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by Gail Helmer

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Friday May 17, 2002

PC News
IL-2 Sturmovik: The Forgotten Battles
Exciting News! Ubi Soft today announced that it has entered into a publishing agreement under which 1C: Maddox Games will develop new content for the multi-award winning WWII combat flight simulation title, IL-2 Sturmovik. IL2-Sturmovik: The Forgotten Battles will include two new maps for Finland and Hungary, expanding the battlefield for both single and multiplayer modes. It will also feature more than 20 new single player missions and ten cooperative multiplayer missions. IL2-Sturmovik: The Forgotten Battles is expected to ship to retail stores worldwide in Fall 2002.

"The overwhelming success of IL-2 Sturmovik has proved that there is still a market for great combat simulation titles," said Carl C. Norman, executive producer at Ubi Soft Entertainment. "This follow up product ties into a greater strategy that we have created to ensure Ubi Soft's position as a driving force in the combat simulation genre for years to come."

For a full list of the features of IL-2 Sturmovik: The Forgotten Battles click here. Check out these Screenshots

The Sum of All Fears Demo
Try out this playable demo for The Sum of All Fears, the squad-based tactical shooter by Red Storm Entertainment. Word is it "takes place in a bombed out prison that serves as a training ground for the FBI's most elite agents. The mission objective will be to rescue ATF agents held within the grounds. The demo includes 5 weapons kits and all the mulitplayer modes within the prison level. Multiplayer is compatible only with other demo users." Details -- Download

Battlefield 1942 E3 Movie Trailer
The E3 movie trailer of Battlefield 1942 is now available, showing off the hybrid 3D action title under construction at Digital Illusions. The movie sports nearly two and a half minutes of impressive and often dramatic gameplay action. Download

New Screens: New World Order
We have 8 new screens from New World Order. NWO is a single and multiplayer team based shooter developed in Sweden by Termite Games and set for release in September 2002. The story takes place in the very near future. Gamers play a rookie member of the Global Assault Team, a commando squad created by international powers to take on the dangerous rise of a group of freelance terrorist factions better known as The Syndicate. In multiplayer mode up to 64 players can play as either The Syndicate or the GAT on a LAN or via the internet. NWO features 12 levels set all over the globe and will support the community with a level-editor, allowing gamers to create their own mods and skins in G-Max.

New Screens: LOMAC
Here are a couple of new screenshots from Lock On: Modern Air Combat. These two show the early damage modeling for a B-52 as well as a Su-25.

Spitfire Replica at E3 2002
Microsoft Game Studios commissioned a three-quarter scale Spitfire replica to display at its booth during next week's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. In these shots, the replica is about 95 percent finished, complete with streaking and oil stains for authenticity.

Military News
MLRS Rocket Successful in Third GPS-Aided Flight
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and the U.S. Army again successfully tested the new Guided version of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) rocket at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. In this test, a Guided MLRS rocket, using Global Positioning System- (GPS) aided guidance, performed nominally.

The rocket was launched from an MLRS M270 Improved Position Determining System launcher, flew more than 70 kilometers to the target area and dispensed its submunition payloads. Major test objectives included the successful launch of the rocket from the launcher, nominal motor performance, tail fin deployment and spin rate evaluation, and navigation performance. Preliminary data indicate that all test objectives were successfully achieved. This was the final engineering and development test in a series of six. The EDT tests continue to meet or exceed all performance requirements.

"As we complete the EDT phase, we couldn't be more pleased in the performance of the Guided rocket," said Ron Abbott, vice president - Fire Support for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This rocket's accuracy and reliability are continuing to exceed our expectations. I believe that the Guided MLRS rocket will be a tremendous asset for the battlefield commander."

The Guided MLRS rocket program is an international cooperative program between the U.S., U.K., Italy, France and Germany. The Guided MLRS rocket incorporates a GPS-aided inertial guidance package integrated on a product-improved rocket body. Additionally, small canards on the Guided rocket nose will provide basic maneuverability and enhance the accuracy of the system. Guided MLRS initial operational capability is scheduled for CY '05. Guided MLRS is the next major step in the evolution of the MLRS Family of Munitions, offering advanced capabilities, reduced logistics support and precision attack. The rocket will have a range of approximately 60+ kilometers.

