Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday November 30, 2001

PC News
New Medal Of Honor Video
Out of ammo for your Colt .45? Why not use a tank to mow over the enemy! Check out the newest Medal of Honor: Allied Assault video. Click here

New Screens: Global Operations
Barking Dog Studios and Crave Entertainment have released 8 new screenshots from Global Operations. Global Operations will feature team-based action in 16 different real-world locations, including Peru, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ireland, and the South China Seas. The game will include more than 30 types of realistic weapons and a variety of equipment, such as body armor, night-vision goggles, binoculars, and medical kits. Release Date: Early 2002. For our previous coverage click here

Aces High 1.08 Patch 6 Released
Patch 6 is now available for download. The update patch is 1 MB. Aces High Version 1.08 Changes Patch 6 Changes:

  • Added new clipboard map features. The maps are now higher resolution. The map can be scrolled by holding down the shift key and left mouse button and dragging your cursor across the map. Added new icons to the map that display field types, field names, strat targets, wind direction, field altitudes. These can be toggled off individually with the checkboxes above the map on the clipboard.
  • CV's can no longer have waypoints set that are off the map.
  • Added attack sortie option to Ki-61.
  • Fixed fuel tank labels for N1K2-J and F6F.
  • C-47S now carries only 1 field resupply cargo. Adjusted the effect of the cargo so that the overall effect of one plane remains the same.
  • Fixed a bug that would not allow you to decrease rpm if you ran out of fuel while WEP was engaged.
  • Squad logos now work on the P-51B.
  • After flying a sortie as a gunner, your plane selection will default back to the previous plane you selected.
  • Fixed a bug with the P-47D-30 that was causing it to not get its full WEP performance.
  • Bullets now show groundstrikes when they hit beach areas.
  • Vehicle engines now repair correctly when vehicles are resupplied.
  • Fixed a bug that caused some video cards to have problems displaying text.
  • Fixed a bug in the film viewer that caused films not to record correctly.
  • Changed the destruction message when town buildings are destroyed.
  • Made some durability increases to the P-38 in the wings and tail.
  • Added new loadouts to the P-47D-25 and D-30 for larger drop tanks.
  • Added the ability for the Mosquito to load 500 lb bombs in the bombbay.
  • Fixed a damage problem with the Panzer and Ostwind that made them explode easy.
Military News
Northrop Grumman Completes Tender Offer For NNS
Northrop Grumman Corporation announced today the completion of its tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Newport News Shipbuilding Inc., creating the world's largest naval shipbuilder. The tender offer expired at midnight E.S.T. on Nov. 29, 2001. All shares validly tendered have been accepted for exchange.

Northrop Grumman is now the nation's third largest defense contractor with expected 2002 revenues of $18 billion, nearly 100,000 employees and leadership positions in major growth sectors of the 21st century defense marketplace.

Northrop Grumman will initially operate Newport News as a stand-alone sector of the company. Over time, all shipbuilding operations will be combined into one sector to take advantage of increased efficiencies in procurement, information technology and operating systems. The company emphasized that it does not intend to merge its various shipyards because of the vast differences between nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding.

Ballistic Missile Defense Organisation Announces Test Firing
The Ballistic Missile Defense Organisation (BMDO) will conduct a developmental flight test to include the planned intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target in support of the missile defense test programme on Dec. 1, 2001.The planned flight test launch window is scheduled for 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST.

The test will involve the launch of an Orbital Suborbital Programme (OSP) long-range missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.The OSP, a modified Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile, will carry a mock warhead and a single decoy.

About 20 minutes after the target missile is launched, and about 4,800 miles away, a Payload Launch Vehicle missile carrying a prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) interceptor will launch from the Ronald Reagan Missile Test Facility at Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.About 10 minutes later the intercept should take place at an altitude of approximately 140 miles above the central Pacific Ocean, during the midcourse phase of the target warhead's flight.

This will be an integrated system test, with all representative system elements participating:space-based missile warning sensor; ground-based early warning radar, the prototype X-Band radar at Kwajalein Atoll and the battle management, command, control and communications system located at the Joint National Test Facility in Colourado Springs, Colo. and Kwajalein Atoll. Since the system is in its research and development phase, these elements serve as either prototypes or surrogates for system elements which are in the developmental stage and have not yet been produced for actual operational use.

It will be the fifth intercept test of the Midcourse Defense Segment (formerly National Missile Defense) research and development program.The first test on Oct. 3, 1999 resulted in the successful intercept of a ballistic missile target.The second test took place on Jan. 19, 2000 and did not achieve an intercept due to a clogged cooling pipe on the EKV, but did successfully test the integrated system of elements.The third test, on July 8, 2000, did not result in an intercept due to the failure of the EKV to separate from the booster rocket.The fourth test, on July 14, 2001, achieved a successful intercept of a ballistic missile target.

Lockheed Martin Wins $283m Contract For Trident Support
The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems-Missiles & Space Operations, Sunnyvale, Calif., a $283,453,552 million contract to provide fiscal year 2002 Trident missile deployed system support and related technical and engineering services.

The contract is one of several similarly sised contracts scheduled to be awarded to Missiles & Space Operations (M&SO) over the coming years for support of the Trident I (C4) and Trident II (D5) submarine launched ballistic missile systems.

