By Gail Helmer
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Wednesday October 24, 2001
- End Of An Era: Air Warrior To Be Shutdown
- Matrix Games to Publish La Grande Armee At Austerlitz
- Comanche 4 Video Clip
- Ghost Recon Goes Gold
- Flight Simulator 2002 In Stores
- EA.com Cuts Online Staff
- OpFlash Mission Editor
- Photo Of the Day: Liberty
- DOD Completes Review Of Merger Proposals For Newport News
- DOD Clears Way For Northrop Grumman To Acquire NNS
- Raytheon Successfully Fires Surface Launched AMRAAM
- Enhanced Paveway Achieves Success During RAF Trials
- USAF/Boeing F-15e Makes Air Show Demo Debut In Seoul
- Clarke Addresses Protecting Civilians, Taliban Lies
- U.S. Forces Strike Al Qaeda 'in Its Entirety'
End Of An Era: Air Warrior To Be Shutdown
After the announcement that EA.com is making online staff layoffs intended to lower costs of the company's online operations, COMBATSIM has learned this includes the Kesmai Team. Sources have told COMBATSIM that Air Warrior will be shut-down within a month.
Matrix Games to Publish La Grande Armee At Austerlitz
The color and grandeur of Napoleon’s great battle comes alive in real-time 3D as Matrix Games teams with French designer Jean Michel Mathe of HistWar to publish the La Grande Armee Campaign series. Players have a chance to display their command skills as they lead armies ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 men. La Grande Armee At Austerliz will be the first in a series of Napoleonic battles we will cover.
"The tactics and style of play can not be found in any other Napoleonic game." says Matrix Director of Operations David Heath. "La Grande Armee Campaign series aims to reconstruct the main confrontations of the Napoleonic period from 1805 to 1815. Everything has been done to make this game as precise and realistic as possible."
"Napoleonic fans can start getting ready for something totally new.” says Mathe. "Matrix Games has the talent and the proven fan base to help us launch our game series the way we want." Click here for details of the La Grande Armee At Austerlitz.
Comanche 4 Video Clip
Novalogic sent us this new video clip from their upcoming action shooter Comanche 4. This clip is of a ship sinking and is really for the benefit of those people who couldn't download or play the demo. Click to download.
Ghost Recon Goes Gold
Ubi Soft Entertainment has announced that the title Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon has reached Gold Master Status. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon has been developed by Red Storm Entertainment, the studio behind the multi-award winning 'Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six' franchise.
Set in the year 2008, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon is a squad based tactical combat game that follows the exploits of a fictional US Special Forces team. Russia has fallen under the control of ultra-nationalistic leaders intent on rebuilding the Iron Curtain. This leads to conflict with NATO as Russia attempts to reclaim the breakaway republic of Georgia, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As the war escalates, casualties mount, hostages are taken and the Ghosts are sent in. The player takes command of the Ghosts through a series of missions that range from demolitions, to search and rescue, to all-out firefights for survival. Ghost Recon ships November 13th 2001.
Flight Simulator 2002 In Stores
Microsoft has announced the release of Flight Simulator 2002. The game lets players fly and navigate some of the most advanced civilian aircraft, including the Cessna Caravan amphibious floatplane and the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet. The game features an interactive air-traffic-control system that lets players communicate with the tower for permission to taxi, take off, and land, and to request clearances while in the air.
The release of Flight Simulator 2002 was delayed after the September 11 terrorist attacks. According to a Microsoft representative, the delay was not due to changes being made to the game, but rather due to the company's desire to be sensitive in the wake of the attacks. One change that was made to the game was the removal of the twin towers of the World Trade Center from the game's New York City area.
Flight Simulator 2002 standard version and the professional version are now available in stores.
EA.com Cuts Online Staff
Electronic Arts will lay off approximately 250 people from its online staff, according to a company press release. The layoffs are intended to bring the costs of the company's online operations in line with its revenues, a goal the company has set for 2003. The company's other efforts to make the online division profitable include ensuring the development of quality online content.
The current development schedules of its upcoming online games Earth and Beyond, The Sims Online, and Motor City Online have not changed. Electronic Arts' most recent online release, the unusual conspiracy adventure game Majestic, was launched in early August, and it reportedly has performed below the company's expectations.
OpFlash Mission Editor
Bohemia Interactive has updated the Operation Flashpoint Mission editing section with basic guide to HTML briefings for custom made missions. Click here
Photo Of the Day: Liberty
Commando Solo makes a pass over the Statue of Liberty. Commando Solo is a EC-130 aircraft used for psychological operations and flown by the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DOD Completes Review Of Merger Proposals For Newport News
The Department of Defense has completed its review of the proposals by General Dynamics Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. to acquire Newport News Shipbuilding Inc.
