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by Gail Helmer

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Friday April 12, 2002

PC News
IL-2 Sturmovik Patch V1.0.4 Released
Ubi Soft has released the Patch 1.0.4 for IL-2 Sturmovik. There are three different patches:

  • 1. il2patch_104.exe - Basic Patch with 3 new flyable aircraft, numerous enhancements and bug fixes. Approx. 27 MB in size.


  • 2. il2patch_104a-supplement.exe - Stutter Fix. This patch is approx. 31 MB in size. You must have the basic V1.04 patch for this to work. However, you only need it if you are having stutter problems - it is a supplement to the main patch.


  • 3. il2patch_104-combined.exe - Combined Patch - Both patches in one downloadable file. This file is approx. 58 MB in size.
For the full list of features click here.

New Planes in IL-2 Sturmovik v1.0.4
The 1.0.4 patch for IL-2 Sturmovik is coming soon and we have learned it includes three new aircraft for you to fly:

  • 1. Berezniak-Isaev BI-1 Soviet "Rocket Interceptor"
  • 2. P.Z.L. P.11c Polish fighter
  • 3. Messerschmitt Bf-109 F-4 German fighter
The details of the BI-1 and the PZL P.11c are now available in the aircraft section on the IL-2 site. Click here

New Screens: LOMAC
Ubi Soft has released these two new screens from Lock On: Modern Air Combat (LOMAC). These screens feature the A-10 Hud. Enjoy!




New Screens: WWII: Frontline Command
World War II: Frontline Command, developed by The Bitmap Brothers, is a squad-based action real time strategy game that captures the heroism of World War II's most significant battles. As a commander of Allied forces in Europe in the last year of World War II, players enter into combat with the Axis forces and drive the enemy back deep inside its own territory. With a full range of authentic troops and equipment at your disposal, become a master of the battlefield to ensure final victory. Screens

New Screens: Legion
Legion transports players back in time, over two thousand years ago, before the world was ruled by Rome and when the next great empire was set to rise. Players take control of one of the many tribes, city states or leagues in Italy at the time prior to Romes domination of the area. It was a time of change for the rest of the peninsula with monarchies in Rome, Etruria and other areas being overthrown by land-owning aristocracy and republican governments put into power. The time would come when armies would have to become organized, take advantage of terrain and make sure that the best formations were implemented to ensure victory. Screens

Global Operations Patch v1.2
Barking Dog has released new patches for Global Operations, upgrading their recent team-based tactical shooter to version 1.2. This release addresses several crash and stability problems, the mouse zoom bug, the gas/smoke grenade sprite bug and the C4 bomb pick-up issue. Details -- Download

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Public Source
Activision has released the public source code for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. This will allow mod authors everything needed to create new variations on the first-person shooter by Gray Matter and Nerve Software. Included is the source code to both the single- and multi-player sides of the game. Details -- Download

SuperPower v1.01b BetaPatch
Here is the patch to bring your Superpower, world dominating, strategy title up to version 1.01b. Download

Military News
Lockheed Martin and U.S. Navy Sign Aegis Production Contract
Lockheed Martin officials today signed a $173 million contract award to manufacture three Aegis Weapon Systems for the U.S. Navy. The order for systems that will be installed aboard Arleigh Burke-class destroyers is the first installment of a 17-ship, four-year contract effort with a total value of $1.1 billion, if all options are exercised. New Jersey Congressman Jim Saxton, senior U.S. Navy officials and nearly 150 employees attended the signing ceremony.

The Aegis system was designed as a total weapon system, from detection to kill. The heart of the system is an advanced, automatic detect and track, multi-function phased-array radar, the AN/SPY-1. This high powered (four megawatt) radar is able to perform search, track and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a track capacity of over 100 targets


"This award recognizes the critical role of the Aegis Weapon System in our nation's defense," said Fred Moosally, president of Lockheed Martin's Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS)-Surface Systems. "Our nation's Aegis fleet -- already 65 ships strong, with 25 additional ships approved by Congress -- is the world's premier naval defense system. The Lockheed Martin team is committed to providing our armed forces the tools they need to meet evolving threats. This latest Aegis system increases that advantage."

The Aegis Weapon System includes SPY-1, the Navy's most advanced computer- controlled radar system that, when paired with the state-of-the-art MK 41 Vertical Launch System, is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. The system can simultaneously attack multiple incoming aircraft, missiles, submarines, torpedoes and attacking ships while automatically implementing defenses to protect the fleet. Aegis is capable of countering all existing and emerging threats to a naval battle group, as well as striking inland targets.

