Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Monday February 25, 2002

PC News
Operation Flashpoint: Resistance Site Opens
Bohemia Interactive has launched the official website for Operation Flashpoint: Resistance, its upcoming expansion pack for Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. The new site contains a general introduction to the expansion, along with a brief background story and descriptions of some of the characters that players will encounter. In addition, it features a gallery of screenshots from the expansion. Operation Flashpoint: Resistance will add new missions, new vehicles and weapons, and a new island area to Operation Flashpoint. Release Date: June 2002.

Nvidia Choose’s Sci’s Conflict: Desert Storm
SCi Entertainment Group Plc, one of Europe’s leading publishers of computer and video games, is pleased to announce today that Nvidia, the world leader in 3D graphics technology, has chosen SCi’s eagerly anticipated new game Conflict: Desert Storm to showcase their new GeForce4 graphics card.

The card, released on 6th February, is the most technologically advanced available on the market. Conflict: Desert Storm will head up seven games titles, handpicked by Nvidia to showcase the full capabilities of their latest graphics installation. This will include a rolling demo of Conflict :Desert Storm on the Nvidia website, trade show and retail promotions, magazine inserts and a programme of TV coverage.

Based on the 1991 Gulf War, Conflict: Desert Storm is a 3rd person squad based action game, where the player takes control of an elite Special Forces SAS or Delta Force Unit, ordered behind enemy lines to infiltrate enemy territory and neutralise key targets. The game will be launched on PC in June 2002.

Project 1 Update
Developer Thirdwire has told us that their upcoming combat flight simulation, Project 1, featuring jet aircraft from the 60's, is close to alpha. Project 1 is expected to be beta by E3 in May. We will keep you posted on further developments.

New Screens: Prisoner of War
Codemasters has released new screens from Prisoner of War. Prisoner of War captures the intrigue danger and heroism of allied escape attempts from Prisoner of War (POW) camps during World War II. The gameplay delivers a tense 3rd person action adventure rush where bravery, action and cunning will win the day. Set in 1941 across four German POW camps (Salonika, Stalag Luft I, Stalag Luft III and Colditz Castle), players control four Allied Officers (British, French, Dutch and US) captured by the Germans. Each character is an expert escapee - specializing in different fields but all with the same goal. Release Date: June 2002. Click here to check out our interview with the developer of Prisoner of War.

New Screens: IGI 2
Codemasters has released new screens from IGI 2: Covert Strike. Codemasters’ sequel to Eidos’ Project IGI: I’m Going In, players assume the role of British covert operative David Jones, a former SAS soldier now working for a secret U.S. military organization. Set after the events of the original game, Jones undertakes top-secret military operations by infiltrating airbases, harbors, and secret government installations located deep within enemy territories. IGI 2 boasts a single-player campaign featuring enhanced AI, diverse weapon types, and a friendlier save system. Additionally, IGI 2 will offer team-based multiplayer action. With a storyline spanning China, Russia, and Libya, IGI 2 is set on being a thinking-gamer’s first-person shooter. Release date: June 2002

Hercules Launches 3d Prophet FDX 8500 LE
Hercules has released its new DirectX 8.1 and OpenGL 1.3 compatible graphics board, the 3D Prophet FDX 8500 LE. 3D Prophet FDX 8500 LE features the new generation ATI RADEON 8500LE chipset. Combined with 64MB of DDR RAM, its HYPERZ II technology performs memory control through hidden surface removal, which results in higher frame rates in 3D games, Hercules said in a press release.

3D Prophet FDX 8500 LE brings gamers RADEON 8500LE’s Smartshader technology with new programmable Vertex Shaders & Pixel Shaders for multi-texturing and complex lighting effects. The card also offers a potential 75 million triangles per second and the Charisma Engine II, a second-generation hardware accelerated Transform and Lighting engine. With integrated Smoothvision, 3D Prophet FDX 8500 LE also enables anti-aliasing. The RADEON 8500LE engine further includes Truform, a technology for transforming triangles into curved surfaces.

