effort linked imagery from Comanche's low-light video and forward-looking infrared sensors with a cockpit display to replicate capabilities that will permit pilots to complete reconnaissance missions successfully at night and in adverse weather. Comanche Team members from Boeing, Harris, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman worked together for seven months to complete the integration test, which involved every major hardware module and data bus within the MEP.

Comanche Prototype No. 2 is scheduled to fly the NVPS, along with the upgraded mission computer cluster hardware and software and upgraded cockpit displays, in March 2002. Jean Chamberlin, Boeing Comanche program director, said, "This integration test is just the first of many successes we expect to achieve in MEP development this year. We face a number of technical challenges in MEP development, but our team is fully committed to validating our systems and preparing them for flight tests on schedule. The Comanche airframe has already demonstrated its capabilities, and we are now preparing to prove that the MEP's digital systems truly will make Comanche a unique combat rotorcraft with unparalleled brains as well as brawn." (Boeing Photo)

US GAO Savages V-22 Test Programme.
The US Government Audit Office (GAO) has issued a report on the state of the V-22 test programme that may well be the final nail in the coffin of an ill-fated tilt-rotor aircraft procurement for the US Marine Corps. In a letter to the US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, the GAO says, "Our review of the V-22 program, which is already in low-rate initial production, revealed that the Department planned to proceed with a full-rate production decision without knowing whether new technology could meet Marine Corps requirements; whether the design would work as required; or whether the design could be produced within cost, schedule, and quality targets."

In particular the GAO was scathing about the manner in which the initial test programme had been constantly reduced. "Specifically, developmental testing was deleted, deferred, or simulated in order to meet cost and schedule goals. ...To meet cost and schedule targets, the actual testing conducted was less than a third of that originally planned," the letter continued. Notably the report pointed out that the 113 planned test conditions to investigate Vortex Ring State, a condition where the tilt-rotor settles into its own downwash and loses lift, which may have contributed to the crash in April last year in Arizona, which killed 19 Marines, were reduced to 49. Of these only 33 were actually flown.

The report,Readiness of the Marine Corps' V-22 Aircraft for Full-Rate Production concluded that there was significant risk with proceeding with full-rate production because:
  • Knowledge of V-22 design and performance parameters fell short of what should have been known before beginning production
  • Developmental flight testing was deleted, deferred, or simulated
  • Operational test waivers and limitations reduced testing for operational realism
  • Assessment was based on reduced system requirements
  • Major concerns were raised in OPEVAL, JAG report, OPEVAL database, DOT& E, and other reports
  • Risks of moving forward without additional knowledge
  • Value of system for Marine Corps operations was not yet established
  • Connection between demonstrated problems not known; unknown problems not discovered
  • The contract exposed government to responsibility to fund any design modifications -some, perhaps significant, changes were likely
  • Longer term risk to modernisation account, as cost increases beyond already budgeted funds were likely
  • Marine Corps budget impacted by maintainability shortfalls
The V-22 is the US Marine Corps priority equipment procurement programme, intended to replace the ageing helicopter troop lift capability. The Marine Corps wants the aircraft for its high speed (300Kts) in level flight and for its increased capacity (up to 24 combat equipped troops). However, the GAO even calls the latter into doubt suggesting that approximately 15 combat equipped troops is the real figure.

The V-22 programme has always been controversial. Vice president Dick Cheney tried to kill it in its initial stages when he was Defense Secretary to Ex-President George Bush. Since then the budget has been constantly exceeded, and now runs at some $40 billion for 458 tilt-rotors for the Marines (350), Navy (48) and AirForce (50)

In addition to the accident in Arizona, the V-22 had two crashes (one fatal, 3 USMC and 4 civilians died) during its early developmental stages, and finally a fatal crash in December 2000 when 4 Marines died. The USMC also suspended the commander of the V-22 test squadron in January this year after receiving an anonymous letter alleging falsification of maintenance records. The USMC has denied that poor maintenance was the cause of either of the last two fatal crashes.