Under the terms of contract, Lockheed Martin will provide missile and reentry body deployed system support to the fleet, field processing, engineering and operational support services, flight test analysis and range support, arms control support and strategic capability preservations investigations.

Recently, a D5 missile was successfully flown in a test conducted at the Eastern Test Range off the Florida coast. This missile represented the 94th consecutive successful launch of the TRIDENT II D5 missile and continues the string of successful test launches that began in December 1989.

The Navy selected Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space as its prime contractor and missile manufacturer in 1955. Since then, the FBM team has produced six successive generations of Fleet Ballistic Missiles-POLARIS (A1), POLARIS (A2), POLARIS (A3), POSEIDON (C3), TRIDENT I (C4) and the TRIDENT II (D5).

Proposed F16 Sale To Austria
The US military has notified Congress that it may sell to Austria 30 F-16 fighter jets as well as missiles and other related equipment in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.74 billion.

Austria has requested the fighters, three spare engines, 13 various AMRAAM missiles, 15 sidewinder practice or training missiles, and other support equipment, the Defense Security Co-operation Agency said in a statement.

The primary contractors include Lockheed Martin Corp., General Electric Co., United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt and Whitney unit and Raytheon. "There will be no adverse impact on US defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale," the agency said. "This proposed sale will not impact regional military balance of power."

The Austrian Air Force uses Saab fighter aircraft but the US military said those fighters are expensive to operate and maintain and the sale would help Austria meet training requirements starting in early 2003.

Also included in the proposed deal would be simulators, logistics support, ammunition, spare and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, personnel training and training equipment.

Additionally, the sale would require the assignment of about 12 US government representatives and 12 contractors for up to four years once the fighter jets have been delivered so they can provide programme support, the US military said.

Taliban Command 'Fractured,' DoD Continues Strikes
Defense officials describe the Taliban's control of its troops as "fractured," as coalition efforts in Afghanistan continue.

Joint Staff spokesman Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem said Taliban forces are now confined to Kandahar province in the southern part of the country. U.S. air attacks on Nov. 28 hit targets around the city and south of Jalalabad. He termed Taliban control as fractured, but noted for reporters at today's Pentagon press briefing that disruptions vary by area.

"There are locations where Taliban commanders have forces with them, so obviously, they have positive control over those forces," he said, adding "for how much longer and to what end remains to be seen." He made the aside, he said, because some Taliban commanders are negotiating surrenders.

"There are others who might take (Taliban leader) Mullah Omar's orders literally and intend to dig in defensively and fight to the death," he said. On the other hand, men in other Taliban units cut off from command and control are dropping their weapons and trying to blend in with the populace, he noted.

Stufflebeem could not confirm press reports that Northern Alliance troops were moving on Kandahar or that high-level Taliban leaders had been captured. DoD spokeswoman Torie Clarke had said earlier in the day that senior Taliban officials had defected and some had been questioned by U.S. intelligence operatives.

At the podium with Stufflebeem, Clarke said slightly over 1,000 Marines are at the forward operating base in southern Afghanistan. Neither official would detail what else is operating at the base. The admiral added the Marines thus far have not engaged Taliban forces.

Coalition forces are working to ready Afghan airfields for use in humanitarian missions. Stufflebeem said survey and repair teams are looking at fields at Mazar-e Sharif and Bagram. "We're also looking at other airfields to determine their suitability," he said.

The U.S. Central Command is still looking at airfields in Tajikistan to base combat aircraft. Stufflebeem said Army Gen. Tommy Franks, CENTCOM chief, has not decided yet to send aircraft to these bases and, until a decision is made, Navy carrier planes will continue to fly most of the sorties. He said the Navy pilots are holding up well.

"(The air crews) are still pumped up; they still have plenty of energy," he said. The Navy crews are flying long missions off carriers in the Arabian Sea. The long missions can be draining, he said, but crews are staving off debilitation by rotating sorties and "off time."

"The sense that I have, from those I've talked to on the carriers, is that they could sustain this indefinitely," Stufflebeem said.

Clarke said U.S. aircraft flew 151 sorties, about 90 percent of them in support of the anti-Taliban opposition. The main attacks centered on cave complexes, she said. Two C-17s dropped 34,440 humanitarian daily ration packets mostly around Mazar-e Sharif; deliveries now tally over 1.9 million packets. Leaflet drops and Commando Solo broadcasts also continued.

During her earlier meeting with reporters, Clarke said CENTCOM suspended parachute drops of humanitarian materials following the death of an Afghan woman Nov. 28. The woman died when bundles containing wheat, blankets and cold weather equipment hit her house 120 miles northeast of Mazar-e-Sharif. A child also was hurt in the incident.

"CENTCOM is looking into the drops, what didn't work and what actions might be taken," Clarke said. "Obviously, this is very unfortunate, and we deeply regret the loss of life."

Central Command officials said the Nov. 28 accident was the second associated with the humanitarian drops, but the first to involve a death. In the first incident, they said, a refrigerator-sized cardboard case failed to open and disperse the ration packets. Fortunately, they said, no one was injured when the entire container dropped through a house.

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