Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday February 07, 2002

PC News
Larry Bond on the Future of Harpoon4
Larry Bond, co-designer of the Harpoon series, has sent out an open letter to the online Harpoon community discussing the future of Harpoon4. Click here to read the letter.

Ghost Recon Patch Now Available
Ubi Soft has released the Ghost Recon Patch v1.1. The patch contains dozens of fixes and improvements to Ghost Recon. Download the patch click here. For a complete listing of all the features and bug fixes included with the patch, please read the release notes.

Day of Defeat 2.0 Released
The newest update to Day of Defeat was released Wednesday to a now-huge following. At 5:00 p.m. CST, over 2,500 people were anxiously waiting on IRC Internet chat hoping to download Beta 2.0. The new release features new models, maps, weapons, sounds and more. The whopping 187 MB was released first to Linux clients, then to the Win32 crowd. After the recent releases of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it will be interesting to see how well DOD fares. [More...]

Medal Of Honor Bestselling PC Game
Electronic Arts has another winner on their hands -- the 3D shooter Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, which immediately leapt to the top of the PC sales charts following its release in late January. Here are the rest of the top ten best selling titles for January 20-26:

  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault from Electronic Arts
  • Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone from Electronic Arts
  • The Sims: Hot Date Expansion from Electronic Arts
  • The Sims from Electronic Arts
  • Return To Castle Wolfenstein from Activision
  • Roller Coaster Tycoon from Infogrames Entertainment
  • Zoo Tycoon from Microsoft
  • Civilization 3 from Infogrames Entertainment
  • Backyard Basketball from Infogrames Entertainment
New Screens Ghost Recon: Desert Siege
More screenshots from Ubi Soft’s Ghost Recon: Desert Siege expansion. Release date: March 2002.

Military News
Raytheon's JSOW Unitary Variant Completes Second Free-Flight
The US Navy/Raytheon Company team has completed its second free-flight demonstration of the AGM-154C, the unitary warhead variant of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), at the Naval Air Systems Command western test range complex today.

The flight exercised the waypoint navigation and autonomous target acquisition (ATA) capability in the AGM-154C and demonstrated the ATA capability against a dual height, multiple level target. Released from an F/A- 18 C/D flying at 29,000 feet and 0.9 Mach, the weapon navigated autonomously through several enroute waypoints to begin searching for the target approximately 32 miles from the launch point. Aircraft separation, flyout navigation followed by target acquisition and subsequent impact were completed as predicted.

"The collaborative efforts of the government and private industry were paramount to the success of this test. The Fleet continues to support the JSOW family of weapons, and the acquisition community is looking at ways to accelerate deliveries," said the Navy's JSOW programme manager.

The AGM-154C incorporates a Raytheon-developed uncooled, long-wave infrared seeker with ATA algorithms, thus providing the Navy with a launch- and-leave weapon with standoff precision strike capability. The AGM-154C also will be the first US weapon to incorporate the Broach penetration multiple warhead, developed by the United Kingdom's BAE SYSTEMS. The all-up-round Broach configured testing will be conducted later in 2002.

The Joint Standoff Weapon is a low cost family of glide weapons using a common delivery vehicle for three different payloads. The JSOW-A is in production and delivers the BLU-97 Combined Effects Bomblets for area targets. It has been used successfully in Iraq and Kosovo. The JSOW-B variant carries the BLU-108 Sensor Fused Weapon bomblets for an anti-armour capability and is in low rate production. The JSOW-A and B versions are being produced for the US Navy and Air Force for use on the F/A-18, F-16, F-15, B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft. The latest version, the JSOW-C, is in development with low rate initial production planned for the fall. JSOW-C is planned for use on Navy and Air Force platforms.

US Navy tests Norwegian KNM Skjold
The Norwegian Fast Patrol Craft KMN Skjold has triggered interest by the US Navy Warfare Development Command and the Naval Special Warfare Command for further evaluation. Following an agreement between the Royal Norwegian Navy and the US Navy, the first of class, KNM Skjold, is being lent to the US Navy for a year of testing.

Umoe Mandal, at Gismeroya in Mandal, Norway has built the vessel. The Norwegian Government has recently agreed to buy five more.

KNM Skjold incorporates stealth technology features that are similar to those being used in military aircraft. The faceted external shape of the vessel along with radar absorbing materials that are imbedded in the loadbearing structure, contribute to the significant stealth features of the Skjold.

In addition to shallow water capabilities, the boat is stable in high seas, has low fuel consumption, and large internal volume. The vessel is equipped with NSM (New anti shipping missiles) missiles developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg.

Major General Olav Bjerke, Defense Attache at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington said "The KNM Skjold represents a new ... vessel that encompasses state of the art technology that combines stealth technology with a maximum speed in excess of 55 miles per hour".

