by Gail Helmer
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IGI 2 Details Revealed, New Screens
Codemasters’ online forum for the IGI 2: Covert Strike is receiving incredible attention. The IGI2 forum is buzzing with discussions on key improvements over the original, including IGI 2’s new AI, save functionality and the multiplayer mode. The game’s designers have listened closely to opinions expressed on the forum and today confirm new details.
The implementation of a new “save” system for IGI 2: Covert Strike has been a heated talking point on the forum. The map computer has the functionality to download and upload – to save and load – the current mission status and position. Artificial Intelligence for the game’s enemy agents has been significantly reworked and the original game’s continual enemy respawning has been eliminated. Soldiers are more alert and react accordingly to a wide range of game situations, such as hearing an alarm siren or detecting destroyed security cameras as well as other dead soldiers. Enemy soldiers of different ranks and abilities react in their own style to alert situations. Some soldiers will prefer running for an alarm button and calling for back-up. Development work on IGI 2: Covert Strike’s all-new multiplayer mode continues. IGI2: Covert Strike will deliver a full team-oriented multiplayer mode, with squads of eight players per side. With objective-based gameplay, it pits IGI operatives against terrorists from around the globe. Release Date: May 2002. Screens
One Million Mark For Wolfenstein
Activision, Inc. announced today that the company has shipped more than one million units of Return to Castle Wolfenstein worldwide, exceeding company expectations and making it one of the best-selling PC software titles of the holiday season. The popular action game has remained the #1 selling premium priced PC title in the U.S. since its launch on November 20, 2001, according to NPD Intelect. In addition to strong U.S. retail sales, Return to Castle Wolfenstein topped sell-through charts in two of the largest European territories, the United Kingdom and Germany.
ATI and Hercules Announce Partnership
ATI Technologies Inc. and Hercules announced today a strategic partnership to develop a range of graphics products, including high-end boards for the hardcore gamer and the family user.
Hercules will market through a European Exclusive Agreement ATI's new ALL-IN-WONDER* products including ALL-IN-WONDER* RADEON*8500 DV technology in retail and distribution channels. This exciting technology is number one worldwide and already counts for 14% of the United States 3D retail market value. Hercules will also have worldwide access to the latest ATI 3D graphics technologies, including ATI's RADEON* 8500 chip.
Marine Plane Crashes in Pakistan
A Marine Corps KC-130/R crashed into a mountain near Shamsi, Pakistan, at 6:45 p.m. today Pakistan time, U.S. Central Command officials said.
Seven Marines were aboard the aircraft. CENTCOM officials had no immediate status report on the Marines.
The flight originated in Jacobabad, Pakistan, and was on a multistop mission. Officials did not know whether the aircraft had gone into Afghanistan. CENTCOM officials said it was "unlikely" the crash was the result of any enemy action, but said the cause of the crash is already under investigation.
The destination of the flight was the Forward Operating Base at Shamsi in southwestern Pakistan.
KC-130s are multirole, multimission tactical tanker- transports flown by the Marines. They can refuel both tactical aircraft and helicopters in flight as well as provide rapid ground refueling when required. They can drop paratroopers and cargo and also operate from short, rough- landing airstrips.
U.S. Aircraft Hit Zawar Kili Complex Again
U.S. aircraft continued to hit the Al Qaeda base at Zawar Kili Jan. 8, U.S. Central Command officials said.
Two Air Force F-16s and a Navy F/A-18 hit buildings at the terrorist camp. The aircraft struck the area at 10 a.m. and noon Afghan time.
Zawar Kili, in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, has proved to be more extensive than previously thought, CENTCOM officials said. Al Qaeda used the camp as a logistics base, a command and control center and a training ground. DoD officials said there are at least two areas in caves or tunnels and one set of buildings. Strikes have hit armored personnel carriers, tanks and other Al Qaeda war materiel.
CENTCOM officials said the number of Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees under U.S. control has risen to 368. Officials said there are 306 in Kandahar, 38 at Bagram air base, 16 at Mazar-e Sharif and eight aboard the USS Bataan. Officials said they will begin shipping some detainees "soon" to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Officials said members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky., are still arriving in Kandahar. The soldiers are taking over the airfield and detention facility there from U.S. Marines. The troopers will also take over other missions the Marines performed in the area, such as scouting and providing force protection.
CAE To Relocate Canadian Navy Victoria Class Submarine Trainers
The Government of Canada has selected CAE to relocate, operate and maintain eight VICTORIA Class Submarine Trainers currently in the UK to a new navy training facility at Canadian Forces Base, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The value of the contract is approximately C$24 million.