The DoD concluded that the proposal by General Dynamics would eliminate competition for nuclear submarines, resulting in a monopoly. Additionally, the acquisition would harm competition for surface combatants and for the development of emerging technologies for both nuclear submarines and surface ships. The department determined that the benefits and savings offered by each transaction were comparable. The Northrop Grumman transaction has the additional benefit of preserving competition. DoD's views have been communicated to the Department of Justice.
DOD Clears Way For Northrop Grumman To Acquire NNS
Northrop Grumman Corporation said that the company is pleased with the Department of Defense's statement today which allows Northrop Grumman to go forward with its proposed acquisition of Newport News Shipbuilding. The company further stated that it does not expect any issues with the Department of Justice on the closure of the acquisition and that it looks forward to a successful completion of this transaction in the near future.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With 80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
Raytheon Successfully Fires Surface Launched AMRAAM
Raytheon Company successfully test fired two AIM-120 Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles today as part of its HUMRAAM risk reduction program. Elements of the risk reduction program will provide data and design support necessary to reduce technical risks in the U.S. Marine Corps Complementary Low Altitude Weapon Systems program.
In the first of two Ballistic Test Vehicle (BTV) firings, the Surface Launched AMRAAM was fired at a 90-degree angle off a HUMRAAM launcher. The launcher angle was selected to collect vehicle response data in a worst case-firing scenario that stresses vehicle lateral stability. Preliminary reports indicate all objectives were met, including the collection of missile plume characteristics and quick look data for the second firing.
The second BTV firing was conducted with the launcher rotated to 149-degrees, which assumed the worst case firing scenario for the vehicle cab and hardware. In this test measurements were collected to support a safety engineering assessment of operator survivability for in cab launch.
"This vehicle, built and tested with internal research and development (IR&D) funding, gives us the opportunity to validate our design," said Al Riley, director, Medium Range and Short Range programs at the company's Air/Missile Defense Systems business unit. "It will allow us to provide our Marine Corps customer with an operational capability in a faster cycle."
Raytheon has designed and manufactured the Proof of Concept launcher to accelerate testing and mitigate program risk. It was provided to its Marine Corps customer seven months from contract award. Work performed under the IR&D program will be done at Raytheon facilities in Bedford and Tewksbury, Mass., and Pelham, N.H.
Enhanced Paveway Achieves Success During RAF Trials
Recent testing of Enhanced Paveway II and Enhanced Paveway III by the Royal Air Force on the Tornado GR4 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, during September has been completed.
The dual-mode (laser and GPS) targeting capability of Enhanced Paveway II and Enhanced Paveway III achieved a median accuracy significantly better than 3 metres during testing.
The addition of GPS guidance offers considerable operational flexibility enabling engagements against targets in all weather, yet retains the greater precision offered by laser designation when weather permits. Expanded delivery envelopes were employed during the trials to investigate the increased tactical potential of the weapons, and the bombs were released in a combination of GPS only and GPS/laser modes. Separate targets were configured to demonstrate the weapons' ability to transition readily between GPS and laser guidance modes in flight
The UK Ministry of Defence selected Raytheon's GPS-guided Enhanced Paveway bombs in August 2000 in response to an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR). The requirement for an Interim Precision Guided Bomb (IPGB) to satisfy the operational need for an all-weather day/night air-launched precision guided-bomb, was started as a result of lessons learned from the Kosovo campaign, where bad weather and heavy cloud curtailed laser targeting, and so limited operations.
The UOR specified a full capability on Tornado GR4/4a aircraft by 27 October 2001. The Enhanced Paveway production contract was signed by the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) in December 2000.
"The Royal Air Force (RAF), Raytheon and BAE SYSTEMS teams have worked well together to achieve the tight timescales for delivery to meet the RAF's in service date," said Ricky Freibert, Raytheon's UK Enhanced Paveway Programme Manager. "We are very pleased to introduce such a capable and flexible weapon into the RAF's inventory."
Raytheon Systems Limited's (RSL) weapons maintenance and repair facility will be responsible for introducing the weapons into service and providing full through-life support. The facility was awarded a Multi-Activity Contract covering Post- Design Services, Repair, Spares and Support, including re-supply, for Paveway III (UK) in August 2000.
"Enhanced Paveway is a sophisticated and cost effective weapon and the dual-mode capability provides the RAF with an exceptional autonomous, all weather, precision strike weapon," said Peter McKee, Managing Director of RSL. "We are delighted with the results of the trials and are proud to bring this new capability to the RAF."
USAF/Boeing F-15e Makes Air Show Demo Debut In Seoul
SEOUL, Korea, Oct. 23, 2001 A U.S. Air Force/Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle roars through its vertical takeoff as it begins an air show performance at the Korea Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, which was held Oct. 15-21 in Seoul. The air show marked the first-ever aerial display by the F-15E at an international air show.
