by Gail Helmer
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Delta Force - Black Hawk Down Beta Test Announced
NovaLogic today announced plans to release an open multiplayer beta test for the eagerly awaited title Delta Force - Black Hawk Down. The beta test will be one multiplayer level and is scheduled for release at the beginning of August 2002. More information concerning the multiplayer beta test will be announced shortly. Delta Force – Black Hawk Down will ship on PC CD - ROM during October 2002. Check out these new screens.
American Conquest Official Site Launched
CDV Software has launched a new official Web site for American Conquest, its upcoming real-time strategy game in development at GSC Game World. The new site contains an overview of the game's story and features, along with answers to frequently asked questions, a gallery of screenshots, and a downloadable wallpaper image.
American Conquest will let players control one of 12 different nations in the Americas through more than 300 years of armed conflict from 1492 to 1813. It will include four different campaigns--the American War of Independence, the Seven Years' War, the War of Tecumseh, and Pizarro's Expedition--as well as six historical simulations and 12 separate single-player missions. The game is scheduled for release in the first half of 2003.
ATI Launches RADEON 9700, 9000, 9000PRO
ATI Technologies Inc. today introduced the RADEON 9000, RADEON 9000 PRO and RADEON 9700 visual processors, the newest additions to ATI's product lineup.
RADEON 9700 Visual Processing Unit (VPU). ATI's groundbreaking new chip boasts many industry firsts and revolutionizes the graphics industry with features including eight parallel rendering pipelines, complete Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9 support, AGP 8X support and a fully programmable floating point architecture, leading the industry into a new era of cinematic-quality real time graphics.
RADEON 9000 and RADEON 9000 PRO, two new visual processors architected specially for mainstream users. They offer the most complete set of features and the highest performance in the mainstream market.
Frontline Attack: War Over Europa Movie
There is a new movie of Frontline Attack: War over Europa, the 3D real-time strategy game by In Images and Reality Pump that used to be known as World War II: Panzer Claws. The movie trailer sports nearly two minutes of mostly in-game footage demonstrating the game's features. Download
Aerojet to Develop Engines for New 'HyFly' Missile Demonstrator Vehicle
Aerojet has been awarded a $43 million, sole-source contract from Boeing Phantom Works to develop the "HyFly" dual combustion ramjet test flight engines for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Office of Naval Research's (ONR) HyFly hypersonic long-range strike missile demonstrator.
The objective of the DARPA/ONR HyFly program is to demonstrate the hypersonic propulsion and vehicle characteristics of a solid motor boosted hypersonic long-range strike missile demonstrator, which, when fully developed will have capabilities of rapid response and penetration of deeply buried targets. Aerojet's HyFly engine will accelerate the demonstrator to Mach 6 cruise speed and provide the sustaining propulsion with liquid hydrocarbon fuel during hypersonic cruise, achieving a range of 600 nautical miles.
"In response to the events of last September, the nation is seeking weapons with the ability to strike fast and deep in enemy territory," said Joe Abbate, Aerojet executive director, defense systems. "The HyFly missile is an answer to this challenge."
Work scope for the 48-month contract, that began May 6, will require Aerojet to develop 14 flight test engines -- six for ground test and eight for flight evaluation. Currently Aerojet is engaged in Mach 6 testing of a heavy-weight version of the HyFly engine at the NASA Langley Research Center, in Hampton Va. The first flight of the dual combustion ramjet (DCR)-powered HyFly vehicle is scheduled for November 2004.
The HyFly DCR builds upon a concept established in the late 1970s. The DCR employs two air inlet systems. One system feeds a subsonic gas generator in which a fuel-rich gas is generated. The gas is then co-axially mixed with supersonic air from the second inlet system. The DCR is a dual mode system; its diverging combustor section permits thermally-choked operation as a ramjet, but allows for transition into a supersonic combustion ramjet also called a scramjet. Aerojet's extensive background in hypersonics in general and solid motor materials technology in particular, provides the enabling material/structure and development know-how.
