Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday March 26, 2002

PC News
Dawn of Aces Update
I Entertainment Network announced on Tuesday that Virtual Gamers Online has signed a contract to provide new updates and support for Dawn of Aces, IENT’s online World War I flight simulation. VGO will be providing web hosting services for Dawn of Aces community events and organize DOA’s new Player Development Corps to provide new graphics, aircraft, and battlefields for DOA. DOA will appear at retail boasting improved graphics and new game play features, becoming the first W.W.I air, land and sea combat simulation.

O.R.B Beta Testers Wanted
Strategy First is pleased to announce that they will now accept applications to beta test their upcoming 3D Real time Strategy Game, O.R.B. O.R.B., an acronym for Off-World Resource Base, is a 3D real time strategy game that pits the forces of two races against each other in a desperate struggle across multiple systems to control the resources they need to expand their empires. Interested gamers can apply for the public beta at the official O.R.B. website. The beta test will officially begin on April 8th, 2002.

Some of the features that will be included in the game are the following;

  • Unparalleled 3D real-time strategic gaming action with full freedom of movement in space
  • Two fully developed races with their own single-player campaign and unique strategies
  • One-of-a-kind dynamic universe depicting multiple solar systems alive with planets, moons, asteroid belts, complex orbits, persistent debris and extraordinary spatial environments
  • Epic fleet combat with a wide variety of vessels and specialized units including tactical ships, shock troops, various fighter types, multiple capital ship classes and support vessels
  • Downloadable campaign editor and tools, complete with the ability to script your own scenarios, event triggers, campaigns and cut-scenes
  • Explosive battles with up to eight players in cooperative and head-to-head multiplayer mode.
Octagon to Promote Civil War
Octagon Entertainment has agreed to represent Dallas-based Walker Boys Studio and is seeking a worldwide publisher for Civil War: War Between the States, the developer's upcoming real-time strategy game. As its title suggests, the game is based on the American Civil War, and it will let players assume control of the armies of either the North or the South.

The game will include more than 70 unique units, realistic 3D environments, and a variety of single- and multiplayer options. Players can reenact seven of the most famous battles from the Civil War, or they can choose to play through the war their own way from the very beginning. In addition to basic infantry units, the game will feature cavalry, artillery, and both transport and military ships.

Military News
Boeing-Led Missile Defense Team Scores Another "Hit"
The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (Gmd) Program's Integrated Flight Test Was Once Again A Success -- Resulting In An Intercept And Complete Destruction Of The Incoming Target. The test, referred to as Integrated Flight Test 8, was conducted March 15 and was the fourth system-level test of the program, incorporating all major elements into the test scenario. The Boeing Company is the prime contractor for the GMD Program (formerly the National Missile Defense Program).

GMD is currently a research and development program incorporating extensive ground and flight tests to determine system performance against long-range ballistic missile targets. With the March 15 test, there have been four successful intercepts in six flight tests since 1999, with approximately 18 more scheduled to take place over the next several years of the developmental test program. While there has been no commitment to deploy the GMD technology, extensive testing efforts are scheduled to take place under operationally realistic conditions with the establishment of a new testbed in the central and northern Pacific Ocean areas and with a new testbed complex planned for Fort Greely, Alaska beginning in 2004.

The intercept occurred over the Pacific Ocean. The flight-test sequence began with a target vehicle launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Defense Support Program satellites detected the target booster, equipped with a mock reentry vehicle and three decoys, and the GMD Battle Management, Command, Control and Communications was alerted. BMC3 cued ground-based radars that tracked the target complex and provided more accurate target information to the BMC3. The BMC3 provided a weapon-tasking plan to the interceptor and gave the commands leading to the launch of the interceptor vehicle from the Reagan Test Site in the central Pacific Ocean.

Following booster separation, the BMC3 provided final target tracking information to the kill vehicle through the In-Flight Interceptor Communication System. The kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the target by hitting body-to-body at an altitude of approximately 140 miles and a closing speed in excess of 15,000 miles per hour.

Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Contract
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has received a contract totaling $326.6 million from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) for continued production of the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile.

The new Low-Rate Initial Production contract is for 72 PAC-3 Missiles, 26 Missile Round Trainers, 6 Telemetry Kits, 6 Launcher Modification Kits and 9 Fire Solution Computers. Including earlier LRIP contracts awarded in December 1999 and May and December 2000, Lockheed Martin has received U.S. Army PAC-3 Missile production orders totaling more than $850 million.

The delivery of all missiles and other hardware will be completed by February 2005. Production of all equipment will take place at the company's manufacturing facilities in Dallas and Lufkin, Texas, and the new PAC-3 Missile All-Up Round facility in Camden, Ark. The first production PAC-3 Missiles were delivered to the Army in September 2001.

"The PAC-3 Missile is the world's most effective hit-to-kill air defense missile," said Mike Trotsky, vice president - Air Defense Programs for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We continue to see the robustness of PAC-3 in ongoing operational tests. As PAC-3 Missile production ramps up and economies of scale are introduced, we are confident that PAC-3 will become the world's most cost-effective hit-to-kill air defense missile."

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is the prime contractor responsible for the PAC-3 Missile segment upgrade, which consists of the PAC-3 Missile, missile canisters, the Fire Solution Computer (FCS) and the Enhanced Launcher Electronics System (ELES).

The PAC-3 Missile is a high velocity, hit-to-kill missile and is the next generation Patriot missile being developed to provide increased capability against advanced theater ballistic missile, cruise missile and hostile aircraft. The PAC-3 Missile kills incoming targets by direct, body-to-body impact. The PAC-3 Missiles, when deployed in a Patriot battery, will significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC-3 Missiles load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four Patriot PAC-2 missiles.

Pegasus Unmanned Vehicle Achieves Milestones
Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector has completed several milestones in preparation for the first flight of its X-47A Pegasus experimental unmanned air vehicle. Earlier this month, the Pegasus flight test team successfully completed its third engine run test. That test, conducted March 16, as well as the earlier engine runs in December and January, are in preparation for the X-47A's first autonomous engine run later this spring.

The Pegasus team's most intensive work has been to test and integrate avionics and software in the systems integration laboratory at Northrop Grumman's Advanced Systems Development Center here. After this phase of systems checkout is completed, the X-47A will be moved to Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, Calif., for taxi tests and first flight.

Pegasus is a company-funded aircraft Northrop Grumman designed to demonstrate aerodynamic qualities suitable for autonomous aircraft carrier flight operations. The results of the Pegasus demonstration effort later this year will be used in the company's work on a naval unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV-N) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy.

The goal of the joint DARPA/Navy UCAV-N project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility for an unmanned system to effectively and affordably conduct sea-based surveillance, strike and suppression of enemy air defenses missions within the emerging global command and control architecture.

Secretary Rumsfeld Approves Start Of Afghan Army Training
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved the start of training for the new Afghan National Army (ANA). The approved training is scheduled to commence in four to six weeks.

The plan calls for training cycles of approximately 10 weeks in duration and will be led by 125 to 150 U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers. The training will emphasize basic soldier skills at the beginning of each training cycle and then progress to more complex tasks as skills are mastered. Collective training at the squad, platoon, company and battalion level will follow individual training.

A "Train the Trainer" program will also be implemented. The intent of the "Train the Trainer" program is to train a cadre of Afghan officers and non-commissioned officers who will eventually assume training responsibilities from the U.S.-led Training Task Force.

In February, Gen. Tommy Franks, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, sent an assessment team into Afghanistan to meet with key Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) leaders in an effort to assess requirements associated with establishing, training and sustaining an Afghan National Army. This team, led by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Charles Campbell, consisted of 15 people from Central Command and its components, the State Department, and experts from agencies within DoD.

The assessment was a collaborative effort with the Afghan military and consisted of high level discussions with interim Chairman Hamid Karzai, Minister of Defense Fahim Khan and other key AIA members, aimed at building a consensus on a concept for organizing, training and equipping the Afghan Army.

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