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by Douglas Helmer

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Wednesday, February 05, 2003

PC Game and Hardware News

BF1942 Updates (2 items)

Pic of the day: Dropping into Italy

  • Dev Chat Reminder
    Want to speak to the developers of BF1942? Click here.
  • Official PBF "Patch Poll"
    They are compiling a list of the top 20 fixes you want to see patched. This poll list will be drawn from the most commonly voiced complaints the community has expressed.

Website: PlanetBattlefield.com
IL-2 Sturmovik Video Competition
IL-2 Strumovik players sent in videos for judging

The IL-2 video competition is now closed for new entries. Cartrix and crew will be viewing them over the next few days. Winners will be announced then and a selection of the entries will be posted for all to view.
Sign of the Times: COMDEX Operator Files for Bankruptcy
From Yahoo:

NEW YORK - Another bellwether of the now-deflated technology craze has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Los Angeles-based Key3Media Group, the company operating the giant Comdex (news - web sites) trade show, filed for protection from its creditors Monday in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

The company has been buffeted by declining attendance at its signature trade show, along with a slumping technology industry and dwindling public fascination with the personal computer.

Key3Media said its filing is part of a recapitalization plan that, if approved, would leave the company in the ownership of investment bank Thomas Weisel Capital Partners.

The story goes on to say that Key3Media doesn't plan to cancel any upcoming events and hope to emerge from bankruptcy within 90 days.>

Full Story...

Defense & Aerospace News

UAV Plays Integral Role In Navy Giant Shadow Experiment
ST. LOUIS — ScanEagle, a Boeing [NYSE: BA] long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, demonstrated the ability to relay real-time data and provide video to participants during the U.S. Navy's Giant Shadow experiment at a test site in the Bahamas.

Giant Shadow was set up to explore how a network of forces consisting of a stealthy attack submarine, Special Operations Forces, unmanned vehicles–ScanEagle and an unmanned underwater vehicle–and sensors could provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, and then develop, recommend and execute appropriate action.
ScanEagle UAV prepares for launch

ScanEagle, which has a 10-foot wingspan and can fly up to 68 knots, served as a relay node for a radio frequency communications network during the four-day exercise. It also provided ISR for over-the-horizon surveillance that included a live video feed to the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command ship and to NAVAIR's time-critical targeting and network-centric warfare test aircraft.

Launched from shore via a pneumatic catapult, ScanEagle flew at altitudes of 1,000–3,000 ft. during five flights and 20 hours, in support of the series of exercises. It was recovered using the patented SkyHook technique, in which the UAV catches a rope hanging from a 30-foot-high pole.

"We're pleased that ScanEagle successfully performed its key mission as part of this unique exercise," said Charlie Guthrie, Boeing Unmanned Systems director of rapid prototyping and advanced concepts. "This further adds to our confidence that we're able to provide potential customers, such as the Navy, with an autonomous, low-cost, long-endurance UAV that will meet their needs."

In February 2002, Boeing teamed with The Insitu Group to build and test ScanEagle. Insitu builds the UAV at its Bingen, Wash., factory and Boeing provides the systems integration, communications and payload technologies expertise.

ScanEagle is based on Insitu's SeaScan aircraft, a commercial ship-based surveillance platform. In 1998, Insitu and the University of Washington demonstrated the potential of these types of vehicles when they coordinated the first UAV transatlantic flight, a 2,000-mile trip from Newfoundland to Scotland that used only 1.5 gallons of gasoline.
M1A1 Abrams Tanks Get Complete Overhaul
M1A1 Abrams Tanks Get Complete Overhaul
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — The U. S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), two contracts totaling $82 million for Abrams tank programs.

The awards comprise a $32.3 million delivery order under an existing contract for the assembly of 125 Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) tanks, and a $49.7 million contract for systems technical support for the Abrams tank.

AIM Program: M1A1 Abrams to be refurbished.

Work under the AIM order will be done at the General Dynamics-operated Lima Army Tank Plant in Lima, Ohio (77 percent); the General Dynamics Land Systems Scranton Plant in Eynon, Penn. (20 percent); and the Muskegon Plant in Muskegon, Mich. (3 percent). The 125 AIM tanks are scheduled to be delivered by June 2004.