The US Department of Defense has halted any decisions on the future of the V-22 programme until a 'Blue Riband' panel of experts, set up in December last year by previous Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and tasked with an " independent, high level review of the programme", has issued its report, expected in the next two months. (Boeing Photo)

Admiral Okays USS Greeneville Inquiry.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander has ordered that a Court of Inquiry be convened this week to investigate the circumstances leading to the Feb. 9 collision between a Navy nuclear submarine and a Japanese trawler off Honolulu. At a Feb. 17 press conference in Pearl Harbor, Admiral Thomas B. Fargo noted that he had completed his preliminary review of the collision between the USS Greeneville and the fishing vessel Ehime Maru. The submarine was conducting an emergency surfacing exercise when it struck the Ehime Maru about nine miles out from Diamond Head, DoD officials said.

Scorpio II found Ehime Maru late Friday night in 2,003 feet of water.
(U.S. Navy photo.)

"The Court of Inquiry is the Navy's highest form of administrative investigation and a formal hearing," Fargo said at Pearl Harbor. "I've elected this course of action after reviewing the facts, opinions and recommendations expressed in the preliminary inquiry, because a Court of Inquiry provides the necessary legal safeguards for the affected parties, complete subpoena power and a forum for public disclosure." Fargo said the court would convene Feb. 26 at Pearl Harbor. It will not conflict with the ongoing National Transportation and Safety Board investigation, he said.

"The court is directed to inquire into all facets of the collision," Fargo said. "They'll make recommended administrative or disciplinary action, if appropriate, as well as to make any other recommendations as to the circumstances surrounding the incident." Fargo said he didn't know how long the court would meet.

Three Navy flag officers will constitute the Court of Inquiry, Fargo said. They are:
  • Vice Adm. John B. Nathman, the commander of Naval Air Forces in the Pacific Fleet, who will lead the inquiry.
  • Rear Adm. Paul F. Sullivan, the director of plans and policy at the U.S. Strategic Command.
  • Rear Adm. David M. Stone, the commander of Cruiser/Destroyer Group Five.
Fargo noted that the Greeneville's commanding officer, Cmdr. Scott Waddle; the executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Gerald K. Pfeifer; and officer of the deck Lt. j.g. Michael J. Coen, would be questioned during the court. All of the officers "will be afforded their due process rights, including their right to be represented by counsel" at the inquiry, Fargo said.

The Japanese will be offered the opportunity to send a Maritime Self-Defense Force flag officer to attend the court as an advisor, he said.

The collision with the Greeneville caused the Ehime Maru to sink within minutes, officials noted. Nine members of its 35-member crew are still missing.

"The seriousness in which I view this tragic incident is reflected in the level of the investigation and the seniority of the court members," Fargo said. "They will provide a full and open accounting to both the American and the Japanese people."

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

PC News
Rage Announces Distribution Agreement With Interplay OEM.
Rage announced an exclusive OEM distribution agreement with Interplay OEM Inc ("Interplay OEM"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Interplay Entertainment Corporation ("Interplay"), a leading North American developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software.

Under the terms of the agreement, Interplay OEM will act as the Company's exclusive worldwide OEM partner and look to secure the placement of the software bundling rights for the Company's forthcoming range of PC-based gaming titles, scheduled for release over the next two years. The agreement is in addition to a general product distribution agreement signed with Interplay and announced in September 2000. Included in the list of titles are Off Road Racing(TM), Hostile Waters(TM): Antaeus Rising(R) and Incoming Forces(TM). Not included in the list, but is expected to be released this spring, is Eurofighter Typhoon.

COMBATSIM.COM reported back in October (Typhoon Release Update) that the delay of Eurofigher: Typhoon was due to distribution logisitics. Originally, Infogrames was expected to distribute the title. Yesterday we reported that Eurofighter: Typhoon is expected to hit store shelves first in Europe by May 4,'01 and in North America by June. '01.

Sudden Strike Patch Released for US Version.
Strategy First announced today it has released a patch for Sudden Strike on Strategy First and Sudden Strike. The US version 1.2 Patch fixes all multiplayer compatibility issues between Sudden Strike European and North American versions. Players worldwide will now have the opportunity to challenge each other to an epic battle of WWII proportions!

