by Gail Helmer
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Special Offer! 2 Years o' COMBATSIM for the price o' 1 year
Message from Douglas Helmer, COMBATSIM.COM Publisher:
Well, it's hard to believe but we're about five or six days away from our one year anniversary of going pay. Many said we wouldn't last six months, but with your support we're alive and well and going strong.
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Goes Gold
For the last few months I've been trying to think of a way to reward everyone for sticking with us for the past year and, well, nothing says "Thank you" better than cash, eh? Just hold on a second, there, I'm not Rockefeller just yet!
I'm doing a buy one get one free deal with one year credit card subscriptions paid for by credit card, online check and snail mail mail-in subs. Normally a year long subscription costs $39.95, but now you get two years for that $39.95; an effective rate of $19.97 per year.
How does this reward those loyal types that signed up right away? It rewards the early adopters because this offer will expire on Feb. 28, 2002 and that'll allow the early adopters' current one year subscriptions to expire and then signup with at the new lower priced 2 year rate. The offer is not just for early adopters, however. Anyone who signs up for the one year deal now will get the 2 year bonus rate. [More...]
Electronic Arts has announced that Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has gone gold and will ship to stores in January. The game is set in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Players assume the role of an Allied soldier and take on a series of difficult missions behind enemy lines. The game features a complete single-player campaign as well as several multiplayer modes.
OpFlash V1.40 Coming Soon
Upgrade 4 version 1.40 is expected to be released today (Thursday 20th December). It contains one new official MP mission and many bug fixed and general improvements (mainly and netcode improvements, new Super AI options sets skill of all AI units to maximum, and much more). We will keep you posted on the release. [More...]
Europa Universalis II Patch Release
Paradox Entertainment and Strategy First released the three latest patches (v.1.00 - 1.02) for Europa Universalis II today. The patches fix minor bugs, game balancing and AI issues, as well as issues encountered in some scenarios and events. Download
Medieval: Total War Site Launched
Creative Assembly has launched a new Web site for Medieval: Total War, its upcoming sequel to its popular real-time strategy game Shogun: Total War. The site contains a general overview of the game's story and features, along with a gallery of screenshots and concept art. Click here
Wild Bill Stealey Getting Back In The Saddle
The News Observer is reporting that, Wild Bill is back. Stealey is expected to be returning to the company he was ousted from in 1999, after Stealey took iEntertainment Network public only to see earning reports slump and share prices tank. This morning, iEntertainment Network -- formerly known as iMagic -- will announce the return of Stealey to the position of CEO and chairman of the struggling, publicly traded Internet game company. iEntertainment Network is home to the online flight simulator WarBirds. Long-time game industry veteran, "Wild Bill" Stealey founded MicroProse" on a bet" in 1982 with his friend Sid Meier. MicroProse went on to develop such simulation and strategy hits as "Gunship 2000", "F-15 Strike Eagle", the "Falcon" series and "Civilization". In 1995, he was appointed chairman and CEO of Interactive Magic, subsequently renamed iEntertainment Network.
UK Chief of Air Staff Flies Eurofighter
The United Kingdom's Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, has just joined an elite band by taking control of the RAF's future combat aircraft, the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Sir Peter took control of DA4, the twin seat development aircraft based at BAE SYSTEMS Warton, in a 60-minute flight, during his visit to BAE SYSTEMS" Warton site in Lancashire. In doing so Sir Peter became the first non-RAF test pilot to fly the aircraft. During the flight the CAS experienced speeds in excess of 900mph and demonstrated the aircraft's supersonic, supercruise and groundbreaking handling capabilities.
On landing, Sir Peter commented, "I am delighted to have flown Eurofighter, which will provide the backbone of the RAF combat capability for the next 30 years. The aircraft has remarkable excess thrust and agile handling characteristics. I envy those on the front line who will convert to the aircraft in the coming years. After just one sortie, I can easily understand the enthusiasm shown by all the test pilots who have flown the aircraft to date."
During his visit Sir Peter was also shown round the Eurofighter Typhoon final assembly facility where he was able to see the progress being made on the first aircraft to enter service with the RAF next year.
The Eurofighter Typhoon has been developed by BAE SYSTEMS, EADS Deutschland, Alenia Aerospazio, and EADS Spain, for the four partner countries, the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The Eurofighter partner nations will take delivery of 620 aircraft: 232 for the UK, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy and 87 for Spain.
Marketing of Eurofighter Typhoon continues to draw strong interest around the world with active campaigns currently underway in South Korea, the Netherlands, Asia, Greece and Norway.
US Navy Conducts Final Trident I C4 Missile Tests
The US Navy yesterday successfully fired three TRIDENT I C4 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs). Earlier this month the Navy fired four similar missiles. The missiles were fired from the strategic submarine USS OHIO (SSBN 726) in a launch operation conducted on the test range east of Cape Canaveral off the Florida coast.
