Daily News
by Gail Helmer

[ Send Us News | Archives ]

Thursday August 16, 2001

PC News

IL-2 Movie Released
Ubi Soft has released an exclusive movie on the IL-2 Sturmovik website. The file is a 4.7 MB download. Click here to check it out.

Comanche 4 Screenshots
Novalogic has released new screenshots from Comanche 4. Based on the U.S. Army's next generation armed reconnaissance helicopter - the RAH-66 by Boeing-Sikorsky. The helicopter's versatility in reconnaissance, ground attack and air combat roles will be emphasized in the game's all-new missions. Players will get to fly with the Comanche's signature low-altitude capabilities into real-world locations including urban settings and rural environments around the world such as tropical islands, desolate deserts and lush, tree-laden jungles. The game showcases new graphics, including realistic rotor wash effects both on the water and the ground. Comanche 4 will also feature a 3-D virtual cockpit and weapons of destruction including the 20mm cannon, 70 mm rockets, air-to-air and heat-seeking AIM-9 Stingers and the laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missile. Release Date: December 2001.

Shutdown and Shutout
Earlier this week Sierra announced the closing of its Dynamix studio in Eugene, Ore. Management of the franchise will move to the Sierra's studio in Bellevue, Wash. Sierra will review other Dynamix titles currently in production, and any schedule changes will be announced at a later date. The Dynamix closure affects 97 employees, all of whom will receive competitive severance packages and outplacement services.

Also feeling the pain is Gathering of Developers, AKA GodGames. Take Two Interactive announced in May 2000 that it had purchased an 80.1 percent stake in the Gathering of Developers, effectively buying 100 percent of the company and allowing the Gathering to operate as a fully owned, independent subsidiary. Take Two has now shut-down the Dallas based organization and moved all operations to its head office in New York. Adrenaline Vault has published an editorial on the demise of the Gathering of Developers in this age of industry consolidation.

Military News

US DoD Gives Go-Ahead For F-22 Production
In a move that provides considerable relief to Lockheed Martin the Pentagon yesterday gave the go-ahead for the F-22 Raptor air superiority stealth fighter to move to its Low Rate Initial Production phase at a cost of $2.1 billion.

The decision by the Defence Acquisition Board means that a further ten aircraft will be added to the six prototypes that are currently being tested. However, in announcing the decision, Undersecretary of Defense Pete Aldridge said that the number of aircraft to be procured would fall from 331 to 295, to meet budget constraints.

The US Congress has set a cap of $37.5 billion dollars on the programme, but the Pentagon will ask for a total of $45 billion.

Lockheed Martin welcomed the decision, saying the decision would increase "... confidence in the vitality of the F-22 programme across our entire supplier base, which in turn benefits overall F-22 programme affordability."

After development costs are absorbed the unit cost of the aircraft, already the most expensive ever built, is expected to fall from approximately $180 million to around $100 million. Dain Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, said, "The F-22 Team is fully committed to meeting the program's stringent cost and performance goals. We are absolutely up to the challenge of producing 331 aircraft and are committed to make that happen,'' suggesting that the company believes it can drive down the unit cost even more and thereby allow the Air Force to buy the full number.

In-Flight Video Technology Speeds Information Flow
Military confrontations during the last decade have highlighted the urgent need for the armed forces to have the ability to transmit tactical targeting information quickly and accurately from a forward "sensor" platform to a "shooter" attack platform.

Recent trials undertaken by DERA (now QinetiQ) for the UK MoD, have proved a system to transmit rapidly real-time, mission-critical data, including images of a target, from a 'sensor' to a 'shooter'. This information can now be relayed in only seconds rather than the typical hours. This will have an enormous impact on reducing the potential for collateral damage when the target is mobile.

The sensor may be a frontline soldier or an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) and the shooter is typically an air-to-ground combat aircraft, such as the RAF's Jaguar. In addition, pre- and post-attack images can be readily captured from a suitably equipped aircraft, such as one using a Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designation (TIALD) pod, and then relayed to Command Headquarters for nearly instant Battle Damage Assessment.

QinetiQ trials have shown clearly the significance of being able to relay targeting information in a digital form, via a modem known as the Improved Data Modem (IDM) linked to the aircraft's normal UHF radio. A message including target position and type can be received, reviewed by the pilot and downloaded into the aircraft's attack computer in a small fraction of the time currently taken when using voice transmissions. The success of the trials has resulted in a programme to upgrade the RAF's Jaguar fleet with just such a capability. The IDM has been chosen to be identical with that in the UK Apache helicopter, so that targeting interoperability can be introduced between UK fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

In addition to the explicit UK sensor-to-shooter demonstrations, recent Project EXTENDOR joint trials with the US have proved the full compatibility of the information transmission system between UK equipment and a USAF F-16 or a USN F-14D. Not only were images transmitted using a real-time radio link directly between aircraft, but also via a UAV, which demonstrated its ability to extend the transmission and reception range of such information beyond direct line-of-sight and provide an alternative to satellites.

The first phase of these trials was also successful in transmitting a Close Air Support message from a Forward Air Controller via a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator UAV to a Jaguar aircraft. When the pilot received the message it was automatically used to provide highly accurate steering information to the target. The pilot then confirmed the precision of the overlay of the Head-Up Display (HUD) target marker on the target, leading to an accurate weapon release at first pass.

The final phase of Project EXTENDOR will test system for compatibility with more broadly used data networks such as the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) using a translator facility. This will receive messages from one, select for relevance, translate appropriately and pass on to the other. In this way it will be shown to be possible to exchange appropriate target and position data beyond line-of-sight between aircraft using JTIDS type networks and the more specific IDM-equipped aircraft.

[ Send Us News | Archives ]

Click Here for Printer Version

© 2014 COMBATSIM.COM - All Rights Reserved