Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Thursday October 31, 2002

PC News
Medal of Honor Spearhead Goes Gold
EA has confirmed that Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Spearhead was recently approved as complete and ready for distribution. The game's release is scheduled for November 12. Spearhead will have nine single-player missions set in Northern Europe, in which players will be accompanied by a squad of AI-controlled teammates. The expansion pack will also include 15 multiplayer maps and a new game mode called tug of war.

CDV Software Entertainment AG has today signed the rights to publish the 3D tactical combat title PANZERS. The game is developed by Hungarian studio Stormregion. It is set for a worldwide launch, and will be released end of 2003 in Germany.

Stormregion, who have previously developed highly acclaimed S.W.I.N.E., made massive tanks a crucial element in this tactical combat action title set in World War II. Russian, German and Allied troops fight in three campaigns and more than 30 breath taking single player missions. Over a hundred authentic 3D vehicles are at disposal as well as a wide range of ground troops.

ECFS Show 2002
November 23rd represents a milestone in Flight Simulation. Assembled at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham in the UK is a cavalcade of Flight Simulation talent from many parts of Europe and even representatives of Flight Simulation excellence from the USA.

Devotees of all things Flight Simulation can expect to visit three halls this year. Obviously Microsoft's Combat Flight Simulator 3 will be a highlight, it launches only a few days before the show and for many visitors, will be its first sighting. The military minded will get to see a preview of L.O.M.A.C. (Lock On Modern Air Combat) and will also see the official add-on for IL2, Forgotten Battles. Oleg Maddox of Maddox Software will be in attendance answering questions on IL2 and Nick Grey from developer Eagle Dynamics, the force behind L.O.M.A.C. will be fielding questions with help from Matt Wagner of Ubisoft. Full details.

Military News
Chief of the Italian Air Force Flies Eurofighter
General S.A. Ferracuti, Chief of the Italian Air Force, flew with Alenia Aeronautica Chief Military Test Pilot Maurizio Cheli, in Eurofighter Typhoon IPA2 today. The flight lasted approximately 60 minutes and was based out of the Alenia Aeronautica facility at Caselle, Italy.

Commenting on his flight Gen. Ferracuti said "I have been looking forward to this flight with great enthusiasm. I was particularly impressed by the ease of the flight controls and both the power and response of the engines."

Eurofighter is a vital asset for the Italian Air Force air defence capability. It is now crucial that we remain faithful to the delivery and budget schedules for the programme."

UK NAO Critical Of Apache Helicopter Failings
Sir John Bourn, Head of the NAO, told Parliament today that the Ministry of Defence (the MOD) is making progress towards delivering an Initial Operating Capability for the Apache helicopter in August 2004 but that risks remained. The MOD is buying 67 Apache helicopters through a £3 billion prime contract with Westland Helicopters Ltd. The Apache will provide the cornerstone of the MODís Air Manoeuvre capability and will improve the ability of the Armed Forces to conduct offensive mobile operations by delivering more responsive, effective and survivable firepower.

The aircraft are being delivered broadly to time and cost. Notably, the Attack Helicopter entered service in January 2001 just a few days later than scheduled.

But risks remain in the timely development of enhancements to the aircraft, such as the Defensive Aids Suite, and with some aspects of the performance of key systems on the Apache, including the Hellfire missiles, CRV7 rockets, and Longbow radar. The MOD is confident it will be able to progress solutions to these problems to deliver the Initial Operating Capability in 2004.

Some further risks remain which could also delay delivery of the Apache capability. Good progress has been made in developing the framework for how the Apache will support Land operations, but the full risks of operating Apache at sea will not be identified until March 2004 when sea trials are due to take place. The delivery of training services for Apache pilots, groundcrew and maintenance staff through a £1 billion PFI deal with Boeing and Westland has been delayed primarily by problems with the pilot Full Mission Simulator. As a consequence of this, the full Apache pilot conversion programme will not now be completed until February 2007, nearly 3 years later than expected. Some Apache aircraft will have to be stored until trained pilots are available to fly them, at an additional cost of £6 million, which has in part been offset by liquidated damages paid by the contractor.