Now, sea-based missile defense capability is being built on Aegis technology. In January of this year, Aegis successfully guided a missile intercept of an exoatmospheric target missile off the coast of Hawaii. The U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency can use this sea-based capability once a determination is made on future missile defense requirements.

Stryker Gets New Armour, Decreases In Weight
After putting pieces of the Army's newest combat vehicle through a storm of ammunition, officials discovered that the initial armour proposed by the contractor was not suitable. But changes are expected to be made in time for the unveiling of the first American-manufactured Stryker by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki tomorrow at the plant in Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, said Maj. Steven Wall, operations officer with Project Manager Brigade Combat Team.

Since October 2001, the Stryker has been undergoing coupon testing, which is taking small squares of armour and firing at it with various calibre weapons and munitions at varying distances, Wall said. "We were able to identify a risk and solve it prior to the first vehicle being built," Wall said. "We saved dollars in retrofitting, cost production and we're going to be able to keep to the fielding schedule."



When modifications are made to the armour, the vehicle will be able to stop 7.62mm and 14.5mm armour piercing rounds, Wall said. He said the armour modifications could not be explained in detail for security reasons.

Reducing its weight is another modification the Stryker will undergo before the vehicles arrive in May at 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, both located at Fort Lewis, Wash.

The Stryker was reported to be 4,000 pounds more than the 38,000-pound requirement. However, Wall said that he expects that the vehicles will meet weight limits, which will allow them to be loaded and transported on a C-130 aircraft. This is a requirement necessary to meet Shinseki's goal of having brigade combat teams that can deploy anywhere in the world within four days.

An aggressive weight management team has been routinely meeting to discuss all options available to reduce the weight of the vehicle, Wall said. Ongoing testing will continue because each variant of the Stryker requires slightly different testing, Wall said. One way in which testing will continue is through a virtual reality booth, known as the cave. It lets engineers, contractors and users identify possible problems and improve the vehicle.

"While standing at a three-dimensional booth," Wall said, "we've been able to modify seats, change wiring, cable locations and many other items through early involvement with the contractors, General Motors and General Dynamics Land Systems."

Also an Army Transformation Technical Test Office has been opened at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to assist in the fielding of the Stryker and ultimately the Future Combat Systems.

Many of the new weapon systems the Army is trying to field have failed to make the grade when it comes time for operational tests using soldiers, said Maj. Gen. John Marcello, the Army Test and Evaluation Command commander.

"The Army's developmental test programme will focus on helping programme managers avoid schedule delays and deliver high-quality weapons and equipment to the field," Marcello said.

Army Transforming Intelligence IO Amid War
Despite the demands of the war on terrorism, the Army's senior intelligence and information officers agreed April 9 at a symposium that the Army is on track with transforming intelligence and information operations to meet the nation's new needs.

"You're looking at a nation that was basically sucker punched on 9/11," said Lt. Gen. Robert W. Noonan Jr., the Army G-2, responsible for both current intelligence support to the Army leadership and formulating Army intelligence policy, plans and programmes.

"And now we've taken a force, and within six-months time, gone into Afghanistan so that nation is no longer a sanctuary for large-scale transnational terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda," Noonan said.

But neither Noonan, nor Maj. Gen. Steven W. Boutelle, the Army's director of information operations, networks and space, CIO/G-6, said they underestimate the terrorist threat and the daunting task of transforming the Army to meet other threats of the 21st Century.

During a candid 90-minute media-roundtable discussion at the Association of the US Army's Intelligence, Information Operations and Asymmetric Warfare Symposium, both men noted current challenges related to their fields.

"Almost everything we do today is commercial off-the-shelf technology and the enemy can buy it just as quick," said Boutelle, who recently returned from visits to Afghanistan and other Middle East countries. "The enemy has a vote. He has in those mountains (in Afghanistan) commercial portable satellite terminals that he buys like any other commercial customer."

According to both Noonan and Boutelle, winning the war on terrorism and transforming the Army will require even more improvements in technology and enhanced "C4 and ISR" - command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"C4 and ISR are critical to The Army Vision," Noonan said, "You have to be able to see first, understand first, act first, and finish decisively. All of those critical tasks are based on improved C4 and ISR capability."

Boutelle also said the Army is relying more on C4 and ISR by moving away from increasing armour protection, a practice that often increased vehicle weight and limited the ability of the Army to rapidly deploy.

"You're making a trade. You're trading heavy armour, steel, and guaranteed survival of a first round enemy hit for C4ISR, stealth and other technology capabilities," Boutelle said.

"At the same time, you have to be able to fight the full spectrum of operations, from the peacekeeping missions that we continue to provide throughout the world to classic armour engagements like we saw during Desert Storm in Iraq," Noonan said. "You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don't have the right people, then you're in deep trouble."

