Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday, June 01, 2001

PC News

IL-2 Development Update
Oleg Maddox has posted the IL-2 Sturmovik development update. Included this week are screenshots of a Ju-52 with floats, as well as, screenshots of some aces with their personal aircraft. Can you identify the aircraft? Click here to check it out.

Remote Assault Gold
Shrapnel Games, and developer One Games, announced today that Remote Assault has gone gold. The game is scheduled for shipping on July 9th. Remote Assault is a real time 3D wargame set in the near future that offers many new features never combined in one single wargame. Click here for the demo.

Some of the 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.
Delta Force: Land Warrior Player Honored
NovaLogic, Inc. has honored a dedicated Delta Force: Land Warrior online player with the Distinguished Service Cross. Greg Hebert of Toronto, Canada, earned this award by retaining the top position of Commander-in-Chief for ten weeks with the highest score on NovaWorld® 2, NovaLogic's free, large-scale Internet gaming service. Hebert's online identity, "jumper5836_fh," is a reference to both his six years in the Canadian Airborne Regiment and his current online Foxhound squad. A UNIX administrator by day, Hebert, 30, has logged over 38 full days' worth of online gameplay to attain his current position.

The multiplayer component of Delta Force: Land Warrior tracks the statistics of NovaWorld 2 players as they rack up kills, capture flags and support their teammates in various ways. Players earn awards and medals for accomplishments such as demonstrated accuracy with a specific weapon, saving teammates' lives and other heroic tasks within multiplayer games including Team DeathMatch, King of the Hill and Capture the Flag.

Of all of the medals that can be earned on Delta Force: Land Warrior via NovaWorld, two awards remain to be won. Players who kill 100,000 enemies will earn the Silver Star, and players who attain the Level 50 in all four game classes (Base Wars, DeathMatch, King of the Hill and Capture the Flag) will earn the Medal of Honor.

ABIT Introduces KG7-RAID
ABIT has announced the launch of the KG7-RAID.With the KG7-RAID, ABIT brings a strong performing and stable motherboard into the DDR Arena.Supporting the latest in AMD Duron and Athlon CPUs, the KG7-RAID supports up to 4 GB of DDR memory.Utilising ABIT's SoftMenu III technology, the KG7-RAID provides the tools to maximize your computer's performance. With the KG7-RAID, the power and stability of DDR is finally realised. Click here for more on ABIT.

ABIT Introduces The VR6-RAID
ABIT also announced the launch of the VR6 and VR6-RAID. This newest Pentium®III-based motherboard is based on VIA’s Apollo Pro 266T and VT8233 Chipsets. The VR6 and VR6-RAID are ATX form-factor mainboards designed for use with all current and future Pentium III Socket processors (based on 100/133Mhz) and Intel Celeron® socket processors (66/100MHz). It supports all normal industry standard functions, including Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI), AGP 2X(3.3V)/4X(1.5V) and 200/266 Mhz (100Mhz/133Mhz Double Data Rate) memory bus settings. The VR6 and VR6-RAID feature three 184-pin DIMM sockets supporting PC1600/PC2100 DDR SDRAM modules up to a maximum of 3GB. Click here for more on ABIT.

AMD Unveils Ask.AMD
AMD today announced the launch of Ask.AMD.com, a Web-based, self-service system which offers technical support and product information to system builders and end users. Ask.AMD.com focuses on solutions for issues related to AMD processors. Chip, the cartoon mascot for the Ask.AMD.com Web site, helps customers find answers to many commonly asked questions, such as how to upgrade their processor in a PC desktop system or which motherboard should be used with an AMD processor. Customers may ask questions using various search methods and are then asked to choose from a list of potential solutions. If a customer cannot find the particular solution to an inquiry, Chip can forward questions to AMD analysts for direct assistance via email. Click here and talk to Chip.

Military News

Czech Fighter Down To One Bidder
The Czech procurement programme for aircraft to replace its ageing Soviet era MiG 21s and Sukhoi aircraft has been reduced to a one horse race as the tender deadline passed yesterday with only the BAE SYSTEMS/ Saab bid remaining on the table.

BAE SYSTEMS/Saab are offering the JAS 39 Gripen fourth generation aircraft for the 24-36 aircraft requirement and have offered to spread repayment over 15 years to keep the cost down for the cash-strapped Czech government.

Originally, five aircraft manufacturers had been in the race but four, Boeing with their F-18 Hornet, Lockheed Martin with its F-16, Eurofighter and Dassault's Mirage 2000-5, pulled out last week. Analysts believe the withdrawals were because the tender conditions, including the requirement for offset deals for up to 150% of the total cost, were too onerous.