The order was placed under a sole-source contract awarded in August 2002, with a total potential value when all options are exercised of $145 million.

AIM is a joint effort to refurbish M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks involving the Project Manager-Abrams Tank Systems; the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command; the Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Ala.; and General Dynamics Land Systems. In the AIM program, M1A1 Abrams tanks are completely disassembled and overhauled to a like-new condition.

Work under the Abrams systems technical support contract will be performed at Land Systems headquarters in Sterling Heights, Mich. This work will be completed by September 30, 2006.
Land Warrior Development led by General Dynamics
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — General Dynamics Decision Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been awarded a $59.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to enhance the current version of the U.S. Army’s Land Warrior system. The system, including key soldier elements, consists of personal electronics, communications, global navigation and other integrated equipment. Land Warrior also enhances interoperability with the battlefield command and communications systems found on Stryker Brigade Combat Team vehicles and on the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS), which is key to the Army’s transformation. The total value of the Land Warrior program with all options exercised has an estimated potential value of $791 million.
Land Warrior system

Land Warrior provides significant improvement in lethality, survivability, battle command, mobility, and tactical awareness to U.S. soldiers. The Land Warrior systems General Dynamics develops through this program will allow the soldier to pass and receive data not only with Stryker Brigade Combat Team vehicles but throughout the combat area. The systems will also be interoperable with the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) system – the command and control system at the heart of the Army's digitization effort.

“Soldiers in the Army’s Objective Force will have a sophisticated level of functionality that not only protects them better, but also enables total integration into the advanced electronics that define the digital battlefield,” said Mark A. Fried, president and general manager of General Dynamics Decision Systems. “This program gives us a key role in the evolution of the Land Warrior program. Our systems integration capabilities will enable the Army to field the best-informed, best-protected, most-effective soldier ever.”

Land Warrior consists of several subsystems, including a weapon system, an integrated helmet assembly and protective clothing. Through a helmet-mounted display, a soldier can view computer-generated graphical data, digital maps, intelligence information, troop locations and imagery from a weapon-mounted thermal sight and video camera. This capability allows a soldier to see around a corner, acquire a target, and then fire the weapon without risking exposure to enemy fire. Menu driven displays are controlled by the soldier from a pointing device located on the chest strap and operated by the touch of a finger.

The Army has said that the initial Land Warrior system could be combat-ready as early as 2004. The first systems under the contract are scheduled for delivery to the program office, PEO Soldier, in 2005.

Stryker vehicles are the primary weapons platform for the Army’s new Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, the initial element of the Army’s effort to transform to a lighter, faster, more mobile fighting force. Stryker Brigade Combat Teams will provide joint force commanders with increased operational and tactical flexibility to execute fast-paced, distributed, non-contiguous operations across the full spectrum of conflict.
Northrop Grumman to Demo Battlefield High-Res Imaging Tech
BALTIMORE—Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Systems Development and Technology (SD&T) Division has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design, build and conduct a proof-of-concept airborne demonstration of a synthetic aperture ladar* sensor that generates high-resolution two- and three-dimensional imagery.

"SALTI is a strategic win for Northrop Grumman, since it greatly enhances our portfolio of coherent laser technologies," said James F. Carlini, director of Advanced Technology for the SD&T Division. "Coherent laser systems will enable the warfighter to do extremely high-resolution imaging, identify targets through vibrometry, and provide very wide bandwidth communications throughout the battlespace." The 27-month SALTI contract, valued at $20 million, will be managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Sensors Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, which is serving as technical and program execution agent for DARPA's Advanced Technology Office.

Key subcontractors on the SALTI program include Coherent-DEOS of Bloomfield, Conn., and Rockwell Scientific of Thousand Oaks, Calif. The SD&T Division is a component of Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector, which is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics systems, including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and government systems.

[* Laser radar / Lidar / ladar is a way to measure shapes in 3D based on laser illumination. The technology works from cm sized objects to large scale map production from the air.]
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