The latest missile test launches were the last in the series of evaluation tests conducted by the US Navy since the 1970s to monitor the safety, reliability, readiness and performance of the TRIDENT I C4 Strategic Weapon System (SWS). The TRIDENT I C4 SWS will be retired from strategic service in 2005 in favor of the more modern, accurate and supportable TRIDENT II D5 missile system, which is currently deployed in the Atlantic fleet.
"Over 25 years and 225 development and operational test flights, the C4 missile achieved an astounding 89% mission success rate said Tom Morton, vice president, strategic missile programmes, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the builders of the missiles,"
TRIDENT I C4 is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertial-guided submarine-launched ballistic missile. It is 34 ft in long, 74 inches in diameter, weighs 73,000 lbs., has a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles, and carries up to eight Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs).
Operating in the Pacific Ocean aboard six Ohio-class TRIDENT I SSBNs, TRIDENT I C4 missiles are the oldest, continuously operated, Fleet Ballistic Missiles ever deployed by the US Navy.
Israel Contract Adds to Lockheed Martin F-16 Firm Backlog
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics received a contract for 52 F-16 aircraft for Israel on Dec. 19, 2001, significantly extending the firm F-16 production base.
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract for Israel officially exercises the option for 52 additional F-16I aircraft under the Peace Marble V program. Lockheed Martin's contract value for the option is $1.3 billion out of a total program value of approximately $2 billion.
The aircraft will be the same two-seat F-16I configuration as the original 50 aircraft ordered in the Peace Marble V program, which began in January 2000. This brings the total of F-16Is on order to 102. The first F-16I will deliver in 2003. All aircraft will be assembled at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, but there will be significant coproduction of airframe and avionics components in Israel.
During the Paris Air Show in June, Israel had announced its intent to exercise the option and in September signed the letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. government.
This is Israel's sixth buy of F-16s. There are now a total of 48 follow-on buys of new F-16s by 14 countries.
"This contract is very important to us for a number of reasons," said Dain M. Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "It completes the deal for a very important customer, it extends the firm F-16 production base through 2008 and it boosts our firm orders for 2001. This buy provides an excellent base for future F-16 sales and provides a solid bridge to JSF production at our Fort Worth facility."
Worldwide F-16 firm orders now number 4,347 aircraft, with a firm backlog of 301 aircraft as of the end of 2001.
Rumsfeld: U.S. Won't Cease Until Terrorists Gone
President Bush intends to see the campaign in Afghanistan through "until Taliban and Al Qaeda leadership have been captured or killed," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here shortly after returning from a six-day trip to Central Asia and Europe.
Arriving at the Pentagon directly from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., after a trans-Atlantic flight from NATO Headquarters in Belgium, the secretary began the briefing with his trademark humor. "I do not see a single soul who was on the plane with me," Rumsfeld said as he glanced around the room. AFRTS Radio Report: SecDef says meeting troops was highlight of his trip
"They're waiting for their bags," a reporter quipped in reply.
The secretary said the "most special" part of the trip, was the chance to spend time with U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan and in the region.
"They are brave and talented and well trained and dedicated," he said. "They're really doing a terrific job. It was clearly the highlight of our trip for everyone that was there."
Rumsfeld said he emphasized to foreign leaders and NATO allies that the effort in Afghanistan is far from over and that pockets of resistance still exist. He also stressed that the United States fully intends to pursue all terrorists that have global reach.
During a surprise visit to Afghanistan, Rumsfeld said, he assured Afghanistan's interim prime minister, Hamid Karzai, that the United States is committed to hunting down the Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership "so that they can no longer destabilize Afghanistan and repress the people of Afghanistan."
He reinforced America's commitment to helping Afghanistan's new government, "as it seeks to bring peace and stability to that country so that it does not once again become a haven for terrorists and terrorist training," Rumsfeld said.
Contrary to some reports, it would be a mistake to say Al Qaeda is finished in Afghanistan, the secretary said.
"They certainly aren't functioning well," he said. "They're running, they're hiding, and they're having difficulty communicating with each other. A large number of them seem to behave in a fanatical way, and I suspect we'll hear more (from) them."
U.S. officials are doing everything possible to prevent Al Qaeda and Taliban from moving into neighboring countries. "Our goal is to stop them, not to simply move the problem from one country to another," Rumsfeld said.
He stressed that the United States intends to find all the Al Qaeda forces it can. America has provided various incentives to anti-Taliban forces to ensure their support, Rumsfeld added. These include ammunition, weapons, winter clothing, blankets, food, medicine, and money.
Rumsfeld said the members of the interim government and the people of Afghanistan are appreciative of the United States' efforts on their behalf. "There's this enormous relief in that country that those people are no longer governing -- if that's what one wants to call it," he said. "Repressing might be a better word."
The anti-Taliban leaders and the Afghan people are "fully aware that the United States of America is not seeking their real estate," he concluded. "We don't intend to occupy their country. We don't covet anything they have."
The only interest the United States has in this effort, he concluded, "is stopping people from killing Americans and blowing up buildings and driving airplanes into the Pentagon."
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