Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Wednesday June 26, 2002

PC News
New Screens: LOMAC
More screenshots from Lock On: Modern Air Combat. This week screens show a landing on the Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier and the effects of some A-10A carnage on the battle field.

SWAT 3 Site Launched
Sierra has opened a new official website for SWAT: Urban Justice, its upcoming tactical action game set in Los Angeles. The new site contains a general overview of the game's story line and features, a gallery of screenshots, wallpaper images, and downloadable music from the game's soundtrack.

SWAT: Urban Justice will let players assume the role of an elite Los Angeles SWAT officer in the year 2006. After years of destructive gang warfare, the city calls in the SWAT team to restore order. The game will feature a number of improvements on the previous games in the series, including new weapons, characters, and gear. Players will undertake 16 missions in mission, career, or multiplayer modes. The game will also include editing tools that will let players build custom missions and campaigns.

VIETCONG Announced
Gathering of Developers and developer Illusion Softworks in association with development team Pterodon, have announced Vietcong. Set during the Vietnam War, "Vietcong" is a first person shooter with tactical elements. The game is expected to hit store shelves this fall.

Acting as an elite soldier, players of Vietcong command the A-team, part of the U.S. Special Forces, in realistically represented Vietnamese environments. Players will lead as many as six expertly trained soldiers through 20 dramatic missions, and follow a storyline that captures the danger, fear and unpredictability of the war itself. The full-featured multiplayer mode also allows gamers to play as U.S. Special Forces or Vietcong soldiers and to battle over specially designed levels. Players choose from more than 25 weapons, including M16's, grenade launchers and sniper rifles. Players can order air strikes or ambush enemy patrols, but success ultimately depends on their ability to keep a level head in the thick of intense action. Screenshots

Air Show Add-on for FS2002
Microsoft has announced the release of a free add-on for Flight Simulator 2002 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture fly-in and air show in Oshkosh, Washington. The new add-on includes detailed scenery of the Wittman Regional Airport and a series of flights that make it easy to fly to the event. Screenshots

Medieval: Total War Demo
Creative Assembly has released a playable demo of Medieval: Total War, offering you the opportunity to try out their upcoming 3D real-time and turn-based strategy game. This massive demo includes eight full tutorials and a single-player mission, the Battle of Jaffa. Download

Medieval: Total War allows players to take control of one of twelve world powers as they attempt to rewrite history through a mixture of trade, diplomacy, resource management and wars of conquest. Featuring an incredibly powerful 3D engine, the game supports real-time 3D battles of more than 10,000 troops and more than 100 unique unit types, including knights, infantry and siege engines, in terrain as varied as deserts, forest, plains and mountains. Players will utilize authentic battle strategies and tactics as they unleash their forces against medieval castles and mighty fortresses with an arsenal of battle-field weapons including long-bows, muskets, cannons and catapults which can pound castle walls and buildings to rubble.

MechWarrior 4: Vengeance Multiplayer Maps
FASA Studios has released a pair of new multiplayer maps for MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, expanding their 3D stomping action game. These Coliseum and Gagetown maps were included with the Inner Sphere 'Mech Pak expansion but can now be played online with just the original game and the recent version 3.0 patch. Download

Military News
F-22 Cornerstone Of 21st Century Air Dominance
The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor will be the cornerstone of air dominance on any 21st century battlefield, according to Maj. Gen. John D.W. Corley, mission area director of global power programs at the Pentagon.

"The F-22’s combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and its integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents a tremendous revolution in capabilities," Corley said. It will be these capabilities that allow the Raptor to easily defeat the advanced, next-generation enemy on the surface and in the air, he said. This is an important facet of the Air Force’s global strike task force concept of operations, Corley said. The global strike task force is designed to give combatant commanders a "kick-down-the-door" capability to establish a foothold in enemy territory regardless of the threat. "No other aircraft but the F-22 can give us this capability," Corley said.

Air Force officials continue carefully monitoring the Raptor’s development and are happy with what they have seen, Corley said. They are still projecting initial operational capability of the aircraft to begin in December 2005, with the first squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

"The F-22 is doing amazingly well," said Dr. Marvin R. Sambur, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition at the Pentagon. "It has met or exceeded all of the required key performance parameters, such as its stealth, supercruise and flight capabilities." From an acquisition point of view, the problems that have been encountered are very small for a program of this magnitude, Sambur said. "None of them have been ‘show stoppers,’" he said. "(All of the problems) that I have seen (reported) in the media are problems that we have fixed or know we will be able to fix."

Two challenges facing the Raptor, besides defense funding competition, are the fin-buffeting issue and the stability of its integrated avionics. The F-22 is not the first U.S. aircraft to experience stress on its vertical stabilizers. Similar problems occurred with the F-15 Eagle and F-18 Hornet, both of which have dual vertical stabilizers.

Corley said the vertical fins of the Raptor were experiencing higher than anticipated stresses during certain aerial maneuvers. "We’ve done extensive work to understand the issue -- part of the normal development process -- and have developed a range of solutions," Corley said.

These solutions include changing the aerodynamic properties of the aircraft, strengthening the vertical fins, and changing the flight control logic of the Raptor to reduce the stress on the tail.

"We have already incorporated structural fixes on the production aircraft," Corley said. "The ultimate solution likely will be a combination of our options. However, whatever the final solution turns out to be, it will maintain the F-22’s revolutionary stealth capabilities."

The glitches experienced in the Raptor’s avionics software have led to it not being as stable as the Air Force would like, Sambur said. "We’re working with an update package now and expect that the next two updates will take care of any remaining problems," he said.

According to Sambur, the small number of problems encountered in the F-22’s development is in itself a success story. "Everyone acknowledges that the F-22 is a fantastic plane," he said. "It does amazing things and is necessary to overcome the integrated air defense system threats we’ll face in the future."

The biggest debate about the F-22 is not whether to cancel the program but, instead, how many of the aircraft the Air Force should buy, he said. "The Raptor, when deployed, will give us more than an edge over our enemies," Sambur said. "It will give us an unfair advantage over any adversary."

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