Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Wednesday July 25, 2001

PC News

World War II Online Patch 1.2.0 Released
Playnet and Cornered Rat Software have announced the patch release 1.2.0 for "World War II Online". The patch is about 19 megs and will auto-update when you log into a game world. For further details on the patch and release notes click here.

Carl Norman To Undergo Triple Bypass Surgery
Your Thoughts and Prayers Requested! We learned today that the venerable Carl Norman, Executive Producer at Ubi Soft Entertainment, will be undergoing open heart surgery tomorrow (UPDATE: His surgery has been moved back to Friday July 27th).

COMBATSIM.COM Publisher, Douglas Helmer, spoke to Carl today and reports that although he sounded a bit nervous, he's a former Marine and he's prepared to suck it up. We would like you all to join with us in sending Carl our thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery! Carl will be undergoing triple bypass surgery at the Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California.

Carl Norman is best known in the combat simulations community for the Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI) series of Flanker jet combat simulations. (Note: We'll keep you all posted as to Carl's progress; we should also have his hospital room number by tomorrow so we can send him those get well cards).

Combat Command 2 Patch Released
Shrapnel Games announced today the release of a new Combat Command 2: Danger Forward! patch. The version 1.02 patch fixes three bugs and adds a PBEM feature. Combat Command 2: Danger Forward! is a unique game system that recreates engagements of WWII. Emphasizing command control and combined arms, the first volume of the series, Danger Forward, focuses on the Mediterranean and Western Front, from 1940-1945. Click here for the patch.

Europa Universalis Sequel Announced
Swedish games developer Paradox Entertainment is busy working on the sequel to Europa Universalis. That game has been fully localized to more than ten languages around the world and has carved a reputation for being one of the most solid historical games ever released. Scheduled to arrive this Christmas, Europa Universalis II broadens the games scope even further.

Players can choose between the 8 European superpowers and any nation that ever existed in the world. That is over 100 playable nations, including the Japanese Shogunate, the Chinese Empire and African tribes. Europa Universalis II will feature 100 years of additional history including the hundred years war and the whole Napoleonic Era! The game will span more than four hundred years (1419-1820) and give the players hundreds of game hours. Several key features in the game will be open for players to change according to their own tastes, such as historical event flow and scenario constructions, etc. A matchmaking function, to simplify online gaming and server hosting will be worked into the game. Click here for more information on Europa Universalis II.

Check out our previous coverage of Europa Universalis.

WWI Comes To CFS2
Alpha Simulations and Just Flight have announced the release of the WWI add-on to Combat Flight Simulator 2, "Combat Aces". It contains 20 aircraft and as well as classic machines like the S.E.5A, the Sopwith Camel and the Fokker Triplane, the Zeppelin Staaken bomber, Handley Page 0/400 and Fokker DVIII. "Combat Aces" includes seventy missions, six campaigns, summer and winter terrain, 'droppable' bombs, mechanics that shout "contact" as you start your engine, and Zeppelin raids on London. Click here for more information.

Military News

XCOR Aerospace Begins Manned Flight Testing Of EZ-Rocket
XCOR Aerospace today announced that it has begun flight tests of a manned rocket aircraft, the EZ-Rocket. The first successful flight test was performed on July 21 at Mojave Airport. The EZ-Rocket is a modified Long-EZ airplane, and powered by twin 400 pound thrust rocket engines designed and built by XCOR Aerospace.

XCOR's test pilot is retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dick Rutan, a Vietnam veteran. Col. Rutan also flew around the world without refueling in the Voyager aircraft, and has flown around the world in his own Long-EZ. "This is the result of over six months of working with XCOR Aerospace to develop a flight test program for the EZ-Rocket. The first runway test was a resounding success." said Lt. Col. Rutan. "After I turned on the rocket engine, the engine came smoothly to full thrust, and the aircraft rapidly accelerated to flying speed. I rotated and the aircraft lifted off and flew for a few hundred feet under rocket power. I then shut down, landed, and rolled to a stop. All the systems operated normally."

The EZ-Rocket is a research and development test bed for XCOR. "The EZ-Rocket project has given us experience in designing and building a complete rocket propulsion system and packaging it in a vehicle." said XCOR Chief Engineer Dan DeLong. "The next step is to fine-tune the vehicle and engine for routine operations."

XCOR president Jeff Greason said, "The primary purpose of the EZ-Rocket is to measure and drive down the operating costs of reusable rocket vehicles. XCOR Aerospace is developing reusable rocket propulsion for commercial rocket applications where our customers require inexpensive and safe operations."

The official roll-out of the EZ-Rocket will take place in Mojave, California this fall after the early phases of the flight test program have been completed.

F-16 Crashes Near Luke
An F-16 Fighting Falcon from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., crashed July 23, north of Gila Bend, Ariz., about 60 miles southwest of the base. Maj. Robert P. Egan, who ejected safely from the aircraft, was conducting air-to-ground attack training at the time of the mishap. A board of officers will investigate the accident.