Through RADEON 8500LE’s companion chip, the RAGE THEATER, 3D Prophet FDX 8500 LE delivers a range of multimedia features. In addition to the DVI transmitter for display on digital flat panels in 16 million colors, the RAGE THEATER acts as a TV encoder to deliver images on NTSC and Pal TV sets up to a resolution of 1024x768. Its combination with the Video Immersion II interface and Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 4.0XP DVD software offers hardware HDTV decoding and video de-interlacing support for DVD movies. Also featured is the HYDRAVISION desktop management software, which offers an interface for display management on VGA or DVI with simultaneous TV out.

Military News
Officials Identify Airmen Killed In Helicopter Crash
Air Force officials identified two airmen killed in the Feb. 22 Army helicopter crash in the Philippines.

The airmen are Master Sgt. William L. McDaniel II, a special tactics pararescue flight superintendent, and Staff Sgt. Juan M. Ridout, a special tactics pararescueman, both from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

The two airmen were on board an Army MH-47 Chinook helicopter along with eight Army soldiers. The helicopter crashed while en route from Basilan Island to Mactan, in the Philippines. The helicopter was supporting U.S. efforts to train and advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their efforts against global terrorism.

Brig. Gen. Donald Wurster, commander of Joint Task Force 510 in the Philippines, announced the end of search and rescue operations in the crash of the helicopter and the start of search and recovery operations Feb 24.

"Based on our best assessment and the extensive efforts by the Philippine and U.S. search and rescue teams, we have determined that there is no chance that we will find survivors," he said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Funeral arrangements will be handled by the Air Force Mortuary Service.

Northrop Grumman DIRCM Systems For Australian Wedgetail
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems sector has been awarded a $20 million contract to provide AN/AAQ-24(V) NEMESIS directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems for the Australian Defence Force Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft being acquired under the Project Wedgetail program.

The Australian contract represents the first foreign sale of the NEMESIS system augmented with the Viper(TM) multiband laser.

The prime contractor for Project Wedgetail is The Boeing Company. The contract signed with Boeing's electronic warfare self-protection suite supplier, BAE SYSTEMS Australia Limited, runs through 2003.

A joint cooperative program between the United Kingdom and the United States, the NEMESIS DIRCM system uses infrared laser energy to disrupt the guidance systems of even the most advanced infrared or "heat-seeking" missiles. NEMESIS is currently the only such infrared countermeasures system in production worldwide.

"The use of the compact, solid-state Viper(TM) laser will greatly enhance the performance of an already well-proven system," said Arnold Welch, vice president of EO IR Countermeasures for the Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, Ill., where the NEMESIS system is manufactured. Viper(TM) is a cooperative development between Northrop Grumman and Fibertek Inc. of Herndon, Va.

The NEMESIS DIRCM system can be configured to protect both large fixed-wing transports and small rotary-wing aircraft. The U.S. Air Force's Materiel Command recently selected Northrop Grumman's NEMESIS system to protect its C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft from the threat posed by heat-seeking missiles.

Northrop Grumman Upgrade French AWACS Fleet
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a $61 million contract by The Boeing Company to supply four Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP) kits for the French Air Force's E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet.

As a member of the Boeing-led AWACS RSIP team, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector will provide most of the RSIP hardware, which will then be installed and tested by other members of the team.

"RSIP represents the most significant upgrade to the French E-3 fleet since its deployment in the early 1990s," said William R. Adams, vice president of Airborne Surveillance Systems at Northrop Grumman. "RSIP will provide the necessary edge the French Air Force will need in future conflicts and increase interoperability with the U.S. Air Force, NATO and United Kingdom AWACS fleets."

The RSIP upgrade enhances the operational capability of the E-3 radar against the growing threat from smaller targets, cruise missiles and electronic countermeasures, while retaining all of the existing radar system's capabilities. It will also improve the French Air Force's AWACS man-machine interface and operational maintainability.

Battle-proven by NATO forces during the Kosovo conflict, RSIP-modified E-3s spotted hostile aircraft and directed allied fighters in numerous successful engagements.

The AWACS AN/APY-1/-2 surveillance radar system, designed and built by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, provides the E-3 aircraft's look-down capability. AWACS is designed to detect and track both enemy and friendly aircraft throughout a large volume of airspace. The radar provides full long-range surveillance of high- and low-flying aircraft in all weather conditions and over all types of terrain.

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