Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Wednesday July 24, 2002

PC News
Strike Fighters: Project 1 Released
COMBATSIM.COM has learned that Strategy First, in a surprising and perhaps unprecedented move, has released, "for a particular retailer", an incomplete version of its 60's jet simulation, Strike Fighters: Project 1. Considered to be in early beta, beta testers and developers alike are scratching their heads asking why Strategy First released an unfinished product.

"The game has not gone gold yet, and is still very much in beta testing. I hope someone from SFI can explain this situation, because I really cant the only explanation I have is that the game was shipped early", said Tsuyoshi Kawahito, President/Creative Director, Thirdwire Productions.

Strike Fighters is a fictional campaign is set in the 1960s and features the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Weapon selection within the game matches historical availability, offering a few select missiles and guided weapons later, but focusing primarily on mounted guns. The games newly developed graphics engine employs the latest DirectX technology and renders scenes in rich, 32-bit color, with spectacular lighting effects, intricate texture layers, and reflective mapping. All flyable aircraft are modeled with exceptional detail and accuracy, right down to customizable squadron art and kill tallies.

We will keep you posted on further developments. For more on Strike Fighters, check out our beta preview.

MOHAA Expansion Pack
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Expansion Pack for the PC represents a unique addition to the Medal of Honor franchise. Players will assume the role of Sgt. Jack Barnes as he endures the final months of World War II, from Operation Overlord to the Battle of the Bulge and culminating with the fall of Berlin. The Medal of Honor Allied Assault Expansion Pack combines nine expansive single-player levels with over 12 new multi-player maps and includes new locations, new weapons, and new soldiers. Release Date: Fall 2002. Screenshots

Team Factor Demo v1.5
7FX has released an updated demo of Team Factor, their team-based tactical shooter that is already out in Europe. This demo incorporates the improvements and changes of the recent version 1.5 retail patch and offers a different map than the previous demos, called Sarajevo (which was already available for the retail game in the free mission pack). Download

More Games for Parhelia
Matrox has announced that 20 currently available games support the triple-monitor feature that's exclusive to its Parhelia graphics card. One of the most compelling features of Matrox's new Parhelia graphics card is its ability to display games across three monitors at once. The extra real estate can be used for peripheral vision in action and simulation games, or to simultaneously display inventory and other 2D screens in role-playing games. At the card's launch at the beginning of the month, only a handful of games were said to support the feature. Matrox has now announced that the following 20 games, both recent and older releases, support surround gaming.

  • Aliens Versus Predator 2
  • Anarchy Online
  • Ballistics
  • Clive Barker's Undying
  • Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
  • Gore: Ultimate Soldier
  • Grand Prix 4
  • Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002
  • Mobile Forces
  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Quake III Arena
  • Quake III: Team Arena
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force
  • Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Expansion Pack
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
  • The Wheel of Time
  • Tribes 2
  • Unreal Tournament
  • X-Plane
The fact that a game supports surround gaming doesn't mean that turning the feature on is as easy as clicking on a checkbox. In some cases, users must edit the registry or use in-game console commands to get the feature to work. For more information, read our full review of the Parhelia.

Military News
Hoon backs Eurofighter Typhoon
Eurofighter dominated the skies over the Farnborough airshow yesterday with an unprecedented flypast by four of the European fighters to mark the naming of the aircraft as Typhoon in RAF service.

On the ground, meanwhile, European industrial and air force leaders were on hand to lend their support to the continent's largest collaborative programme.

Centre stage was UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, who conducted the formalities and then re-affirmed the UK's intention to buy 232 Typhoons for the RAF in the face of media speculation that the Treasury wants to cut the order by 80 aircraft.

"We remain committed to that order," said Hoon. "It is important that the RAF has the right type of aircraft."

Hoon described the Typhoon as a "magnificent aircraft" and denied that the UK could not afford both the Typhoon and the US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). "Eurofighter will work alongside JSF," he said. "They have different roles and capabilities. I will be delighted to take both aircraft.

"Typhoon will be the most sophisticated aircraft the RAF has ever flown," said Hoon. "It will provide a step change in the RAF's ability in both air supremacy and air defence. It will be the backbone of the fast jet combat fleet for many years to come and will help us meet tomorrow's uncertain challenges. The four-nation collaborative project is an excellent example of what can be achieved by European nations working together with a common purpose."

The flying display featured three development Eurofighters (DA1, DA2 and DA4) and the first instrumented production aircraft (IPA1), which made its first flight on 15 April this year from BAE Systems' Warton plant.

