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by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday December 03, 2002

PC News
Napoleonic Battles 3: Campaign Wagram
HPS Simulations has announced the upcoming release of Napoleonic Battles 3: Campaign Wagram, a John Tiller Game. Campaign Wagram is scheduled for release on 6 December 2002. Campaign Wagram covers Napoleon's campaign from the end of the Eckmuhl Campaign through the battles of Aspern-Essling and Wagram. Over 120 scenarios are included and a campaign game that links together several battles to form the complete Napoleonic Wagram campaign. A scenario editor is also included with the game. Screenshots.

Naval Campaigns 2: Tsushima
HPS Simulations has announced the upcoming release of Naval Campaigns 2: Tsushima. Naval Campaigns 2: Tsushima is scheduled for release on 6 December 2002.

Following Jutland, the first in the Naval Campaigns series, Tsushima builds on the REALTIME game engine that allows the player to play against the computer or against another player (or players) online. Tsushima is a tactical battle simulation which models individual ships and capabilities.

Eleven scenarios include the full battle of Tsushima, smaller scenarios of different times of the battle, and an alternative battle that combines the Russian Baltic and Pacific Fleets. Bonus scenarios include the battles of Yellow Sea and Ulsan.

Tsushima includes the original game engine from the first Naval Campaigns game, plus the new feature of Objectives, which provide playbalance in scenarios that would otherwise be one-sided. A scenario editor is also included with the game.Screenshots.

Panzer Campaigns 7: Kursk '43
HPS Simulations and John Tiller have announced the release of Kursk '43, an operational level World War II simulation. Kursk '43 covers the gigantic German Summer Offensive in 1943, when they attempted to cut off the huge bulge in the Soviet lines near the town of Kursk. This is without question the largest Panzer Campaign game in the series, as the action over the entire bulge (north and south offensives) is covered. - Kursk '43 is scheduled for release on 6 Dec 02. Screenshots.

Kursk '43 features:

  • 1 kilometer hexes, 2 hour turns, with a master map measuring approximately 380 by 300 kilometers. Over 4,700 units represent the German and Soviet forces in this classic battle of encirclement, mainly at battalion and company level.
  • Players control tank, reconnaissance, artillery, infantry, parachute, engineer, remote controlled demolition vehicles, antitank, flak, rocket, headquarters, and a wide variety of other specialized units.
  • 18 historically based scenarios are included, with several "what-if" scenarios. There are several grand historical scenarios with options to play either the north or south offensive and a complete campaign lasting 121 turns.
  • Kursk '43 can be viewed and played in either 2d or 3d mode. A new "quick play" feature allows the computer AI's turn to resolve ten times the previous speed, allowing for much faster play.
  • Supports single person play against the computer, two-person hot-seat, two-person Play-By-E-Mail, and multiplayer network play over LANs and the Internet.
  • Comes with Main Program, full-featured Scenario Editor, and Order of Battle Editor.
  • Complete on-line Help documentation plus on-line printable documentation in Microsoft Word format.
Military News
CC-130J Completes USAF Austere Field Landing Tests
The U.S. Air Force has given the CC-130J, the extended fuselage version of the Lockheed Martin C-130J airlifter, high marks for austere field takeoff and landing operations. The recently completed trials, held in Yuma, Ariz., were the latest in a series of CC-130J developmental military utility tests before U.S. Air Force-led operational testing and evaluation begins in 2003.

"The CC-130J's ability to take off and land on very short austere runways is a unique capability," said Ross Reynolds, C-130J program vice president. "The Super Hercules, with its greatly increased range and speed, is going to revolutionize theater transport operations both strategically and tactically. The CC-130J will also be able to deploy new systems, such as the Army's Stryker, over greater distances into areas unreachable by other aircraft."

The CC-130J trials included the first dirt landing by a U.S. Air Force crew. The shorter C-130J completed the austere field trials three years ago.

