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Daily News
By Gail Helmer

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Wednesday March 13, 2002

PC News
ATF Beta Testers Wanted
The Armored Task Force development team has completed work on the coding and is ready to begin post-production work. As part of this process, they will be assembling a team of BETA testers to help erradicate bugs and make final tweaks to the interface. ProSIM is looking for players experienced with previous ProSIM products, such as BCT: Brigade Combat Team and BCT Commander. To sign up to be a BETA tester. Can't wait for the demo to be released? Check out a free demo of the Alpha Technology Release of Armored Task Force Download

PowerVR Technologies Debuts KYRO II SE
PowerVR Technologies unveiled the PowerVR KYRO II SE 3D Graphics Accelerator today at CeBIT 2002. KYRO II SE is the third processor in the KYRO family of 2D/3D graphics and video accelerators. The PowerVR KYRO II SE processor, rated at 200 MHz, delivers a combination of frame rate performance and image quality, thanks to an architecture that makes extremely efficient use of the available memory bandwidth and incorporates a host of sophisticated features that support user demand for ever-increasing scene complexity. PowerVR technology typically requires less than one third of the memory bandwidth required by conventional 3D accelerators, which allows content developers to focus on realistic environments rather than having to resort to programming tricks to reduce scene complexity and image quality, which are required to improve frame rate with traditional 3D accelerators.

Return To Castle Wolfenstein Named One Of The Year's Best
id Software's critically acclaimed PC game, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, was honored with the Computer Action/Adventure Game of the Year and Online Game Play of the Year awards by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science at the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards ceremony, held at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences recognized Return to Castle Wolfenstein for its outstanding interactive content, creativity and technical achievement.

Military News
Bridgeport Selected For Initial Rah-66 Comanche Production
The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 COMANCHE team has selected an industrial site in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for the first phase of assembly and delivery of the US Army's future reconnaissance and light attack helicopter.

The Bridgeport site will also house the programme office's headquarters. Approximately 350 employees currently working in Trumbull, Connecticut, will relocate their offices to Bridgeport. Up to 150 new jobs, primarily in manufacturing, will be created at the site as the programme ramps up preliminary production. Initial occupancy is expected this summer.

"We are very pleased with the Bridgeport location for COMANCHE," said Boeing Vice President Chuck Allen, director of the COMANCHE program. "It provides an ideal setting to bring this advanced technology aircraft from the drawing board to the flight line."

In 2000, the COMANCHE team signed a $3.1 billion Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with the Army that calls for the design, development and manufacture of the first lot of COMANCHE aircraft. The Army and the programme office are currently negotiating the timing and number of aircraft to be delivered during the EMD phase.

The Army has defined a requirement of more than 1,200 COMANCHE aircraft for the Objective Force.

5,000th Longbow Hellfire Missile Rolls Off Production Line
Lockheed Martin Corporation's Missiles and Fire Control unit and Northrop Grumman Corporation's Electronic Systems sector joint venture, Longbow Limited Liability Company (LBL), recently completed the 5,000th production round of the Longbow Hellfire missile (AGM-114L).

LBL is under contract with the US Army and the United Kingdom to deliver more than 13,000 Longbow missiles, with additional orders anticipated via foreign military sales.

The Longbow Hellfire Missile, a 'fire-and-forget' weapon that can be locked on target before or after launch, provides significant standoff range from targets without exposing the Longbow Apache crew to counter-fire. The 108-pound missile has a range of eight kilometres and is effective in adverse weather. It is an integral part of the AH-64D Apache advanced attack helicopter.

Full-rate production of the Longbow missile is realising a monthly delivery of over 200 rounds through year 2005.

General Dynamics Awarded Order for 20mm Aircraft Guns
General Dynamics Armament Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, has received a contract from the Warner Robins Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, valued at $9.27 million, for the production of 182 M61A1 20mm guns in support of foreign military sales. Primary work on the program will be performed at the company's Saco, Maine facility. Deliveries on this contract are scheduled to occur from December 2002 through November 2005.

The M61A1 family of 20mm Gatling guns arm virtually all fighter aircraft within the U.S. and allied forces, including the F-16, F-18, F-22, F-15 and F- 14. The gun has a firing rate of 7,200 shots-per-minute and serves as the aircraft's last line of defense in close-in aerial engagements.

Kitty Hawk Commences Sea Trials
America's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), left Yokosuka, Japan, March 12 to begin sea trails in preparation for the ship's scheduled upcoming extended sea period.

The ship recently completed an intensive 11-week Ship's Restricted Availability period, receiving upgrades to its defensive systems and scheduled maintenance to its flight deck and engineering plant. "Hawk's" departure marks the first time the ship left Yokosuka since returning in December from its last mission in the North Arabian Sea supporting special forces in Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Sea trials are all about identifying small problems and taking the appropriate measures to correct them before they become major problems," said Capt. Thomas A. Hejl, commanding officer.