After being commissioned in April 1999, the KNM Skjold has carried out a thorough test programme and participated in several multi-national Naval exercises. Skjold has completed and met all objectives of an extensive Norwegian Navy test and evaluation programme.

"The Norwegian Navy has a strong expertise in operating small and fast surface warships in the littorals with a heavy weapon load. The weapon load and the speed of the Norwegian Skjold class vessel are substantially higher than any similar vessel in the US Navy today", said Tom Lilletvedt, Naval and Defense Co-operation Attache at the Norwegian Embassy.

In preparations its the deployment to the US, the KNM Skjold was repainted in light colours for operations in a warmer climate.

Sentinel Radar to Stand Guard During Winter Olympics
A Thales Raytheon Systems radar will help protect the airspace against low flying aircraft that might prove to threaten the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 8-24, 2002. Originally developed by Raytheon Company and officially known as the AN/MPQ-64, the Sentinel is a three-dimensional radar used to automatically detect, track, classify, identify and report airborne targets. It is currently operational with U.S. Army active and reserve forces.

Concerned about possible terrorist threats from the air during the Olympics, the U.S. Customs Service and the Department of Defense (DoD) devised a plan to provide threat protection using a combination of FAA and DoD radars. FAA radars will cover high-flying aircraft out to an 80-mile radius around Salt Lake City. Sentinel radars will be used against potential low-flying aircraft targets.

This is the second time Sentinel has been called upon to support the Olympics. During the 1996 Summer Olympics, Sentinel detected 48 aircraft penetrating restricted airspace. "The last time we were at the Olympics, it was during a time of relative stability," said Dr. Jim Beck, senior vice president Radar Products of Thales Raytheon Systems. "We are proud that Sentinel has been selected to protect the air space over Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics."

Merlin Wizardry Put To The Test
QinetiQ has successfully completed sea trials investigating the Ships Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) for the Merlin HM Mk 1 aircraft. Flying out late last year from QinetiQ at Boscombe Down, the Merlin joined aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal in the South West approaches to the English Channel.

During QinetiQ's three-week trial the aircraft flew over 70 hours, completing 25 sorties and 775 deck landings. The QinetiQ trials team tested a range of factors including deck motion limits, wind speed/direction limits, aircraft power margins and aircraft handling and performance characteristics.

The aircraft was fitted with a comprehensive suite of instrumentation that was interrogated in real time onboard the aircraft and digitally recorded for post-flight analysis. The results will provide the basis for recommendations for the limits that will be used by the Merlin throughout its life when operating from the flight deck of Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

Later this year the Naval Air Squadron based at the Royal Naval Air Station, Culdrose will be the first to embark on a CVS carrier with the Merlin aircraft. The primary roles of the Merlin are anti submarine warfare and anti surface warfare, with secondary roles of search and rescue, casualty evacuation, troop carrying and vertical replenishment.

"The trial proved that the Merlin is a capable aircraft that will be central to future Royal Navy operations. The combined QinetiQ and ship team exploited all available conditions and tested the Merlin to the limits," said Tony Dyer, QinetiQ Trials Manager at Boscombe Down.

Boeing Delivers F-22 Integrated Avionics Software
Boeing has delivered the latest F-22 integrated avionics software package, Block 3.1, to team partner Lockheed Martin on schedule. Boeing is responsible for integrating, testing and delivering the F-22's advanced avionics.

The Block 3.1 software has increased radar, electronic warfare and communication, navigation and identification capability, as well as adds global positioning system capability to the F-22's integrated avionics.

Before delivery, the software was tested rigorously in both the company's Avionics Integration Lab and on its 757 Flying Test Bed.

"Block 3.1 supplies more than 90 percent of the total functionality planned for the F-22, and allows the flight-test programme to accomplish its objectives," said Bob Barnes, Boeing vice president and F-22 programme manager. "The team is very encouraged by the initial dynamic testing of Block 3.1 in our airborne and ground-based labs."

Both the avionics lab and flying test bed are helping reduce avionics risks and contain development costs by enabling extensive evaluation and troubleshooting before full avionics are installed on the F-22. To date, more than 98 percent of the avionics system anomalies have been found prior to delivery to the F-22.

The Block 3.1 package consists of avionics hardware and software produced by F-22 team members Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other key suppliers. The team has been testing the Raptor's avionics packages in Seattle at both the lab, since 1998, and on the flying test bed since March 1999.

The F-22's advanced avionics allow the pilot to operate in battle conditions without the burden of managing individual sensors, thus improving situational awareness and improving the performance of the pilot and aircraft.

Boeing is teamed with Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney to design and build the F-22 Raptor for the US Air Force. Boeing supplies the F-22's wings, aft fuselage, radar system, common power supplies, mission software, avionics integration and testing, as well as training and life-support systems.

A joint venture between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, under contract to Boeing, is developing, testing and manufacturing the radar system.

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