The patch also allows for the following. For those who purchased the North American version, these elements are already included;
  • GameSpy support. Finds opponents from around the world seamlessly via the Internet.
  • Selective unloading of troops from trucks. When a truck is selected, the units inside it are displayed in the upper left of the screen.
  • Placing mines. This was simplified. Now you have to select a soldier carrying a mine. Then you choose "lay mine" and right click where you want him to place it.
  • Repairing bridges. This too has been simplified. Select a supply truck. Select "repair bridge" and then right-click on the bridge.
Virus Found in Falcon 4.0 Downloads.
There is news this morning from 3D Gaming World , the host of download site SimFiles , that 2 add-ons for Falcon 4 called and a Mission for Fightersqadron called misionownageyeah contain a virus. 3D Gaming World is working on setting up a virus scanner on their Linux server over the next day or so. If you have been infected with this file 3D Gaming World apologizes, but does not guarantee that the files that are shared are 100% virus free.

ATF Alpha Released.
Shrapnel Games announced today that, through it's partnership with ProSimCo, they are proud to release an early alpha of the upcoming, innovative, wargame Armored Task Force to the public. This release, by no means, represents all of the features of the final release of Armored Task Force. It is intended to be functionally equivalent to BCT: Brigade Combat Team. It lacks all of the friendly and enemy AI features which will eventually be added. Also, it is missing the higher-echelon layers which will allow players to give high- level orders to companies and platoons. It is also missing many of the vehicle types, such as fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and ammo carriers, which will be included in the final release. Armored Task Force is currently under development and you can find out more about the game at Shrapnel Games

Abacus Announces Dutch Partnership and CFS2 Add-ons.
Abacus has announced that their flight sim add-ons are available in the Dutch language thanks to their partnership with Easy Computing. Easy Computing is a 10-year old company based in Brussels with sales offices in Amsterdam. The company has excellent distribution to major computer and book stores in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. According to Managing Director Fernand Wiener, several Abacus titles are already available and other add-ons will be shipping shortly. For more information see Abacus Partners with Easy Computing

Pacific Theatre for CFS2
One of our bestselling titles for CFS is Pacific Theatre. We've completed the conversion and now Pacific Theatre is now CFS2-compatible. We'll begin shipping Pacific Theatre March 10th. Registered users of the CFS1 version can upgrade for only $10. Please see Pacific Theatre

"Fly Before You Buy" - for CFS2
Abacus has completed work for CFS2 for the World War II aircraft in our "fly before you buy" Premier Collection. The P-51 Dakota Kid, Supermarine Spitfire, F4U-5 Corsair and Messerschmitt Me262 are now available for free test flights at Flightsim Downloads

Targetware Announces Website Affiliate Program.
Today, Targetware announced the introduction of its Web Site Affiliates program. According to their press release, "This program has been established in conjunction with an International group of Webzines and flight-sim enthusiast web sites, representing various countries including France, Finland, Canada and the U.S. Once the Targetware series releases into open beta, it is anticipated they will receive ever increasing community demands, with requests to download complete 3D plane models, skins, terrains, utilities and other Targetware related files. This program is being implemented to facilitate a more efficient world wide access by the virtual flight simulation community, to the many aftermarket add-on file resources expected to become popular through the use of the Targetware series of flight simulations."

Publisher's Note: COMBATSIM.COM will not be a member of Targetware's Web Site Affiliate program because we believe it to be a conflict of interest in our role as a journalistic publication. We do, however, applaud Targetware's efforts to develop a community-drive sim but we cannot affiliate with them much in the same way we decided some years ago never to take commissions on combat simulation-related product sales through on-line store associations or banner affiliate programs.

Military News
New Demonstrator Spurs Navy UCAV Development

In the hope of establishing a leading position in the promising unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) market, Northrop Grumman officials have designed an unorthodox kite- or diamond-shape aircraft as the company's first foray into this mission area. Full story at: Aviation Now

Israel to Purchase Nine Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbows.
The government of Israel has signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the United States Department of Defense for the purchase of nine AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters. Once government-to-government negotiations are completed through a foreign military sales agreement, the U.S. Army will contract with Boeing for the Israeli aircraft and equipment. Total value of the program -- including aircraft, ordnance, spares, training and support -- is expected to approach $500 million.

Boeing is nearing completion of the first multi year contract to deliver 232 remanufactured AH-64D Apache Longbows to the U.S. Army through 2001. In September 2000, Boeing and the U.S. Army signed a second five-year, multi year contract to remanufacture an additional 269 AH-64As into the Apache Longbow configuration through 2006. Defense forces from several international customers also are considering upgrading to the Apache Longbow.

