Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday November 08, 2001

PC News
New Screens: Comanche 4
Novalogic sent us new screenshots from Comanche 4. Comanche 4 has gone gold and is scheduled to hit store shelves November 15th.

New Screens: Global Operations
Crave Entertainment has released 10 new screenshots its upcoming team-based shooter, Global Operations. You'll see smoke effects, what happens when a gas grenade goes off in front of you, some sniping goodness, the aftermath of a ZMoe rampage, and the bonzai commando jump.

Comanche 4 Goes Gold
NovaLogic Inc. announced today that Comanche 4 went gold and is scheduled for a November 15th street date. Click here for previous coverage.

Warcommander Goes Gold
Warcommander, the new strategical title of CDV Software Entertainment AG has gone into production this week. The real time strategy title, a mixture of blockbuster Sudden Strike and mega seller Commandos will hit shelves in Germany the 23rd of November. The title offers the gamer command over a squad of up to 40 rangers, the elite battalion of the U.S. army. 26 action packed missions in the French Normandy from D-day to total allied victory are waiting for the gamer. Release Date: UK and North America Q1, 2002. Click here for the exclusive trailer.

Star Trek: Armada II Goes Gold
Activision has confirmed that Star Trek: Armada II, its latest space-combat strategy game, is complete and will ship to stores on November 13. The game is the sequel to Star Trek: Armada, which was released in February 2000. The new game will include a new 3D tactical view, three single-player campaigns, and a number of multiplayer options.

Military News
L-3 Communications cockpit displays for JAS-39 Gripen
L-3 Communications' Display Systems division has been awarded a contract from Saab Avionics to provide cockpit displays for the JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft. This multi-year contract is valued at over $10 million. L-3 will manufacture multi-function, colour, high-resolution, ruggedised 6"x8" active matrix liquid crystal displays.

The Gripen cockpit consists of three multi-function displays; a Flight Data Display, a Horizontal Situation Display, and a Multi-Sensor Display. The Flight Data Display presents all flight information required for flying and landing the aircraft. The tactical situation is presented on the Horizontal Situation Display with symbols representing friend or foe, targets, threats, obstacles and guidance information superimposed on a digital electronic map. The Multi-Sensor Display is used for radar modes or forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imagery. In addition, primary flight information can be routed to any one of the three displays.

"The display suite for the Gripen is one of the most advanced, high-performance systems in the world. As advances in display technology take place, L-3 will continue to support the Gripen programme ensuring that new developments are utilised to the maximum benefit," said Bob McGill, president of L-3 Display Systems.

"This long-term relationship is one of our most important, since it continues the development of the advanced man-machine interface on the Gripen, which requires high performance displays with excellent optical features," said Micael Johansson, executive vice president of Saab Avionics.

Northrop Grumman, Newport News Shipbuilding Agree Merger
Northrop Grumman Corporation and Newport News Shipbuilding Inc. have signed a definitive agreement under which Northrop Grumman will acquire Newport News Shipbuilding. The boards of directors of both companies approved the terms of the transaction in which Northrop Grumman will acquire all the outstanding shares of Newport News.

In an exchange offer, Newport News Shipbuilding's shareholders may elect to receive either $67.50 per share in cash or a number of shares of Northrop Grumman common stock designed to provide a value of $67.50, subject to certain limitations and proration procedures. Northrop Grumman expects to promptly amend its existing offer documents in order to reflect the merger agreement.

Following the completion of the exchange offer, Northrop Grumman will consummate a second-step merger in which all of the remaining Newport News Shipbuilding shareholders will have the same right to elect to receive cash or shares of Northrop Grumman stock as described above.

"We are very pleased with our strategic acquisition of Newport News," said Kent Kresa, Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer. "With Newport News, we are creating a $4 billion world-class, fully capable shipbuilding enterprise with expertise in every class of nuclear and non-nuclear naval vessel. Newport News' long and distinguished history and reputation for innovation and excellence in shipbuilding are highly regarded world-wide. We look forward to welcoming the 17,800 Newport News employees to the growing Northrop Grumman family."

"Northrop Grumman is an outstanding corporation and this merger will enhance the future of Newport News Shipbuilding, its employees and our ability to serve our primary customer, the US Navy," said William Fricks, Newport News chairman and chief executive officer.

Following the close of the transaction, Newport News will initially be operated as a Northrop Grumman sector. Longer term, Northrop Grumman plans to combine its two shipbuilding businesses into one operating sector.

Thomas Schievelbein, currently Newport News' executive vice president and chief operating officer, will become president of the Newport News operating sector. He will also serve on Northrop Grumman's corporate policy council. Mr. Fricks has announced his intention to retire once the transaction has been finalised.

The acquisition is valued at approximately $2.6 billion, which includes the assumption of approximately $500 million of Newport News Shipbuilding debt. The exchange offer, subject to the tendering of a majority of the outstanding Newport News Shipbuilding shares, is expected to close by the end of November.

Taliban 'Fighting For Their Lives' As Air War Shifts Focus
The Taliban military is near collapse after four weeks of heavy air assault by the U.S.-led coalition against terror, but more work lies ahead, said the general charged with conducting the air war.

Lt. Gen. Charles F. Wald, the combined forces air component commander for Operation Enduring Freedom, said recently that the air campaign has achieved most of its goals to date, and the focus of war is now shifting to Taliban and al-Qaida forces on the ground in Afghanistan.

"At this point we've pretty much taken care of the Taliban air force. It's pretty much gone," he said in an interview while visiting U.S. forces in Southwest Asia. "We've taken care of all of their aircraft ... We've hit all their airfields. We've taken out all of their surface-to-air missiles, and now we're striking their ground forces in a large way."

Calling the Taliban "murderers," "thugs," and "criminals," Wald said the military campaign could be a "long drawn-out process because you have people who basically are fighting for their lives" whose only alternatives are to give up control of Afghanistan or die.

"They're basically at this point militarily defeated for all practical purposes," he said. "But they can still survive in the caves and in the hills. Until they go away and there's an assurance on our part that the terrorists can't survive and hide in Afghanistan, they'll continue to fight."

During the first month of air attacks, Air Force fighter jets and bombers struck strategic targets including airfields, aircraft, vehicles, anti-aircraft missile sites and much of the military infrastructure in the country. Now the campaign is targeting ground forces, particularly troops fighting the northern alliance rebels as they attempt to overthrow the Taliban government.

"The difference you'll see now is you won't see as many traditional military targets that we hit before," Wald said. "They're almost all gone. Quite frankly, I don't think the Taliban really realize how bad off they have it, so we'll just continue hitting their army in the field and destroy them as we go along."

Responding to media comparisons of this campaign to Operation Desert Storm a decade earlier, Wald said Enduring Freedom forces have flown far fewer sorties per day -- about 200 compared to 3,000 per day in the Gulf War -- but have hit roughly the same number of daily targets.

Bombers have carried the load for much of the air war to date, he said. However, Air Force land-based strike aircraft and U.S. Navy aircraft flown from two aircraft carriers have also joined the campaign, particularly against smaller moving targets.

Now those fighter aircraft will become increasingly important as the United States targets caves and other hiding places.

"There's a lot of hills in Afghanistan," he said. "There's places to hide. But we'll eventually find them. We're going to stick with this until the end."

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