Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday November 06, 2001

PC News
Day of Defeat Beta 2 Movie
Your first glimpse of Beta 2 from the Half-Life mod, Day of Defeat, is now available. Total running time is approximately 2 minutes. This is meant to be viewed in FULL screen with the volume up loud, so we order you to increase your volume now. You will need the latest version of Windows Media Player.Click here

Hitler's Revenge, Luftwaffe Strikes Back
What if Hitler had made some of the right decisions? Victory Simulations asked this question and came up with new game title "Hitler's Revenge, Luftwaffe Strikes Back ". The game is based on factual designs. The genius and resourcefulness of the German scientists whose homeland was being threatened was impressive. The extremely advanced nature of many of these aircraft and weapons conceived 50 years ago is amazing even today. More than just blueprints and artistís conceptions, many of these weapons were in limited production. Time and material just ran out. Release Date: Unknown. Be sure to check out the video clip preview.

New Screens: Team Factor
Czech game developer 7FX sent us 6 new screens from their upcoming title "Team Factor". The game will feature three different teams: red, which represents the Russian Spetznaz; blue, a combination of US Army Rangers and German Fallschirmjaegers; and black, which represents the rest of the world. Each team has four basic character types with unique abilities. The game will include more than 40 types of realistic weapons, including pistols, rifles, shotguns, grenades, and machine guns. Release Date: Not Available.

Deadly Dozen Demo
This is the playable demo of Deadly Dozen, the new budget-priced squad-based first-person shooter by nFusion Interactive. It contains a tutorial and the first mission of the full game. Download

Ghost Recon Demo Released
Ubi Soft has relesed the Ghost Recon Demo. The demo features one brand new mission that will not be included in the final game. The mission acts as a prequel to the storyline of the full retail version and will also have limited multiplayer support. As a bonus, players who purchase the Retail copy of Ghost Recon will be able to upload the Demo map into the retail version, providing an additional multiplayer map. Download

New Shogun: Total War Renamed
Creative Assembly has announced a change in the working title of the next game in its Total War real-time strategy game series, which was introduced with last year's Shogun: Total War. The next game, previously titled Crusader Total War, will now be known as Medieval Total War in order to better reflect the scope of the game. According to the developer, the game will cover the entire Medieval era from the 11th to the 15th century. In addition to the Crusades, players will be able to participate in the Hundred Years War, defend Europe against the Mongol Hordes, and lead the Teutonic Knights into battle against Russia. No official publisher or release date for the game has been announced.

Military News
Four Teams Remain In UGCV Programme
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Army has selected four of the eight contractor teams in the Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle (UGCV) programme to continue efforts through June 2002 under Phase 1B of the program. Each team will receive $1.5 million for this phase.

The selected teams are:

  • Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), San Diego, Calif. - Team members include:Centre for Electromechanics, University of Texas; United Defense LP; Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Georgia Institute of Technology; Stanford University; and Precision Magnetic (PreMag) Bearings (working on the weapons payload class under agreement MDA972-01-9-0006).
  • Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control (Team Retiarius), Dallas Texas - Team members include:Sandia National Laboratory; Rod Millen Special Vehicles; BAE SYSTEMS Controls; and High Performance Materials Group (HPMG), MSE, Inc. (working on the reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting payload class under agreement MDA972-01-9-0009).
  • General Dynamics Robotic Systems Inc., Westminster Maryland - Team members include:Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.; Avalanche Engineering; Perceptek; and University of Maryland Centre for Automotive Research (working on the reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting payload class under agreement MDA972-01-9-0010).
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Penn. - Team members include:Timoney Technology (Meath, Ireland); PEI Electronics Inc.; and The Boeing Company (working on the weapons payload class under agreement MDA972-01-9-0005).
During Phase IB, each team will conduct hardware testing of critical major subsystems and refine unmanned vehicle prototype designs. In July 2002, two teams will be chosen to fabricate full prototypes and conduct testing during an 18-month Phase II.

The UGCV prototypes will demonstrate advanced vehicle design and integration to achieve new levels of mobility, endurance, and payload capacity by leveraging the benefits of not accommodating onboard crew.

Two of the teams selected today are focusing on reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting payload class designs having approximately 150 kilograms of payload capacity, and the other two teams' weapons payload class designs accommodate approximately 1,500 kilograms of payload capacity.

Missions for both vehicles are expected to evolve with the Army's overall concept for the Future Combat Systems or Objective Force. The UGCV prototypes are expected to have increased air deployability and improved survivability in a combined arms battlefield environment.

Scott Fish, DARPA's UGCV programme manager, noted, "UGCV will help the Army visualise new roles for unmanned ground vehicles, and generate soldier confidence that the technology community can go beyond conversion of manned vehicles for remote operation. This next phase is critical to show that key subsystems will perform as predicted, and bolster confidence that the prototypes will meet the performance goals of the programme."

Lockheed Martin IS Opens Test Facility In Orlando
Lockheed Martin Information Systems has opened its new Test Programme Set test integration facility to provide the US Navy with 545 avionics test kits. The kits will enable Navy and Marine Corps technicians to test electronic systems on many of the services' fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft more efficiently.

Under a five-year contract worth up to $180 million, Lockheed Martin will provide integrated hardware and software kits, called test programme sets (TPS), to the US Navy for testing aircraft avionics systems. Navy and Marine Corps technicians use the TPS kits to execute automated tests on a standardised test station platform - the Consolidated Automated Support System or CASS - to detect and isolate faults in electronic assemblies on aircraft systems. Naval aircraft included in the avionics systems testing are: E-2C, EA-6B, F-14, F/A-18, AV-8B, S-3, and SH-60.