The MOD is still developing its strategy for managing the Apache aircraft thoughout its life. For example, the Apache was initially supported by Westland, an arrangement which runs out in October 2002. Spares inclusive repair contracts are in place for the period up to 2005, and some of the required Spares Procurement Contracts have now been let although some spares may have to be to sourced from the Apache aircraft which are being stored.

Overall responsibility for delivering the Air Manoeuvre capability, which includes successful delivery of the Apache, rests with the Air Manoeuvre Policy Group. To support this group the Department has two programme managers who are responsible for delivery of all aspects of the Apache capability. These recent developments are a significant step forward in ensuring delivery of the Apache helicopter and Air Manoeuvre capability is undertaken in a coherent way. The changes also mean that the management structure for the Apache programme is now as close to meeting best practice as the current organisation of the Department as a whole (which includes two separate customer organisations) really allows. Sir Johnís report identifies actions that the Department should take if it is to maximise its chance of delivering the Initial Operating Capability. The Department needs to continue to monitor the risks associated with the performance of key Apache systems and exercise strong management of the equipment, training and support programmes.

The report also identifies lessons learned from the MODís experience in managing the delivery of the Apache. These lessons include the need for careful consideration at the outset of the effect of removing elements from a prime contractorís responsibility; the advantage of transferring more risk to the contractor by relating payment to measures of actual activity rather than a defined time period, and the importance of appointing at an early stage a senior level individual with specific responsibility for directing and co-ordinating programmes.

Sir John said today, "The Apache helicopter represents a major enhancement to Defence capability. The Department is working hard to deliver an Initial Operating Capability by August 2004. It is a mark of success that the aircraft are being delivered broadly to plan. However, it is disappointing that because of problems with the training programme, primarily delays in the availability of the Full Mission Simulator, the helicopters are not expected to provide a Brigade-level capability until February 2007."

United Defense Receives Contract Update for Mk 45 Mod 4 Naval Guns
United Defense Industries, Inc. has received a contract modification from the U. S. Navy for three Mk 45 Mod 4, 5-inch 62-caliber naval guns and six 5-inch 62-caliber gun barrels. This Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract modification with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is valued in excess of $40 million, bringing the total contract value to over $190 million.

The Mk 45 Mod 4 will fire advanced munitions being developed by the U. S. Navy, including the Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM), as well as all other USN and NATO standard 5-inch ammunition. This contract modification provides Mk 45 naval guns for the DDG 51 Class of U. S. Navy ships (DDG 102 through DDG 104). This order will bring the number of Mk 45 Mod 4 naval guns serving at sea or on order for the U.S. Navy to twenty.

"Our Mk 45 Mod 4 naval gun remains a key capability for the U.S. Navy's mission to provide highly accurate, long range gun fire support," said John Smalkoski, United Defense's Program Director for the Mk 45 Gun System. "Additionally, the Mk 45 Mod 4 is gaining broad acceptance in the world market as allied navies realize the role the Mk 45 can perform in multiple missions at extended ranges."

ATK To Develop New Military Lightweight Assault Rifle
ATK has been awarded a $5 million contract modification from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny, N.J., to develop the new XM8 Lightweight Assault Rifle.

ATK Integrated Defense, Plymouth, Minn., and teammate Heckler and Koch, Oberndorf, Germany, will support the rapid development program, which will investigate the potential of the XM8 as the lightweight assault rifle for the Army's Objective Force.

The XM8 will be based on the kinetic energy weapon that is part of the XM29 next-generation infantry weapon system (formerly the Objective Individual Combat Weapon) currently under development by ATK Integrated Defense. The kinetic energy weapon, which fires 5.56mm ammunition, will provide maximum commonality in components and logistics with the XM29 system.

The XM8 will provide lethality performance comparable to the currently fielded M4 carbine rifle, while weighing 20 percent less than the M4 because of advanced technologies developed for the XM29 program.

"The XM8 Lightweight Assault Rifle will reduce the 21st century soldier's load and increase his mobility -- two very important aims of the Army's Objective Force Warrior and Land Warrior initiatives," said Hube Hopkins, president, ATK Integrated Defense. "We are pleased to have received this contract modification to accelerate the development of this weapon system. The recent progress we have made to reduce weight and improve performance on the XM29 program is key to the decision on accelerating the development of the XM8, which is integrated with the Army's efforts to transform to a more lethal and rapidly deployed fighting force as part of its Objective Force."

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