Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday October 18, 2001

PC News
Comanche 4 Demo Released
Novalogic has released a demo of their upcoming action shooter Comanche 4. This first look demo includes, Single player - 1 mission, Play in 1st or 3rd person, Play with keyboard and mouse or joystick controls.

Rogue Spear Black Thorn Goes Gold
Ubi Soft Entertainment has announced that Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear Black Thorn has gone gold and will be in stores on November 1st. Rogue Spear Black Thorn contains nine new single-player missions, six new dedicated multi-player maps, 14 new weapons, and an all-new Lone Wolf multi-player mode. Rogue Spear Black Thorn will also contain an additional bonus CD 'The Making of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon' which will give consumers an exclusive behind the scenes look at one of the most anticipated PC games of 2001 - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. The CD features development interviews, gameplay videos, design art and gameplay tips from the team.

New Screens: Rogue Spear Black Thorn

Medal Of Honor Video Part 2
EA has released the newest video from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. This Part 2 of the five part series on Mission 5 Level 3 shows the attack on Brittany. You and your platoon are responsible for capturing and holding the German command post in the town hall. Watch for and eliminate enemy snipers that will prey on you and your platoon in the open areas.

Operation Flashpoint V1.27b Details
Bohemia Interactive has released the beta v1.27 for Operation Flashpoint and the official add-on,Grenade Launchers. Click here for downloads.

Beta Version 1.27 Changes:

  • Fixed: Manual fire in MP enabled if gunner is not player
  • Fixed: "Players" dialog closed when multiplayer game session end
  • Fixed: Water splash was drawn aside of the ship.
  • Fixed: East boat gunner was looking in opposite direction.
  • Fixed: When CAPS LOCK was pressed, Voice Over Net was not disabled (bug since 1.26)
  • Fixed: Standalone server exe not working.
  • Fixed: soldiers can no longer stay under water.
  • Fixed: soldiers can not fire under water.
  • Fixed: cars cannot move under water.
  • Fixed: speed of sound delay caused some sounds to be decayed (since 1.26).
  • Improved: visibility through bushes and other semitransparent object more accurate.
  • Improved: MP: application behaviour when running on background (alt-tab)
  • Optimized: MP: more compression on position updates.
  • Added: some low level network protocol adjustments can be made in Flashpoint.cfg
  • Added: Improved compatibility with most firewalls.
The War Engine Demo Released
Shrapnel Games announced today that the Demo Version of Boku Strategy Games' The War Engine is available for download from their website.. The demo includes three scenarios and the customizer. The War Engine is the ultimate wargame construction kit. With it you can easily construct any number of war, strategy, or conflict based games by simply defining the rules, and units involved. To show off how versatile this engine is we are including 7 full games to highlight the systems strengths.

Military News
Boeing Apache Longbow At Seoul Air Show
The Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow this week made its first appearance at the Seoul Air Show, which showcases the most advanced military and commercial aircraft being offered for sale in the region. The Apache Longbow performed a wide range of aerobatic maneuvers during its flight demonstrations.

The next-generation Apache helicopter, produced by Boeing in Mesa, Ariz., is being considered by the Republic of Korea for its current armed helicopter requirements.

The appearance of the Apache Longbow in South Korea coincides with the arrival of U.S. Army Apache Longbow multirole combat helicopters here last week, which marked the first international deployment of a U.S. Army Apache Longbow combat battalion.

Next-generation Apaches continue to make their presence known around the globe through a growing customer base that includes Egypt, Israel, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Several international competitions also are under way.

Apache Longbow helicopters link a wide range of avionics, electronics and weapons into one fully integrated weapon system. The Apache Longbow is 28 times more capable than the battle-proven AH-64A Apache, for years considered to be the world's best combat helicopter.

UK Seeks To Replenish Its Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency has informed the US Congress that the UK wants to buy 48 Tomahawk Block IIIC cruise missiles to replenish its stocks.

Since becoming the only export customer for the submarine launched missiles the UK has fired them in anger during the Kosovo conflict and most recently against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"The United Kingdom needs these missiles to augment their present operational inventory and to enhance their submarine launched capability," the DSCA said in a statement.

The deal, when approved, will be worth $87 million to Raytheon Missile Systems Company, the prime contractor for the missiles.