Boeing test pilot Joe Felock performed the flight demonstration in the F-15E, which is an operational aircraft from the U.S. Air Force 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
The F-15E is unsurpassed both as an air superiority fighter and as a long-range strike aircraft against land targets, and it repeatedly has proven its capability in combat. It is the basis of the more-capable F-15K that the Republic of Korea is considering as part of the F-X fighter evaluation. The F-15K is the only airplane under consideration that fully meets, with the first aircraft delivered, Korea's stated F-X requirements both for air-to-air and air-to-ground performance.
Clarke Addresses Protecting Civilians, Taliban Lies
Even with the extraordinary care U.S. forces take to avoid hitting civilian targets, accidents happen. Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke said two incidents Oct. 20 may have resulted in civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
One incident occurred during operations Saturday. She said a Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter missed its intended target and dropped two 500-pound bombs that hit a residential area northwest of Kabul. "The intended targets were military vehicles parked in an area approximately one half mile away," she said. AFRTS Radio Report: "Pentagon says Taliban 'outright lies' "
On Sunday, an F/A-18 Hornet fighter missed its target and dropped a 1,000-pound bomb in a field near a senior citizens home near Herat. "The intended target was a vehicle storage building at the Herat army barracks, approximately 300 feet from the facility," she said.
Both incidents appear to be malfunctions in the weapon guidance systems of the bombs, she said.
"We take extraordinary care in the targeting process," she said. "Our targets are military, our targets are Al Qaeda. That is what we're going after. There is unintended damage. There is collateral damage. Thus far, it has been extremely limited.
"We care deeply about the loss of life. Unlike the people who on Sept. 11 went to great pains to kill thousands of innocent people."
Clarke also addressed Taliban claims that they shot down a U.S. helicopter during the special operation into Afghanistan on Friday. Taliban officials have been showing a helicopter landing gear as proof of the shootdown. "The wheels shown on Taliban TV were from a U.S. MH-47 helicopter," she said.
She said that during the mission, the helicopter's main front landing gear rammed some sort of a barrier. This tore the wheel off. "The aircraft continued its mission and returned safely," she said. "There was no further damage to the aircraft and no injuries to the crew."
Finally, she addressed a Saturday incident in Pakistan. A U.S. heavy lift helicopter went to retrieve a crashed Black Hawk helicopter. The crew sling-loaded the chopper and flew to a Pakistani airfield to refuel. At the airfield, the chopper took ground fire. The crew aborted the mission, returned fire and departed. There were no U.S. casualties.
U.S. Forces Strike Al Qaeda 'in Its Entirety'
U.S. forces are striking Al Qaeda "in its entirety," said Rear Adm. John D. Stufflebeem, deputy director of operations for current readiness and capabilities at the Joint Staff.
Stufflebeem during a Pentagon press conference today said coalition forces have struck all the Al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. If Al Qaeda has other camps or tries to establish more, U.S. forces will strike those, he said. AFRTS Radio Report: "Pentagon says Taliban 'outright lies' "
"To get into the details of the numbers is not nearly as important as the larger context of the campaign," he said. "We're going after Al Qaeda in its entirety. So wherever we find it … we're going to attack it."
On Oct. 22, U.S. forces struck 11 planned target areas, Stufflebeem said. The targets included airfields, radar installations and deployed Taliban forces including armor, vehicles and buildings. U.S. aircraft also struck targets in garrison and are interdicting lines of communications. American aircraft further struck targets of opportunity in engagement zones.
The strikes required 60 carrier-based and 10 land-based tactical aircraft, including AC-130s, and 10 long-range bombers.
"We also flew four C-17 missions carrying humanitarian relief," Stufflebeem said. The aircraft dropped 57,000 humanitarian daily rations, bringing the total to over 750,000. In addition, U.S. forces assisted the U.S. Agency for International Development in delivering 30,000 blankets to Islamabad, Pakistan.
Stufflebeem said the Taliban is starting to disperse its forces and hiding them in neighborhoods and near mosques. "I personally think the Taliban will use whatever means they have, including the people of Afghanistan, to shield their capability," he said.
He said the Taliban and Al Qaeda are inextricably linked. "I personally think there are Al Qaeda fighters (with the Taliban forces)," he said. "I believe that because there has been an arrangement that is well known within Afghanistan between Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah (Mohammed) Omar for some time. They are mutually supportive.
"I'd be surprised if one can survive without the other," he continued. "To believe that Afghan 'foreigners' can come to the country and train, and not fight, just doesn't seem credible."
Stufflebeem said he knows U.S. forces are "attriting" Taliban and Al Qaeda forces.
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