Afghanistan Success Didn't Help Crusader
The successful use of precision munitions in Afghanistan reinforced DoD's decision to scratch the Army's Crusader artillery system, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said here today. Wolfowitz took part in a Brookings Institution news conference moderated by Stephen Hess of Brookings and former television reporter Marvin Kalb, now affiliated with the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Laser-guided aerial bombs, such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, have been used to good effect against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Wolfowitz said. That success "reinforced" DoD's decision to pass on the Crusader, he said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is slated to appear May 16 before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss his decision to ax the Crusader during talks about the fiscal 2003 DoD budget, Wolfowitz said.

Development work on the Crusader began around 1994, but a lot has happened before and since. For example, the U.S. military has increased its use of precision air-delivered weapons -- from 3 percent in Desert Storm to 30 percent in Kosovo to 60 percent so far in Afghanistan.

The American military today is facing similar challenges to transform or modernize itself as it did during the 1920s and 1930s between the world wars, Wolfowitz said. Much of today's military was designed to fight a Cold War opponent in a major land battle. The $11 billion self-propelled Crusader -- which is still on the drawing board with no serviceable prototypes built -- is designed to rapidly shoot 155mm shells at enemy troops as much as 30 miles away.

Envisioned as a replacement for the aging M-109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer series, Wolfowitz called the 40-ton Crusader and its 30-ton support vehicle "a good system -- it's definitely an advance over our current artillery."

However, he continued, the U.S. military is now developing a rapid-deployable force that will rely on airlift capability to quickly deliver troops and equipment to hot spots around the globe.

For example, the Army's transformational 19-ton Stryker multiwheeled armored vehicle can be airlifted. The 70-ton Abrams tank, a Cold-War "legacy" piece of equipment, must be deployed by ship, a much slower process.

In that context, Crusader, weighing in at a total of more than 70 tons, is not the kind of transformational leap in technology the U.S. forces need for the 21st century, Wolfowitz said.

He noted that Excalibur precision-guided artillery munitions and an upgraded Multiple Launch Rocket System could fill the void left by canceling the Crusader. He also suggested that the Future Combat System family of vehicles being developed by the Army might provide a lighter-weight, Crusader-like variant.

In answer to those resistant to military change, Wolfowitz pointed out that some Navy officials 25 years ago were against placing Tomahawk cruise missiles aboard submarines at the expense of torpedoes. Sub-launched Tomahawks have since proved their worth, the deputy defense secretary said.

"In the case of the Crusader (cancellation) we're looking at accelerating precision artillery which would deliver 10-meter accuracy," Wolfowitz said. That, in conjunction with an improved rocket delivery system or other transformational weaponry would be "revolutionary," he said.

British-led Coalition Battle Al Qaeda, Taliban Fighters
British forces today launched Operation Condor to support an Australian Special Air Service patrol engaged in combat with al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan. "I can confirm that the coalition has made contact with the enemy and that some have been killed," Royal Marines Brigadier R.G.T. Lane said at a press conference this morning. "A number of attacks by air have been conducted."

Australian, British and American ground and air forces are involved in the operation, intended to destroy enemy forces in the area and eliminate any terrorist infrastructure that may be found, British defense officials said.

Ground forces from the United Kingdom's Royal Marines 45 Commandos reinforced U.S. and Australian forces that had engaged May 16 in a lengthy firefight with enemy elements, British officials said. The coalition troops called in air support after they'd come under fire from heavy machine- guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Lane, commander of the Royal Marines Commando 3 Brigade, said he'd deployed the commandos "equipped with the full range of combat power at his disposal by air and road to close with and destroy the enemy in an area historically known to be used by the Taliban." He stressed that this is a coalition effort, with Australian and U.S. forces playing a prominent role.

"Our ability to respond rapidly to such attacks should serve as a reminder that the coalition will not tolerate such activity, and we will hunt the terrorists relentlessly -- and that is wherever they may be," Lane said. "This is vital for the future security and prosperity of this country and all those who live here.

"Operation Condor," he concluded, "together with other coalition operations, will enable the legitimate government of Afghanistan, in partnership with the international community, to build a brighter, secure and more prosperous future for all inhabitants of this country."

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