Lockheed Martin Delivers First F-16 Mod Kits
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has shipped the first eight modification kits for the U.S. Air Force's Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP). CCIP is the most extensive retrofit of the F-16 and involves major changes to the aircraft avionics and cockpit. Approximately 650 USAF Block 40/50 F-16C/Ds are scheduled to be upgraded. Development began in June 1998, and flight testing is currently under way at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The first eight kits were shipped on June 29, fulfilling both the July and August contractual requirements. The kits were shipped early at the request of the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Utah. Ogden ALC is the prime depot for the F-16 and the location of the F-16 CCIP modification line.

Starting in March 2002, the Block 50/52 kits will include the combined electronic interrogator/transponder, which gives the F-16 an autonomous beyond-visual-range air-intercept capability. These aircraft also will be capable of alternate carriage of the advanced FLIR targeting pod (currently in source selection), in addition to the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting System pod. This will give these aircraft a capability to fully employ Maverick missiles and laser-guided bombs, not only in suppressing enemy air defenses, but also in destroying them. The first aircraft with this capability will deliver in September 2002.

The next phase in 2003 adds Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System, the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), and an electronic horizontal situation indicator. Link 16 is the new NATO-standard data link network that will dramatically enhance information exchange among all users. JHMCS provides a quick "look-shoot" capability for off-boresight target acquisition and launch of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons.

CCIP will bring commonality to the USAF Block 40/50 fleet. There is also a large degree of hardware and software commonality with other F-16 upgrades. These include the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update retrofit, new production USAF F-16s (starting in spring 2003), international production F-16s (such as the Block 52+ for Greece starting in late 2002), and potentially others.

Brimstone Completes Ground Trials
The Brimstone weapon programme successfully completed the ground launch phase of its flight-test trials with another direct hit on a tank target late last month. Brimstone is the advanced Anti Armour weapon selected by the UK MoD to meet the RAF's Anti Armour weapon contract. The ground firing trials, which were carried out from August 1999 up to June this year at the Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, have met all predetermined objectives. The final ground firing was successful in proving the short-range performance of the missile.

A total of 16 missiles were fired during the ground launch phase, which included autopilot development (unguided) and data gathering trials. The earliest firings were conducted using development hardware and software, while later firings used a full pre-production version of the Brimstone weapon.

The programme is currently continuing its air-launched flight-evaluation phase. A number of aircraft release trials have been carried out from a Tornado aircraft in the UK. Further air launched guided firings against tank targets will take place at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in California later this year.

"The fact that the weapon performance was demonstrated successfully in a wide range of launch conditions has shown Brimstone will be a significant addition to the RAF anti-armour capability," said Keith Lewindon, the Brimstone Project Director.

Harris supports TRW On NMD Communications
Harris Corporation has been awarded a 6-year, $70 million contract by TRW to develop the In-flight Interceptor Communications System (IFICS), which provides critical communications between ground command and control systems and ballistic missile interceptors, for the National Missile Defence (NMD) Programme. The contract value for Harris could rise to more than $130 million if the company is awarded a proposed option to produce the IFICS as part of the Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) element of the NMD Programme.

"Harris has been a key participant in the design and development of communications equipment for the NMD programme since the inception of the Strategic Defence Initiative," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD).

Under terms of the IFICS contract, Harris is designing, developing and testing prototype communications systems being installed at the Kwajalein Missile Range in the Marshall Islands and at Harris facilities in Palm Bay, Florida. In addition, work on the programme includes establishing a pilot production line.

The BMC3 products were tested successfully during the recent US missile defence system test, supplying key information to commanders and target data to the Interceptor that ultimately helped the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) to destroy its target.

DynCorp Technical Upgrade For B-52H
DynCorp Technical Services (DTS) has been awarded a $6.5 million contract modification from the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command (ACC) for the procurement and assembly of upgraded radio systems for 29 of ACC's 94 B-52H aircraft. The radio system upgrade is designed to keep the B-52H fleet, which entered service in 1960, in service until at least 2040.

DTS will procure and assemble 29 Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) modem-equipped AN/ARC-210 (V) radio systems. The AN/ARC-210 (V) is used by the United States and its allies on more than 40 types of aircraft, ships and ground platforms. Previously, DTS personnel assembled and installed AN/ARC-210 (V) radio systems on 65 B-52Hs at Minot AFB in North Dakota and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. Completion of this contract modification will add VHF, UHF and SATCOM capability to the remainder of the ACC's B-52H Fleet.

DTS will also build two training communications laboratory kits as part of the contract modification. The kits will be installed at Minot and Barksdale AFBs, and will allow B-52H radio operators to become proficient with the radio system before the unit is installed in aircraft. Radio operators will use the kits to improve their skills by training in a variety of simulated operational conditions that would be difficult to create during routine flight operations.

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