Despite being the only bidder, and being assured the tender process will continue, with a decision due in the autumn, the Gripen bid is by no means certain since there is considerable opposition within the Czech Republic to the deal, both on cost grounds and because of claimed irregularities in the whole procurement process.

Although the Czech government has said the procurement is to modernise its Armed Forces as a result of the country's accession to NATO in 1999, NATO has suggested it would prefer the effort to be put into enhancing the nation's ground forces

ADF studies Metal Storm Technology
Electronics ballistics innovator, Metal Storm Limited has received approval of funding for an Advanced Individual Combat Weapon (AICW) from the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) under a Defence Capability and Technology Demonstration [CTD] Programme.

The CTD proposal initiated by Weapons Systems Division, Defence Science Technology Organisation (DSTO) plans to integrate the Metal Storm concept with the Individual Combat Weapon and a range of other technologies to fire 20/40mm bursting munitions in addition to NATO standard 5.56mm kinetic Energy (KE) rounds.

The AICW will be developed under a three-year research and development programme undertaken by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), in collaboration with Metal Storm and other consortium members to produce three fully operational AICW prototypes for further military testing.

Metal Storm's CEO, and inventor of the technology Mike O'Dwyer said "The weapon will combine the fire power of two barrels, with the bottom barrel planned as an upgraded version of the current STEYR AUG Assault Rifle, firing standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition."

"It's the top barrel that is the big news though, as it's intended to add advanced capabilities to the weapon, being capable of firing different types of projectiles, ranging from 20/40mm air bursting projectiles, to less-than-lethal projectiles. The 20/40mm barrel will incorporate Metal Storm's electronic ballistic technology, with the projectiles stacked in-line directly in the barrel, thereby removing the otherwise mechanical components and the magazine. The weapon is also planned to incorporate advanced day/night sighting and laser targeting systems, and a video link to a helmet mounted display."" he said.

Mr. O'Dwyer said, "With one mechanical barrel and one Metal Storm 'stacked' barrel, I believe this hybrid weapon is likely to gain relatively early entry into the mainstream of defence procurement initiatives. The weapon will provide a range of new capabilities, including the ability to engage targets, which may be hidden from direct line of sight. I believe the AICW has the potential to become a mainstay of the next generation of western infantry weapons."

O'Dwyer said that Metal Storm's technology was a natural fit for this application, and that if successfully developed, the AICW had the potential to be a major contender to replace the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) current F88 AUSTEYR, and to also gain entry into the defence markets of major western countries.

"This $3.2m programme adds to an already impressive stable of research and development programs examining the possible use of Metal Storm for defence applications which are presently funded by the US and Australian governments for more than $100 million." he said.

Bush Defence Budget Lower Than Expected
President Bush is set to ask Congress for $5.6 billion in a supplementary budget request, a figure well short of the expectations of defence chiefs. Following Bush's constant rallying call during the recent Presidential election campaign of "help is on the way", in reference to the perceived under-funding of defence under President Clinton, the defence community was expecting an amount nearer $10 billion.

However, according to the new Under Secretary of Defence, Dov Zakheim, a more accurate depiction of the administration's intentions for defence budgeting will be seen in the proposals for 2002.

"I think that '02 is the first real opportunity for the administration to show that it's putting dollars next to its principles. It's not the only opportunity, it's not the biggest opportunity, but it is the first opportunity," said Zakheim at a Press briefing.

The largest single amount in the supplementary budget is $1.9 billion for increases in salaries, health care, and other personal care improvements for defence personnel. This ties in with President Bush's commitment during his campaign to improve conditions for the services.

The supplementary budget request also designates $44 million for repairs to the USS Cole, which was damaged in a terrorist attack in Yemen in October last year. $36 million will be pledged for the recovery of the bodies of nine Japanese fisherman who were killed when a US submarine collided with their trawler.

Some of the money could be redirected from nearly $500 million in current defence spending that will be saved by cutting back production of the revolutionary V-22 "Osprey" tilt-rotor helicopter while the Pentagon moves ahead more slowly and carefully with the troubled program. Contractors on that project are Boeing Co. and the Bell Helicopter division of Textron Inc.

Although the defence sector will welcome provisions for the increase of benefits, as well as the $1 billion that will go to fund previously approved flying hours by all military aviators, there will be alarm that $5.6 billion will not be enough to meet operational costs for the year.

However, in his statements Mr. Zakheim suggested that the White House is not altogether with happy with the current system of supplementary requests or the figures that defence chiefs are providing. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is currently still working on a range of major studies of military policy, troop morale and arms programmes.

This move by the new administration is bound to provoke considerable reaction in Washington not least because there will be no provision made for the advancement of missile programs. However, with a congressional cap of $6.5 billion for the rest of the financial year, the White House may well consider discretion to be the better part of valour.

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