Canada bought four ex-UK Royal Navy's UPHOLDER Class conventional submarines in 1998, including the package of unique trainers.
The Canadian Submarine Group (CSG), led by CAE, will move the trainers from the UK and operate and maintain the devices for a period of four years. The contract contains options for renewal for two additional 12-month periods. The CSG includes General Dynamics Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
"Following our recent announcement of the UK Astute Class Training Service (awarded in September 2001) contract, this selection by the Canadian Navy reinforces CAE's thrust into marine training. It demonstrates that CAE is well positioned to support the Canadian Navy for trainers and training services," said Rashid Khan, Executive Vice President, Marine Controls, CAE.
ATK Flies Navy Gun-Launched Projectile
An industry team led by ATK (Alliant Techsystems) this week achieved a significant milestone in the development of a transformational stand-off combat capability -- long-range precision-guided projectiles in support of maneuver capability and specifically the U.S. Marine Corps.
During tests conducted Jan. 8-9, two Autonomous Naval Support Rounds (ANSR) were fired over the Atlantic Ocean from the Wallops Island flight facility in southeastern Virginia. The first, fired with standard Navy-cooled (NACO) propellant from the current naval gun (5"/54-caliber) flew 51 nautical miles. The second, fired with high-performance EX-99 propellant designed for the Navy's new 5"/62-caliber gun, flew 38 nautical miles.
The tests are part of a program to develop a ballistic trajectory, GPS-guided solution to U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Army requirements for affordable, long-range volume fires in support of maneuver forces.
ANSR differs from other approaches in its simplicity and relatively low cost, as well as its application to various gun types and calibers. Unit cost in full-rate production is estimated to be less than $20,000. ANSR's application to the existing Navy inventory of 5"/54-caliber guns enables rapid introduction throughout the fleet.
Other applications include the U.S. Navy's Advanced Gun System (AGS) and U.S. Army's Excalibur and Multi-Role Armament and Ammunition Systems (MRAAS) programs.
"We are very pleased with our results," said Dan Murphy, president, ATK Tactical Systems Company, which is the lead contractor on the ANSR industry team. "Both shots set new world range records for the respective guns. Fifty-one nautical miles is close to the maximum range we expect ANSR to fly from a 5"/54-caliber gun. Though 38 nautical miles is only a bit over half the range we expect to ultimately attain with the 5"/62-caliber gun, we gained previously unavailable data governing Navy projectile performance at velocities in excess of 3,400 feet per second.
"Looking forward, we will conduct a warhead arena test in April. We plan to conduct additional ballistic flight tests and a limited guided flight test by the end of July. We are on track to achieve a maximum-range guided flight by the end of this year."
EDO Corporation To Develop JSF Weapon Delivery System
EDO Corporation has been awarded a contract worth $24.8 Million, for the design, development and manufacture of a suite of pneumatic weapon delivery systems for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), by the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.
EDO's Suspension and Release Equipment System (S&RE) provides a required capability for the JSF System Development and Demonstration (SDD) aircraft that Lockheed will provide to the US Air Force. Production of the SR&E will extend through 2026.
"EDO is proud to be part of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co, Northrop-Grumman and BAE System team and stands ready to execute the programme," said James M. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of EDO Corporation. "This program, which is expected to exceed $1 Billion for EDO over the next 25 years, will solidify a stable business base for the company."
BAE SYSTEMS' ALE-47 system for US Army helicopters
The US Army Aviation and Missile Command has awarded BAE SYSTEMS Integrated Defence Solutions (IDS) a $4.9 million contract to provide ALE-47 countermeasures dispensers to a suite of Army helicopters.
This US Army ALE-47 is based upon the AN/ALE-47 advanced countermeasures dispenser system and is specially adapted by BAE SYSTEMS for Army and rotary wing applications. The AN/ALE-47 produced by BAE SYSTEMS currently serves with the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and 22 countries world-wide.
The system is an advanced countermeasure dispenser system providing microprocessor-controlled, automatic threat-adaptive response from a mix of expendable stores, including programmable radio frequency (RF) decoys, chaff, flare and specialised cartridges as a component of a sophisticated defensive/survivability suite.
"The ALE-47 provides a significant survivability upgrade for Army aviation,. We are currently flying with US Army special operations aircraft, and we look forward to widening our partnership with Army Aviation," says ALE-47 Programme Manager, Lila Hillin.
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