In addition, Boeing is producing 30 AH-64D Apaches for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and 67 WAH-64 Apache Longbows as part of the GKN Westland Helicopters, Ltd. team that is building the aircraft for the United Kingdom.

The advanced, multi-mission AH-64D Apache features fully integrated avionics and weapons plus a state-of-the-art modem that transmits real-time, secure digitized battlefield information to air and ground forces. The Apache Longbow is the world's only fourth-generation attack helicopter and the only combat helicopter in service with the ability to rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage stationary or moving enemy targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather environments.

A-10 Fleet To Get Precision Attack Capability.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego and the US Air Force have begun the largest single upgrade effort ever undertaken for the A/OA-10 aircraft. During the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase, the company's Aerospace Systems business unit will design, manufacture and test the Precision Engagement system. This involves the installation of a digital stores management system for cockpit interface with its weapon systems; new cockpit displays; a Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL) to provide accurate information about friendly forces and potential threats; a Direct-Current (DC) generator upgrade; and the integration of guided weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) along with future targeting pod integration. Follow-on efforts will then outfit the entire A-10 fleet.

The A/OA-10 Prime contract modification has an estimated value of $226 million, $74 million for the EMD phase through 2004 with follow-on production at $152 million. This effectively combines multiple A-10 upgrade requirements into one programme that fits within current available funding and saves the US Air Force approximately $150 million over the cost of carrying out the requirements as standalone projects. The Precision Engagement modification also provides the A-10 fleet with enhanced close-air support and precision strike capability earlier than originally planned.

"The Air Force's original funding did not include the DC power modification and guided munitions capability," explained Stephen D. Ramsey, vice president, Aerospace Systems. He noted that by combining these with the separately funded programmes along with future targeting pod integration, many of the A-10s will now be pulled out of the fleet just once to reduce aircraft downtime and overall costs.

The A/OA-10 is an effective, survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against ground targets, including tanks and armoured vehicles. This aircraft has excellent capability at low air speeds and altitudes, and the new upgrade will enable the A-10 to perform vital missions with greater accuracy at higher altitudes. The A/OA-10 Prime base contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin in December 1997. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego leads a team that includes BAE SYSTEMS Controls and Southwest Research Institute.

The Bombing of Baghdad - Again.
US and British aircraft struck targets in southern Iraq on Friday. The attack follows a period of increased activity by Iraqi air defences, likely probing the will of the new administration in Washington. There will be short-term damage to US interests, particularly as Secretary of State Colin Powell goes to the Persian Gulf next week. But over the long term, the strikes appear to be part of a strategy to restore influence over the Persian Gulf, where Iraq has moved to turn onetime enemies into allies. This is so way cool, you must check out this full mission debrief click here.

RNZN Super Seasprite Missile Trials A Success.
Kaman Aerospace said its SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite helicopter developed for the Royal New Zealand Navy has carried out tests with Maverick air-to-surface missiles at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona. The successful tests were the first live missile firings from the new SH-2G(NZ) with its integrated weapons system and dual external stores stations.

Kaman Aerospace and Raytheon Electronic Systems jointly developed autopilot algorithms for a new version of the Maverick, the AGM-65D(NZ), to meet the extended range requirements of the Royal New Zealand Navy. According to Kaman's New Zealand programme manager Jim Watt, "The Maverick is a great, proven missile, and now we've demonstrated it meets the needs of our customer."

The infrared-imaging Maverick is the primary armament of New Zealand's SH-2G(NZ) and gives the multi-mission naval helicopter a powerful standoff weapon for a variety of targets. The new Super Seasprite introduces aerodynamic lift stores stations that enable the SH-2G(NZ) to carry two Maverick missiles or other large external stores.

At Yuma, four missiles were fired from the helicopter flying at 100 knots airspeed and altitudes up to 5,000 feet. Two unguided rounds were launched from port and starboard weapons stations to verify safe weapons separation. Two guided rounds were fired subsequently to demonstrate different missile targeting modes. One guided missile struck the simulated waterline of a ship target at 8.25 miles. The other hit the centre of a tank-like target at 5 miles. The Yuma trials also provided the first opportunity for Royal New Zealand Navy pilot, Lt. Cdr. James Gilmore, to fly the SH-2G(NZ) on the return flight from Arizona to Bloomfield Connecticut.

