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Command PE v1.15.5 now available

Published on March 26, 2021

It has been 10 months since the last official PE release, and the WS dev team has been pretty busy on multiple fronts. The time is now ripe for another significant official update: Command PE v1.15.5 is now available to new and existing pro customers.

New sensor type: Passive Coherent Location System (aka “Passive Radar”). For a general background on PCLS, see here. PCLS systems can be very useful both as a covert means of airspace surveillance and as a potent counter-VLO asset to be combined with other, more traditional sensors. They do have several drawbacks and vulnerabilities (for example, they can be limited in altitude coverage because of their bistatic nature, and each receiver must have clear LOS to both the target and the transmitter in order to process the reflection), but as long as these can be accommodated, PCLS sensors can significantly enhance an IADS and complicate enemy efforts to disrupt it.

New major feature: Distinct mobile ground units. In addition to modelling mobile forces as “aimpoint facilities” , it is now possible to explicitly model individual vehicles with their own customized properties such as armor, propulsion, mounts, sensors etc. These new units now have their separate data annex (“Ground Units”), and can be browsed on the DB viewer:Apart from the obvious benefits of easier targetability and clearer per-unit cargo assignment, the new-style ground units have unlocked certain brand-new capabilities, such as true amphibious vehicles (with distinct speed & fuel consumption properties overwater and on land).

New feature: Formation presets. You can now quickly arrange the members of a group using any of a range of formation presets:

The presets work with any unit type and allow quickly positioning units relative to each other and to the group’s lead. You can either assign the relative positions to the group units or, if in ScenEdit mode, you can directly “teleport” the members to their assigned positions (this can be very useful for scenario authors, obviously).

Major enhancements to Command-CLI. Command-line execution was one of the hottest new features of the v1.15 upgrade (see this article by Northrop Grumman on how they have been using it for a DARPA initiative to train AIs with literally quadrillions of scenario variants), and we have receive lots of feedback and suggestions as to how to improve its utility. Two big new features are:

You can now launch a CLI instance in interactive mode, using the Lua TCP-socket as the control interface. This ability combines the high-performance, low overhead and parallel execution benefits of CLI with the full-control interactivity of the full-GUI client.
CLI mode now supports both coarse and finegrained timestep modes.

Improvements to Multiplayer. The layout of the various MP-specific UI elements has been improved to be less intrusive, the transmission delay of scenario snapshots has been sharply reduced using a “delta” comparison engine, and various fixes and tweaks have been added.

New doctrine/ROE/WRA feature: You can now define decimal figures for WRA engagement and self-defence ranges, using the relevant Lua methods. For example:
ScenEdit_SetDoctrineWRA({guid = ‘d7db0f50-bf1a-4977-ad57-15c30ef3f91a’, target_type=’Aircraft_Unspecified’, weapon_id=134}, {‘2′,’inherit’,2.5,7.8})

In addition, a new message type (Doctrine/ROE) has been added to the message options, and thus can be configured to appear on the message log, raise a pop-up etc. This makes it easier to receive immediate feedback/confirmation on script-driven WRA changes.

Various tweaks & improvements on the event-export tables, directly based on user feedback.

You can now control the jettison of aircraft stores through Lua. This is a more powerful and flexible method than the GUI, as it allows dumping stores at any arbitrary point (not just when under attack), and provides finer control as to what items will be jettisoned (all stores, externals only, heavy stores only, or even a specific weapon ID)

Plus a wide assortment of other tweaks, fixes and improvements across the various functionality tiers of the application.

Work is already underway on the next update releases. Stay tuned, as there are some impressive things on the horizon!

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