The key to effectively transforming Army intelligence and information operations will be to get the right information to the right people at the right time, said Noonan and Boutelle. As an example, Noonan noted that significant progress had been made with automated translation devices for soldiers.

"Within eight years we should have automated translators," said Noonan. "The goal is to have them with soldiers on patrol so they can have a dialogue on the street."

Both Noonan and Boutelle said they are convinced they have the right people on the right path to meet the Army's C4 and ISR needs. "We're revitalising the workforce, we have a much better pictures of the science and technology and we're truly beginning to understand what network-centreed warfare is all about," Noonan said. (Source: The Office of the US Army Chief of Public Affairs.)

B-52 turns 50; Still A Leading Combat Jet
The tried and true workhorse of the U.S. Air Force heavy bomber fleet, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, turns 50 years old April 15. Although originally designed to penetrate the Soviet Union and drop nuclear bombs, the B-52 has served in a variety of conventional bombing roles in Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo and most recently in Afghanistan.

The first prototype of the bomber was designated the YB-52 and flew on April 15, 1952. The first production B-52A flew in 1954 and the B model entered service in 1955. The last B-52H was delivered in October 1962. Only the 40-year-old H-model aircraft remain in the Air Force inventory.

"For 50 years, the B-52 has been the massive firepower in American aerospace power," said Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Keck, the 8th Air Force commander. "Enemies of the United States continue to fear the formidable B-52 because it carries the widest variety of munitions of any aircraft and has a devastating long-range standoff capability that allows it to attack anywhere at anytime."



To celebrate the anniversary, the Air Force and the Boeing Company are hosting a special ceremony April 12 in Wichita, Kan., where Boeing manufactured the majority of B-52s. The event features many of the officials who were instrumental in the development of the B-52, including retired Brig. Gen. Guy Townsend, the first B-52 test pilot; retired Maj. Gen. Bill Eubank, who delivered the first operational aircraft; retired Col. Pete Warden, who was chief of bomber projects in the 1940s and a key player in bringing the B-52 into the Air Force inventory; and Bob Withington, a former Boeing staff engineer and aerodynamicist who led the design and development of the Stratofortress.

Though some of the aircraft are crewed today by the sons, grandsons, daughters, and granddaughters of the first B-52 aircrews, the Air Force plans to continue using the bomber until 2037. The Air Force and Boeing have continually updated the B-52 with new avionics, communication links, defense systems and precision-guided weapons. The Air Force is considering new fuel-efficient turbofan engines for the eight-engine jets.

"The role of the heavy bomber has evolved from gravity 'dumb' bomb dropper to long-range strike platform that delivers precision-guided weapons," Keck said. "Bombers have historically been tasked for deep penetration and to drop large loads (up to 108 500-pound bombs) on one target area. However, today, a bomber is just as likely to strike several targets with one bomb per target on a single mission."

The B-52 is the only U.S. aircraft capable of delivering long-range AGM-86C conventional air-launched cruise missiles and AGM-142 Have Nap missiles, and is the only Air Force platform capable of delivering the AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missile. Called standoff weapons, cruise missiles improve the bombers ability to survive by allowing it to fly outside the range of enemy defenses and launch missiles into the target area.

The B-52 also drops laser-guided weapons, inertially guided weapons and weapons guided by the Global Positioning System of satellites, including the new Joint Direct Attack Munition used extensively in the Afghanistan air campaign.

"The B-52s will continue to be part of the Air Forces kick-down-the-door force carrying future weapons," said Keck. "We plan to use the bomber as part of the new Global Strike Task Force that will assist in rapidly establishing air dominance by targeting an enemys air defenses, combat forces and command-and-control capability."

A total of 744 B-52 bombers were built by Boeing in Wichita and Seattle, Wash. Today, 94 B-52H models remain in Eighth Air Force. They are based at Barksdale AFB and Minot AFB, N.D. One B-52 is used as a test aircraft at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif.

In 2001, the B-52 had the highest mission-capable rate of any aircraft in Air Combat Command.

The H model can carry up to 20 nuclear or conventional air-launched cruise missiles. B-52s launched conventional cruise missiles in several worldwide operations during the 1990s, including Operation Desert Storm and Operation Allied Force in Kosovo.

Bombers, ballistic-missile submarines and ICBMs still make up the nuclear triad of the United States. The B-52 and the B-2 stealth bomber provide the only nuclear option that deters nuclear attacks from hostile nations but can be recalled after launch. (Source: Air Combat Command, United States Air Force)

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