While the v1.9 installer was made available earlier this week, the US Army has now officially announced the release of a new version of America's Army. The update is available as a 604MB full install or a 321MB patch for the previous version of the game, v1.7.
The 1.9 update makes significant additions to the US Army's free game. Most notably, there's a new combat medic player class, which lets players treat team members in the field and help them regain some level of combat effectiveness. To qualify to play the combat medic on official servers, it's necessary to pass four separate training classes that are designed to teach some real-world first-aid knowledge. The game's new damage model complements this new class, as bullets now cause blood loss, simulated as damage over time that can be stopped only by combat medics. Other features in the update include a redesigned interface, the integration of Punkbusters anti-cheating software, new character models, and new animations.
The US Army previewed two other upcoming updates in May at E3 2003, and the Stryker brigade and Special Forces additions are said to still be on track for release, one this fall and one during the winter. Click on the links below to download the latest update.