Commenting on the flight, Lt. Cdr. Gilmore said, "The Royal New Zealand Navy has been operating the SH-2F Seasprite for several years and the SH-2G Super Seasprite feels very similar to fly, albeit with considerably more power. The trademark low vibration levels and comfortable smooth response to control inputs made for a low fatigue, long distance flight" Gilmore said the cockpit layout was user friendly and several well-considered positioning modifications had been made to the flight and engine instruments. Emergency handling was straightforward and the aircraft's single engine performance was very impressive. "The aircraft is sound, powerful and in my short experience with it, surprisingly free of mechanical faults given its very young age and the inevitable teething process that one would expect," said Gilmore.

Maverick missiles were first fired from the SH-2G Super Seasprite in proof-of-concept tests in 1996, but the current trials marked the first time missiles were fired from New Zealand's SH-2G(NZ) with its integrated weapons system. Kaman engineers have integrated the AAQ-22 Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor from FLIR Systems, Inc. with the ASN-150 tactical navigation system from Litton Integrated Systems.

A new weapons systems controller prepares the missiles for firing and brings missile seeker imagery into the SH-2G(NZ) cockpit. Through Smart Display Units, the two Super Seasprite crew members can view FLIR or missile imagery and use the thermal imager to cue the imaging infrared seeker of the AGM-65D(NZ) to the target. The new weapons system controller is also compatible with television-guided versions of the Maverick.

The Yuma trials included the first release of LUU-IIB parachute flares from the port and starboard weapons stations of the SH-2G(NZ). The powerful flares are used to aid night search and rescue (SAR) efforts. The stores tests also included the first live firing of the ALE-47 flare and chaff dispenser controlled by the Litton Advanced Systems LR-100 threat warning system.

The Royal New Zealand Navy has five SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprites on order. The first was used for the missile trials at Yuma and is scheduled for delivery to New Zealand in the first quarter 2001. (Photo Kaman Aerospace)

Raytheon Awarded Stinger FMS Contract.
Raytheon has been awarded an $89 million contract by the US Army for 1,007 Stinger Block 1 missiles and equipment for foreign military sales to Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom. The missiles will be divided among the US NATO allies with a completion date of 2004. Raytheon's Missile Systems business unit produces the Stinger Block 1 missiles for US forces as well as numerous NATO allies and international customers.

The Stinger missile is an advanced short-range, fire- and-forget air defence weapon system and the only short-range air defence missile system in the United States defence inventory. Stinger Block 1 is a multi-role missile used in both air defence and helicopter air-to-air missions. The Block 1 is the newest version of the Stinger missile with hardware and software modifications to insure high probability of kill against advanced air threats, such as cruise missiles, modern attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Stinger is operational in the US armed services and in those of 18 allied nations. It is deployed on a wide variety of platforms including the US Army's Avenger, Linebacker and Bradley vehicles; the Kiowa Warrior and Blackhawk helicopters; Navy special operating ships; and the Marine Corps' Avenger and Light Armoured Vehicle. "Foreign military sales are key to maintaining an industrial base, supporting local economies, reducing the cost of US Army systems, and providing a coalition warfighting capability with our allies,'' said Col. Robert F. Arnone, project manager of the US Army's Short Range Air Defence Project Office.

Raytheon has delivered more than 41,000 Stinger-RMP missiles, and more than $4 billion has been invested in Stinger weapon systems and platforms.

Monday, February 19, 2001

PC News
Typhoon in June.
COMBATSIM.COM has learned that Rage Softwares has set the release dates for Eurofighter: Typhoon. Typhoon will hit store shelves first in Europe by May 4,'01 and in North America by June. '01. For more information read our Eurofighter: Typhoon interview series Interview 1 , Interview2 , Interview 3

B-17 2 Poll and Petition.
Bombs Away.Net has announced they have started a Petition to Infogrames seeking more Bug Fixes and adding Multi-Player back into the game. If you are interested, the petition is located here: B-17 2 Petition

Bombs has also posted a poll to see what kind of support there is to get Multi-player for B17-2. You can participate in the poll here:B-17 2 Multiplayer Poll
For more information visit the: Forum

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