Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday October 25, 2001

PC News
CFS3? All Signs Point To Yes!"
The rumors of the development of Combat Flight Simulator 3 started as soon as Combat Flight Simulator 2 was released. Will there be a CFS3?. Sources at Microsoft are tight-lipped on the subject and aren't forthcoming with details but they haven't said "no, it isn't going to happen". We should learn more at Gamestock in April, we will keep you posted.

Ghost Recon Developer Chat
Ubi Soft is hosting a Ghost Recon Developer chat today, Thursday, October 25th, 2-3PM PST. Gamers are invited to submit their questions to the Ghost Recon team here.

The Details:

When? Thursday October 25th 2-3 PM PST
Where? irc.gameloft.com
Channel? #GRchat

New Screens: Project 1
Third Wire Productions has sent us a few new screenshots from Project 1. The team has been focussing on development of non-visual part of the game such as our mission generator and campaign engine, and things are going very well. For more information on Project 1, click here.

Rogue Spear: Black Thorn Movie
The countdown to the launch of Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear Black Thorn continues with the release of a brand new movie that showcases previously unrevealed levels within the game. The movie will be available from the Black Thorn website at 4PM PST on Thursday October 25th. The stand alone mission pack for the popular franchise 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.

Space Empires: IV Patch 1.49 Released
Shrapnel Games announced today that the much anticipated 7th Patch for Space Empires: IV is ready and available for download at their website. The Patch, version 1.49, adds functionality in several areas and fixes numerous small bugs.

Richard Arnesen, of Shrapnel Games, said, "Aaron has been working the beta testers hard these last few months to get this patch out. There are literally too many fixes to detail in this release but there is an included history file to let you know what has been updated. Please make sure to back up any data files you may have updated prior to installing the patch."

New Screens: Europa Universalis II
Strategy First has sent us six new screens from the upcoming sequel, Europa Universalis II, coming November 13, 2001. Europa Universalis II broadens the game's scope further, allowing players to not only choose between the 8 European superpowers, but any nation that ever existed in the world! That is over 100 playable nations, including African tribes, the Japanese Shogunate, and the Chinese Empire. The sequel will also feature 100 years of additional history - including the hundred years war and the whole Napoleonic era. The game will span more than four hundred years (1419-1820) providing players hours of additional game play.

Matrox Millennium G450, G550 XP Compatible
Matrox has announced full compatibility to the new Microsoft Windows XP operating system through its Millennium G450 and Millennium G550 series of graphics cards. Providing the same full-feature support for Microsoft Windows XP as with other Microsoft operating systems, Matrox users can expect a smooth transition to Windows XP, gaining greater power, reliability and efficiency. Consumers will also enjoy greater system stability thanks to Matrox's drivers with the Designed for Windows XP logo.

"The Matrox Millennium G450 and Millennium G550 series of graphics cards offer end-users the most feature-rich card on the market," says Razid Samdjy, Senior manager for business development, Matrox Graphics Inc. "Combining these cards with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system makes the most sense for consumers who want the most value for their dollar."

Search And Rescue 3 Ships, Demo Released
Global Star Software has announced that they have shipped Search and Rescue 3. Developed by Interactive Vision, this highly anticipated third installment of the immensely popular helicopter flight simulator will set the new standard in airborne rescue simulation. Search and Rescue 3 will feature all new elements, such as realistic audio communications, the addition of two helicopters, the BK-117 and SH-3 Sea King, and vastly improved environmental physics, such as wind effects and even night missions. Combined with over 10 new flight areas and over 100+ missions, Search and Rescue 3 represents the most advanced and realistic Coast Guard flight sim available. A demo version of Search and Rescue 3 is now available for free download at Global Star Software's website.

Military News
Pentagon Seeks Ideas On Combating Terrorism
The Department of Defense announced today that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and the Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office Technical Support Working Group are jointly sponsoring a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) asking for help in fighting terrorism. The BAA, issued Oct. 23 (No. 02-Q-4655), specifically seeks help in combating terrorism, defeating difficult targets, conducting protracted operations in remote areas, and developing countermeasures to weapons of mass destruction. Its objective is to find concepts that can be developed and fielded within 12 to 18 months.

The BAA provides for a three-phase process in which interested parties initially submit a one-page description of their concept. Initial responses are due by Dec. 23, 2001. After a review of a submission and if DoD is interested in further information, the submitter will then be asked to provide a more detailed description of up to 12 pages of the idea. Submitters of concepts that the department is not interested in pursuing further will be so notified.

DoD will evaluate phase two submissions and ask those who have offered the most promising ideas to submit full proposals in a third phase that may form the basis for a contract. Phase two submitters who are not asked to submit full proposals will be so notified. Submitters of a full phase three proposal that is not accepted by the department may request a formal debriefing. Debriefings will not be provided to phase one and phase two submitters whose concepts were not accepted. Interested parties can obtain more information concerning this BAA by visiting BIDS

Raytheon Awarded Contract for U-2 Maintenance
Raytheon Company was recently awarded a $40.9 million follow-on contract for consolidated field service on the Air Force's fleet of U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

This is the second of four possible contract options that has been exercised by the Air Force. Under the contract, Raytheon will provide worldwide equipment maintenance and support for the U-2's sensor payloads and grounds stations.