US Marine Corps Resist Urge To Use Osprey In Afghanistan
The US Marine Corps made it clear yesterday that the V-22 Osprey will not be rushed into the war on terrorism, maintaining that only progress in correcting the aircraft's deficiencies would dictate its return to flight testing and eventual deployment.

"Regardless of our need for the Osprey, returning to operational flight will be a deliberate and methodical process that will occur only after the resumption and completion of all necessary testing and evaluation," Gen. James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, said. "The safety of my Marines is my number-one concern."

Speculation about accelerating the programme came on the heels of a recent visit by Gen. Jones and Gen. Charles R. Holland, Commander in Chief, US Special Operations Command, with lawmakers to discuss funding to fully fix and test the V-22.

Though the latest budget discussions came as the bombing campaign in Afghanistan was set to begin, Corps officials point out that they have been making the case for adequate funding since May, when an independent panel appointed by the Secretary of Defense concluded a sweeping review of the V-22 program.

"In the wake of the two tragic accidents last year, the Secretary of Defense, at the request of Gen. Jones, convened a panel of experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the program. They concluded that the technology was sound and recommended that the programme be funded at a rate sufficient to sustain the industrial base until the engineering deficiencies and panel recommendations could be implemented," said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. David Nevers. "That is the message we have consistently shared with lawmakers since the panel completed its review last spring, and that was the purpose of Gen. Jones' recent visit to Congress."

Concluding that the Osprey's engineering deficiencies could be fixed, the panel concurred with the findings of 17 prior studies that found the Osprey to be the most cost-effective replacement for the Marine Corps' ageing fleet of medium-lift helicopters and the only aircraft capable of fulfilling its 21st century mission requirements. Foremost among those requirements were greater speed, range and lift capacity.

The panel made a series of recommendations to correct the aircraft's engineering deficiencies, to extensively test the fixes, and to improve management of the program. It recommended cutting production of the V-22 to the minimum rate necessary to sustain the industrial base. Panel members also agreed that sufficient funding was crucial to efforts to implement the recommendations and put the programme on solid footing.

"What's resonated throughout [our review] is that this is a marginally funded or an under-funded program," said panel chairman General John Dailey (Ret.).

Industry officials have since determined that the minimum sustainable rate of procurement is 12 aircraft per year. Anything fewer, they say, threatens the future of the primary and sub-contractors.

The Corps' interest in the tiltrotor concept, which began in the 1970s, rose significantly after a failed high-profile operation made apparent the need for a significantly more capable assault-support aircraft.

In April 1980, special operations forces attempted a rescue of 53 Americans being held hostage in Iran. The mission required crossing the vast Great Salt Desert merely to reach a staging point from which to insert the rescuers. The transport helicopters' limited speed and range meant frequent refuelling stops, necessarily done under cover of darkness. During one such attempted refueling, still 250 miles short of the target city of Tehran, an RH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter collided with a C-130 Hercules tanker aircraft. Eight servicemen, including three Marines, were killed.

While many observers agree that the V-22 is ideally suited to operate in mountainous, land-locked Afghanistan, the Marine Corps insists the aircraft is not yet ready.

"We're not about to rush the process, or trade safety for an earlier deployment date," Gen. Jones said. "The nation needs this aircraft, but our Marines are more important than our machines. We're going to do this right."

US Army Begins TACMS Demonstration
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has received a contract for $16.1 million to produce nine Army Tactical Missile System (TACMS) Penetrator Demonstration (TPD) missiles.

The Army TACMS Penetrator Missile System will demonstrate integration of the Army TACMS with a prototype Navy earth-penetrating warhead resulting in an improved capability to destroy hard and deeply buried targets. The Army TACMS Penetrator missile will be compatible with the entire upgraded Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Family of Launchers.

Lockheed Martin is teaming with Sandia National Laboratories on the integration and demonstration program, with Sandia developing the penetrator warhead that will be integrated into the Army Tactical Missile System. The US Army provided funding for the contract, which was awarded in August and is expected to be completed in September 2004.

Production work will be performed at various Missiles and Fire Control locations, with testing of the system taking place at White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico. Sandia National Laboratories are operated for the US Department of Energy by Sandia Corp., a Lockheed Martin company.

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