"The sea-trial period, scheduled to end (later this week), is to test equipment in various departments and train new crewmembers by presenting them with real-life scenarios and drills," said Lt. Tanya Wallace, Hawk's radar and missile control division officer.

According to Wallace, the combat systems department plans to test all of its equipment. "Our goal is to make sure all of our equipment is 100-percent operational. Now is the time to locate problems, because we can't afford to have problems when we're given an order to follow," Wallace said.

Testing of equipment and getting necessary at-sea qualifications aren't the only priorities for Hawk Sailors. For some, it will be their first time underway, and this period will be more of a learning experience for these Sailors.

"I haven't been aboard long and I'm still learning my job, but I intend to obtain as much knowledge as I can while underway for this short period," said Seaman Dwayne Piper of Hawk's deck department.

Many Sailors who were on board during Hawk's time at-sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom don't know what to expect during this sea-trial period either, because that mission was unlike any mission previously undertaken by a naval aircraft carrier, according to Lt. Kevin Sandlin, Hawk's assistant navigator. He also said sea trials are the most opportune time for new Sailors to apply the training they received in service schools. ( U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Lee McCaskill.)

Search Continues for Crewmembers of Crashed U.S. Navy Helicopter in Mediterranean
The search continues for three crewmembers missing when an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter operating from USS Hayler (DD 997) crashed into the central Mediterranean Sea at approximately 10:30 a.m. local time today (Mar. 12) during a routine functional check flight.

Search efforts include Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) from both Hayler and USS Ross (DDG 71), a P-3 Orion aircraft from Patrol Squadron 10, a British C-130 aircraft, as well as a Greek C-130. Thus far, searchers have found only an oil slick and debris believed to be from the helicopter.

Hayler lost radar contact and communications with the helicopter about 80 nautical miles west of Greece. The helicopter is a part of Helicopter Squadron Light (HSL) 46, based in Mayport, Fla., and currently was embarked aboard USS Hayler.

The Navy will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Operation Anaconda Is "Winding Down"
Operation Anaconda is winding down as U.S., coalition and Afghan forces "mop up" the Shahi Khot Valley near Gardez, Afghanistan, U.S. defense officials said here March 12. "Al Qaeda forces are still holed up in small pockets scattered throughout the area," said Air Force Brig. Gen. John W. Rosa, a Joint Staff spokesman. In the past 72 hours, he said, the fighting has been sporadic compared to the heavy fighting that occurred in the early days of the battle that began March 2.

In the past 24 hours, Rosa said, U.S. and coalition forces have flown more than 180 sorties over Afghanistan and dropped more than 100 bombs, bringing the total bombs dropped in this operation to more than 2,500.

U.S. military officials now estimate fewer than 1,000 al Qaeda and Taliban fighters have been involved in the battle, he said, stressing the difficulty of estimating the size of the enemy forces. U.S. Central Command officials estimate several hundred al Qaeda and Taliban fighters have been killed.

U.S. forces have detained about 20 people. Some may have been involved in the fighting and others may be no more than local farmers, Rosa said. "It's too early to tell," he added. Though the operation is winding down, Rosa said, the difficult terrain leaves much work still to be done. "There are upwards of 40 caves in that area," he said. "We have started, but are nowhere near completed entering a large majority of those caves." The booby traps, land mines and unexpended ordnance encountered by troops demands slow, careful moves, he remarked.

U.S. forces continue to clear a mountainous area that aircrews have dubbed the "Whale's back," because the terrain resembles the back of a whale emerging from the sea. In many cases, Afghan forces are fighting alongside U.S. forces, and Afghan forces are doing many of the missions up and around the whale, Rosa noted. "It's slow going," he said. "I don't think any force, us or the Afghani, are going to rush up there and clear it."

About 1,200 U.S. troops are engaged in Operation Anaconda. The number fluctuates as troops move out to refit and rearm and then return to the fight, Rosa said. There have been no new U.S. casualties. To date, eight Americans have been killed in action and 49 have been wounded. Of the wounded, 34 are back on duty.

Turning to the overall war on terrorism, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke stressed that the U.S. mission is to destroy terrorism around the world because it's a threat to national security and the American people "and our freedoms."

"We will continue to seek out and destroy terrorist networks," she said. "We will equip and train and help friendly nations who are seeking to confront domestic terrorist threats. We will use all the fronts necessary, economic, diplomatic, legal, financial and military."

About 20 U.S. service members from Central Command are now in Yemen to determine what assistance the United States will provide in response to that nation's request for help, Clarke said. "The Yemen government has made it clear they want to work with us," she said. "They want assistance in fighting the terrorism in their own back yard."

She noted that the United States will continue working closely with coalition partners from around the world. Yesterday, she said, President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld thanked dozens of coalition representatives for their support and contributions to the war on terrorism. "This campaign cannot be conducted just by us alone," she said.

She also reported Rumsfeld welcomed Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov March 12 on his first official visit to the United States. Ivanov was slated to attend meetings at the White House, State Department and the Pentagon. "Russia has been a valuable partner and an ally in the war on terrorism," Clarke said.

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