BAE Delivers First U.S.-Built XM777 Lightweight Howitzer
BAE SYSTEMS RO Defence delivered the first U.S.-built XM777 Lightweight Howitzer to representatives from the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during ceremonies held today at its new facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Today's delivery also marks the successful integration of the company's U.S. supplier base, which BAE SYSTEMS has been developing for the past two years.
According to Frank Hoerster, BAE SYSTEMS director of fire support systems, the XM777 will provide the most advanced artillery support to our fighting forces as well as improved survivability to gun crews. "We're proud to deliver the first lightweight howitzer to the Army and Marine Corps, and proud of the partnership between BAE SYSTEMS, the program office and our suppliers," Hoerster added.
Col. John Garner, Joint Program Manager for Lightweight 155mm Howitzer said. "Delivery of this gun is another significant step forward toward fielding the howitzer to the soldiers and marines who need it. We greatly appreciate the support of the community of Hattiesburg and the State of Mississippi which has made this day possible."
The XM777 was designed and developed by BAE SYSTEMS, and is a joint programme between the Army and Marine Corps to replace the M198 towed howitzer. The XM777 provides increased strategic and tactical improvements over the M198 and will be used by both Army and Marine Corps light units.
The howitzer delivered today -- a pilot production unit -- will undergo accuracy and strength of design testing prior to a low rate initial production (LRIP) decision scheduled for October 2002. BAE SYSTEMS will deliver a second pilot production howitzer later this year and is scheduled to begin LRIP in November 2002.
The Hattiesburg operation is the final assembly and integration facility prior to delivery to the Department of Defense. The pilot production howitzer incorporates the first use of titanium castings, which reduces the weight of the XM777 by 7,000 pounds over the M198. More than 70 percent of the howitzer's parts are manufactured in the U.S.
Last month, gun crews from the Army and Marine Corps, as well as independent evaluators, completed the operational assessment (OA) phase of this advanced artillery program. The testing consisted of ten weeks of training and operations in which more than 5,000 rounds were fired by test howitzers.
Modified Airborne Laser Aircraft Takes Successful First Flight
The first Airborne Laser (ABL) aircraft, extensively modified by Boeing to house the revolutionary ABL ballistic missile-defense system, successfully flew for the first time today.
The 747-400 aircraft took off from the airport adjacent to Boeing facilities in Wichita, Kan., at 3:30 p.m. (CDT) on its inaugural flight. Sprouting a distinctive nose turret and top-mounted laser targeting pod, the aircraft's first flight is the beginning of a rigorous, summer-long, flight-worthiness test schedule.
Aircraft 00-0001, the initial airborne platform for the ABL system, flew a 120-minute flight plan to check out the aircraft's aerodynamic performance and system operation.
The next major program milestone is flight-worthiness testing in Wichita. The aircraft is undergoing complete systems functional checks and flight tests to verify aerodynamic performance, and surveillance system checkout.
Following flight-worthiness tests, the ABL aircraft will fly later this year to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where its sophisticated tracking and high-energy laser system will be installed.
"This system is one of the most complex engineering challenges ever undertaken in an aircraft, and our team has made solid progress," said Scott Fancher, Boeing vice president and ABL program director. "We've created a methodical approach to ABL development, moving through each phase after meeting appropriate technical goals. We are now at the beginning of the future of missile defense."
Col. Ellen Pawlikowski, Air Force ABL system program director at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., was pleased with the first-flight results: "This represents a major step forward for the Airborne Laser program. We're making important, careful strides toward our goal of building a boost-phase missile defense system."
Team ABL -- Boeing, Lockheed Martin and TRW -- is developing the airborne boost-phase missile defense system under direction from the Missile Defense Agency. The ABL system will use a TRW-developed megawatt-class chemical laser aboard the aircraft to shoot down missiles in their boost phase of flight.
Boeing is the ABL team leader and is responsible for developing the ABL surveillance battle-management system, integrating the weapon system and supplying the modified aircraft. Lockheed Martin is developing the beam control/fire control system, which will acquire the target, then accurately point and fire the laser. TRW is providing the complete chemical oxygen-iodine laser system.
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