IPA1 made a dramatic appearance on the Farnborough flightline, where Hoon was waiting to greet its crew: Wing Commander David 'Charlie' Chan and BAE Systems Eurofighter Project Pilot Craig Penrice . The Wing Commander has been selected to be the first officer commander of the RAF's first Typhoon unit, 17 Squadron, which is to be the Typhoon Operational Evaluation Unit.

"It is a great privilege to have been selected to command 17 Squadron and to fly the RAF's newest and most exciting aircraft," said Wing Commander Chan. "I can't wait to get started."

SEASPARROW Missile Scores Firsts in U.S. Navy Ship Launch
A Raytheon evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM) was successfully launched for the first time July 23 from a U.S. Navy surface combatant, the USS SHOUP (DDG 86), destroying the incoming target.

In the test, ESSM was launched from a Mk41 Vertical Launch System aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. The closure rate between the missile and the target, a BQM-74, approached Mach 3. The ship was operating on the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division sea range near Point Mugu, Calif.

"This was the first ESSM firing from an AEGIS destroyer, first firing from a Mk41 at sea, first firing using a U.S. Navy crew, first ESSM firing using AEGIS Baseline-6 Phase III, and demonstrates ESSM is ready for the OPEVAL firings planned for the second quarter of next year from this same ship," said Capt. Ken Graber, the NATO SEASPARROW program manager. "The ship, commanded by Cmdr. E.B. Carter, and crew are to be commended for this outstanding achievement."

"This test, in conjunction with the successful firings over the last six months from the Self Defense Test Ship, demonstrates ESSM is the right choice for the Aegis Weapon System community as well as other weapon systems to meet current and future ship self-defense requirements," said Gary Hagedon, Raytheon's ESSM program manager.

The NATO SEASPARROW Consortium is a model program for multinational cooperative development. Raytheon's Missile Systems business unit is leading the team of 18 companies from 10 countries in developing and producing this next-generation SEASPARROW ship self-defense system. One aspect that makes the ESSM program unique is that the design responsibility for each subsystem is vested in the industrial partner producing that assembly rather than at the prime level.

ESSM is an advanced ship self-defense missile, designed to protect ships by destroying currently fielded and near-term projected anti-ship missiles, particularly those that fly at low altitudes and maneuver during their terminal flight phase.

Raytheon Awarded AMRAAM Lot 16 Production
Raytheon Company has been awarded a $74 million contract add-on to the previously awarded AIM-120 Advanced Medium- Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Lot 16 production contract. This award brings the total number of missiles ordered in Lot 16 to 612 with a total contract value of $239 million.

The additional missiles will be produced for the U.S. Air Force and Navy and international customers. As previously reported, the Lot 16 through 21 production options represent sales approaching $2 billion over the next eight years with a potential quantity of up to 5,000 missiles. To date, more than 11,000 missiles have been produced for U.S. and international customers.

AMRAAM is a software-driven, radar-guided missile that gives pilots the ability to "launch and leave" and to engage multiple targets during a single engagement.

AMRAAM is fully operational on the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, the German F4F, the UK Sea Harrier, Swedish JA-37 Viggen and the JAS-39 Gripen. It is currently being integrated on the F-22, Eurofighter, Harrier II Plus, Tornado and the Joint Strike Fighter. AMRAAM also has been adapted to a surface-to-air role for air defense and is operational in Norway as the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and has been demonstrated in a HAWK- AMRAAM system and on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)- based system called HUMRAAM.

The U. S. Marine Corps awarded a contract last year to Raytheon for its version of HUMRAAM, called Complementary Low Altitude Weapons System (CLAWS), which will be introduced into operational service by 2005. The U.S. Army also is generating a requirement for a HUMRAAM system, called Surface Launch AMRAAM (SLAMRAAM). The surface-launched AMRAAM market potential is estimated at more than 5,000 missiles over the next 10 years.

Raytheon Team to Produce SURC for U.S. Marine Corps
An industry team led by Raytheon's Naval & Maritime Integrated Systems (N&MIS) business unit has been awarded a competitively procured contract to produce Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The Raytheon team will produce up to 100 SURCs, with a nominal contract value of $30 million and a potential contract value of up to $60 million.

SURC will provide the USMC with a combat craft capable of transporting a 13-man infantry squad primarily in support of operations on inland waterways as well as in a variety of conditions on the open sea. Procured as a commercial item, the Marine Corps team used performance-based acquisition practices and an innovative strategy that reduced the procurement cycle time to less than six months.

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