Raytheon has worked closely with the U.S. government on the U-2 reconnaissance program since the early 1970s. Over the years, Raytheon has developed a wide variety of advanced sensor payloads and the ground processing systems for the timely dissemination of intelligence data.

"Raytheon stands ready and willing to provide support to the U-2 program whenever and wherever it is required," said John Nannen, director of business development for Raytheon Strategic Systems. Lockheed Martin And Boeing Hold Breath Over JSF
Tomorrow, the Pentagon will finally reveal whether Lockheed Martin or Boeing have been successful in procuring the single most important global military contract, that for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Due to the winner-takes-all nature of the programme, the winning team will secure a deal worth $200 billion, while the runner-up could face the ignominy of losing its share of the fighter construction market. Whichever team wins, the JSF is sure to have a marked effect on the future of both the US and British Aerospace capabilities.

The JSF programme was instigated in 1993 to create a multi-dimensional aircraft designed to replace ageing squadrons on both sides of the Atlantic. Since its conception the programme has raised debate, and this week that debate reached fever pitch. The Lockheed Martin design has emerged as the more fancied of the two, although both test craft have passed all the Government set technical criteria. This has led to an intense period of lobbying from both sides in Washington. Moreover, the debate is not restricted to the relative advantages of the two bids but further to the possible fallout from a programme expected to realise 3,000 aircraft in the next decade and fulfil fighter production until 2040, possibly into the unmanned era.

The JSF design concepts line up together - Boeing [left] and Lockheed Martin [right] The JSF must satisfy the needs of the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as those of the British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. This means not only having the capability for short and vertical take-off and landing but also the characteristics of an efficient interceptor craft. Furthermore, it must possess the versatility to support a variety of weapon systems for any number of mission objectives. Whilst the next generation design aspects of the Lockheed Martin prototype has reportedly turned Pentagon heads, Boeing has been rallying around its more dependable production history.

There is a possibility, strongly refuted by the Pentagon, that if the programme remains winner-takes-all, as it has been touted throughout the selection process, the losing company would be forced to close its respective fighter factory. Political concern centres around the fact that if, upon losing, either Boeing's St.Louis plant or that of Lockheed Martin at Fort Worth were forced to close, at some point in the future the US could have only one fighter production company. Furthermore, should a production-split be advocated on Friday it may even be welcomed by the different branches of the armed forces, their innate competitive spirit requiring craft they can call their own.

As a result, some politicians in Washington have been advocating some level of production-share be implemented into the programme. Senator Christopher Bond, a Republican from Missouri, in what must stem from an effort to safeguard jobs at Boeing's St. Louis plant, has drawn up draft proposals to ensure that the production process is split regardless of who wins, a move which has fuelled rumours that Lockheed Martin will win.

The UK as the only country granted full partner status on this project, will be equally agog for Friday's announcement. It even may be that the UK' strong interest in the programme is crucial to its continuance, as the US seeks to build and maintain its several coalitions in the 'war against terrorism'. In March, Britain agreed to invest 1.3 billion to part fund engineering studies for the project and the Ministry of Defence is especially keen to replace its fleet of Harriers. In addition, UK companies will benefit whichever way the dice fall, in particular BAE SYSTEMS, who as well as being a partner in the team led by Lockheed Martin, is a subcontractor for Boeing. Rolls-Royce is also well placed, providing the lift technology for both competing STOVL contenders.

The current world situation has added fuel to the fire of interest surrounding this project, with President George W. Bush looking to advance the initial service date for the JSF from 2010 to 2008.

Many analysts have tried to predict the outcome of the Pentagon's decision and while most seem to favour Lockheed Martin's design, the most common reaction is finally to say the result is to close to call. Defence Systems Daily believes IT will be Lockheed Martin by the proverbial short head, but that in the end parochial political interests will ensure that production is shared in some fashion.

Lockheed Martin Delivers EMD Version Of Comanche Sensor System
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has shipped the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) version of its Night Vision Pilotage System (NVPS) and support structure to the US Army's RAH-66 Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter's mission equipment package integrator, Boeing.

"This initial hardware delivery represents a major milestone for us," said Bob Costello, director of the electro-optical sensor system (EOSS) programme at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando. "Over the past several months, we have demonstrated the new sensor to more than 20 high-ranking Army visitors, and they have all been very pleased with its performance. They described the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imagery as 'world-class,' and they said 'it should be in the hands of the Army aviators as soon as possible.'"

The NVPS completed safety-of-flight testing in Orlando before shipment to Boeing's System Integration Laboratory (SIL) in Philadelphia where the EOSS hardware will be used to support mission integration activities. After successful SIL testing, the unit will return to Lockheed Martin in Orlando where it will be instrumented to collect data during flight tests. Following instrumentation, the system will be sent to Sikorsky's facility in West Palm Beach in Florida. for installation on the Comanche helicopter for more flight testing.

After successful testing in Palm Beach, the NVPS will again be in Orlando to be mated with the Electro-Optical Target Acquisition and Designation Sensor (EOTADS) that will comprise the first deliverable all-up flightworthy EOSS.

The new targeting FLIR was previously tested on a Blackhawk helicopter, according to Costello."By getting the EO system into the air more than two years before its initial Comanche flight tests, we achieved significant technical risk reductions for the programme." The NVPS was also proven in tests on an AH-64 Apache helicopter as part of the Comanche Risk Reduction program.

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