"This new facility is a visible demonstration of our commitment to customer support and to the success of the Navy's largest TPS program," said Lockheed Martin Information Systems President John Hallal. "We are the largest TPS developer for the US Navy and this facility, housing up to 25 CASS stations, is Lockheed Martin's centre of excellence for TPS testing."

More than 500 CASS workstations, the Navy's standard test system, are in use in Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Departments, both ashore and aboard ships and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons throughout the United States and allied nations. The CASS programme is the first recognised DoD standard test system providing general-purpose analogue, digital, extremely high frequency stimulus and measurement capabilities and electro-optical test functions.

US, India Agree To Expand Military Ties
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes met in New Delhi November 5 for talks on strengthening military ties, the campaign against terrorism and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

Rumsfeld said senior US military officials would visit India in the near future to discuss establishing linkages dealing with "military exchanges, and training and various educational opportunities and other aspects of the relationship."

The US has maintained sanctions against both India and Pakistan in retaliation for thei recent tit-for-tat nuclear weapons testing.

The Defense Secretary said the Bush administration appreciates India's "very specific and very cooperative" efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Other key points that arose in the Rumsfeld-Fernandes meeting:

  • Rumsfeld said the US sanctions on India that relate to the Defense Department have been lifted, and the US State Department "undoubtedly will be discussing" some remaining sanctions with respect to nuclear and missile technologies.
  • In response to a question about the safety of the nuclear facilities in Pakistan, Rumsfeld said he thought the countries that possess those weapons were taking "...the appropriate steps to ensure that they are managed and handled in a way that reflects the dangers that those weapons pose."
  • Rumsfeld said the US military campaign in Afghanistan was an "...exercise in self-defense." He said the effectiveness of the bombing campaign is improving as a result of people on the ground communicating with aircraft overhead.
"I don't think that there probably has ever been a bomb campaign that has been any more attentive and precise and focused solely on the military capabilities than this one," Rumsfeld said.

"We're Going to Eradicate Al Qaeda," Admiral Says
"We're going to eradicate al Qaeda from Afghanistan and take away the Taliban's ability to support terrorists. There isn't anything that's going to deter us from that mission," Rear Adm. John D. Stufflebeem told reporters today during a Pentagon press briefing.

The admiral's comment came while answering a question on whether the United States is going to satisfy continued Northern Alliance calls for more air support. "We would intend to support them to meet their objectives as long as we stay on our campaign objectives and meet ours," he said.

"What we're doing with the Northern Alliance is mutually supportive," said Stufflebeem, Joint Staff deputy director of operations for current readiness and capabilities. "If there ever comes a time where that may not be the case, (continued U.S. support would) have to be decided by the senior warfighters."

He said he could only anecdotally report the effects of U.S. bombing on Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorism network. "Al Qaeda is an elusive organization," he noted. "Their leadership is shadowy. They don't want to be found. They want to survive. They want to use other humans as their shields. Our sense is that they're very satisfied that the Taliban is doing their fighting for them.

AFRTS Radio Report: "Pentagon says all coalition capabilities will be used"

"We have not seen active evidence that Al Qaeda is active in Afghanistan. We've taken away their ability to use their training camps. We've taken away their known infrastructure. We're striking at the caves that we have learned that they use or have used. So we believe that we are chipping away at al Qaeda."

Al Qaeda isn't free to operate in Afghanistan at this point because the United States is keeping up the pressure throughout the country, Stufflebeem said.

"That's one of the most significant reasons why the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs have articulated that we would not stand down during the month of Ramadan and give al Qaeda the opportunity to regroup and continue training," he added.

Stufflebeem told reporters that he isn't sure when the Northern Alliance intends to launch an offensive anywhere in Afghanistan. "I've heard reports that they may be ready to move, but until they do, I think it's Ö supposition on our part," he said.

As to whether U.S. strikes have "prepared" the battlefields so the opposition can move, the admiral said that's a matter for Northern Alliance field commanders to decide. "(They) will have to determine when they feel ready to move. We're helping to set those conditions by taking down Taliban resistance. Air strikes on Taliban positions will help the Northern Alliance," he said.

"It would be incorrect for us to assume that after so many missions of prepping (a) particular battlefield that we would say, 'It's ready for you to go; you should be going now,'" Stufflebeem said. "They've got to make that determination themselves on the ground."

He said once the Northern Alliance feels comfortable enough to launch an attack, the United States "will help them in anyway we can."

The admiral said DoD is suspicious of the reported number of people going across the Pakistan border into Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban. He also said DoD thinks that a substantial number of Taliban troops have been lost. One of the best indicators of this, he said, is that Taliban forces haven't responded to opposition fire for days in some areas.

"My guess is, that would be because they're either hunkered down and aren't coming out or they're not able to fire," he said. "I think that's a positive sign."

Asked about the effectiveness of 2,000-pound bombs and "bunker-busters" on the maze of mountain caves in Afghanistan and whether the United States has intelligence that anyone's using them, Stufflebeem said U.S. attacks are based on more than intelligence -- Afghanistan is famous for all its caves and Afghans have a history of fighting from them.

The Russians have also briefed U.S. leaders on the cave warfare they faced, he said. "And there is, in fact, some intelligence that they are using the caves and have used the caves," Stufflebeem said. "When we feel comfortable that we have a known facility or suspect that it has been used, then we strike it."

In his report of weekend operations, the admiral told reporters that coalition forces struck five planned target areas that included active and suspected terrorist and Taliban cave and tunnel complexes, and Taliban military forces, particularly those arrayed against opposition forces. About 75 strike aircraft -- seven to 10 long-range bombers and the rest sea-based and land-based tactical jets -- took part.

He said Commander Solo broadcast missions continued, as did humanitarian ration air drops from two C-17 transports. The more than 34,000 ration packages delivered over the weekend brings the total dropped to nearly 1.2 million.

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