The Yuma trials were conducted at Tyson Airfield, a dirt landing strip at the military's Yuma Proving Grounds that was selected for its environmental representation of possible war zone landing conditions. The crew landed the aircraft at a weight of 135,000 pounds in less than 2,000 feet. At the completion of the dirt landing trials, U.S. Air Force crews praised the aircraft's handling qualities and performance when operating from rough fields, a mode of operation expected to be commonplace in future C-130J operations.

Raytheon Awarded SEASPARROW Missile Production Contract
Raytheon Company has been awarded a $118.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the second year of low-rate initial production of the Evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM). This award includes funding for 163 all-up-round missiles.

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 is producing ESSM at its Missile Systems business in Tucson, Ariz. It is being produced for the U.S. Navy and nine of the other 11 member nations of the NATO SEASPARROW Consortium: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Turkey. Other nations also are considering ESSM for their ship self-defense needs.

Raytheon delivered the first production ESSM to the U.S. Navy in September.

U.S. Marine Corps Awards BAE M777 Howitzer Contract
The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded a $135 million contract to BAE SYSTEMS RO Defence in the UK for low rate initial production (LRIP) of the M777 lightweight 155mm howitzer. A joint U.S. Marine Corps-U.S. Army programme, the M777 features significant weight reduction - 7,000 pounds - over the M198 howitzer currently used by both Marine Corps and Army light units. The M777 will also provide major mobility improvements as it can be transported by Marine Corps MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.

Under the initial phase of the LRIP contract, BAE SYSTEMS RO Defence will manufacture 94 howitzers for the Marine Corps over the next two years. Initial deliveries will begin in February 2004, from the company's Hattiesburg, Mississippi, facility. Approximately 70 percent of the M777 is manufactured in the U.S., as BAE SYSTEMS has assembled an industrial team that includes nine suppliers located in nine states.

The LRIP decision follows an extensive five-year engineering and manufacturing development programme that saw nine howitzer prototypes subjected to rigorous testing in various environmental conditions; operational scenarios; maintenance evaluations; mobility testing; strength of design and accuracy firings; and reliability and transportability tests. The M777 design is the culmination of some 10,000 rounds fired in tests and more than 5,000 miles of mobility tests in harsh terrain conditions.

A multi-service operational test and evaluation (MOT&E) will be conducted with LRIP howitzers starting in August 2004. The MOT&E will be a key requirement for full-rate production beginning in 2005.

USS Oklahoma City Commander Relieved
Cmdr. Richard Voter, commanding officer of USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), was relieved of command Nov. 30 in La Maddalena, Sardinia. Rear Adm. Kirkland Donald, Commander, Submarine Group 8, took this action after reviewing the investigation into the collision between the submarine and a Norwegian commercial vessel Nov. 13. Donald ordered him to be relieved after he lost confidence in Voter’s ability to command.

Voter, one other officer and two enlisted crew members were also disciplined in a non-judicial punishment proceeding Dec. 2. Charged with dereliction of duty, they each received punishment ranging from punitive letters of reprimand to reduction in rank. The officers were relieved of their duties and ordered to return to their parent squadron, Submarine Squadron 8, in Norfolk, Va. The enlisted crew members will remain aboard the submarine.

Capt. Howard Reese, Commander, Submarine Squadron 22, assumed command of Oklahoma City. Reese will turn command over to Cmdr. Ronald LaSalvia, Deputy Commander, Submarine Squadron 8 later this week.

Oklahoma City remains in port, undergoing repair at the Naval Support Activity, La Maddalena, Sardinia. The submarine suffered damage to its periscope and sail area. The submarine’s propulsion system was not affected, and there were no injuries reported in this accident.

When repairs to the submarine are completed, the ship will undergo a recertification procedure to ensure the ship is ready to resume operations. Oklahoma City began a scheduled six-month deployment with the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Battle Group in June 2002.

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