Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Wednesday February 20, 2002

PC News
Flanker 2.5 Lands on Retail Shelves
Ubi Soft today announced that Flanker 2.5 has landed on U.S. retail shelves. Flanker 2.5 offers high adrenaline gameplay with a level of realism that until now had only been experienced by Russian military pilots. "Flanker 2.5 builds on the highly-successful and critically acclaimed Flanker line of products, and with a $9.99 price point, it's sure to introduce a large number of first-time pilots to the community," said Carl C. Norman, executive producer for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "This title underscores Ubi Soft's goal of delivering the greatest combat simulation titles to our loyal community, while always striving to add to its ranks. Flanker enjoys a large following online where many players have contributed user-created missions that provide virtually unlimited replay value."

Sierra On-Line Changes Name
Sierra announced today that it has officially changed its name to Sierra Entertainment, Inc. A studio of Vivendi Universal Publishing, Sierra's new name reflects the company's commitment to developing a broad range of entertainment products, including games for both the PC and next-generation consoles. " In choosing Sierra Entertainment, Inc., we have adopted a name that signifies our commitment to creating extraordinary entertainment, " said Michael Ryder, President of Sierra. " We wanted a name that conveyed Sierra's ability to blend innovative, ground-breaking technology with a broad range of compelling, entertaining and original games.

Operation Flashpoint: Resistance Announced
With over one million copies shipped of the award-winning Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, Codemasters today confirms details of a dedicated expansion, Operation Flashpoint: Resistance. Due to launch at retail on June 21st and requiring the original game to play, Operation Flashpoint: Resistance is a full expansion.

Enhancing the Flashpoint universe, Operation Flashpoint: Resistance creates an additional 100km2 island complete with industrial-style buildings and original landscape scenery. Thanks to the use of high-resolution textures throughout, the visuals will be much more detailed and dramatic than ever before. The expansion also delivers a new campaign that forms a prequel to the original game’s plot and is set years before Operation Flashpoint’s Cold War hit crisis point.

With new vehicles and weapons featuring, a series of original multiplayer missions on the new island, and completely overhauled network code.

Military News
USMC Predator Contract Helps Kestrel In UK's NLAW Programme
The news of the Predator Short Range Anti-Armour Weapon production contract recently awarded by the US Marine Corps to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is significant for the competition for the UK MoD's Next Generation Light Anti-Armour Weapon (NLAW) Programme.

Kestrel is being developed by MBDA, Lockheed Martin and INSYS (previously Hunting Engineering). The award and the second contract planned for later this year means that over 700 Predator rounds will have been produced and 40 more test flights will be completed before Kestrel, as it will be known in the UK, is built in UK production facilities.

The production contract, combined with the 13 Kestrel firings conducted during the NLAW Project Definition phase, confirms the maturity of the weapon and that there are no outstanding technical, production or programme risks which could jeopardise the UK MoD's in-service date.

The award is the culmination of an extensive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (E&MD) phase which validated the ability to manufacture Predator, and conducted rigorous independent User Trials in which over 250 all-up-rounds, including more than 150 manned firings were completed in a wide range of environmental conditions.

Alan Garwood, MBDA's Chief Operating Officer said: "The Predator contract award is very good news for the Kestrel. We are now extremely confident that Kestrel will be in UK service well before LAW80 stocks are depleted ensuring that the UK Armed Forces will not have a dangerous shortfall in capability."

MBDA, Lockheed Martin and INSYS plus over 30 suppliers will produce Kestrel in the UK if it is selected under the multimillion pound contract, due to be placed by the summer.

The other competitor is the MBT-LAW for whom the prime contractor of Saab Bofors Dynamics (SBD) teamed with Thales Air Defence (formerly Shorts Missiles System). SBD's other team members include BAE SYSTEMS and Raytheon.

First Modernised AP-3C ORION Delivered to RAAF
The Royal Australian Air Force has received the first two of its modernised AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The upgrade included the installation of two sensors; the Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and the Maritime Radar, both supplied by ELTA Electronics Industries, a subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).

"The combination of the new imaging radar with the Electronic Support Measures will give the RAAF AP-3C fleet one of the best maritime patrol capabilities in the world," said the Chief of Royal Australian Air Force, Air Marshal Angus Huston.

IAI/ELTA's Maritime Surveillance Radar, the EL/M-2022A, is an airborne imaging radar incorporating features derived from operational requirements. ELTA's ESM System, the EL/L-8300, includes simultaneous ESM and ELINT capabilities by High Probability Of Interception (HPOI) and High Sensitivity.

Both sensors cover 360 degrees and support military and law enforcement missions such as: Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti Submarine Warfare, Littoral Warfare, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance, Coast Guard Patrol, Fishery Areas Patrol, Anti-Drug Enforcement Operations and Search and Rescue Location and Support.

The programme upgrades the Aircraft's sensors and refurbishes its structures for extending the Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) fleet's life beyond 2015. The RAAF intends to display its modernised AP-3C Aircraft at the Singapore Aerospace Exhibition in February 2002.

BAE Systems Receives IDECM LRIP II Contract from US Navy
The U.S. Navy has awarded a $58 million contract to BAE Systems for phase II of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) system. IDECM incorporates high sensitivity receivers and off-board countermeasures that provide an EW defence for US military aircraft against current and future RF missile threats.

Under Phase 2 of the LRIP contract, BAE Systems' Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) business unit, will provide an additional 14 AN/ALQ-214(V)2 integrated defensive electronic countermeasures radio frequency units and spares. In March 2001 IEWS received a $59 million contract to deliver six onboard systems, 30 fibre optic towed decoys (FOTDs), and spares for phase I of the programme. Deliveries will begin in 2003.

"The exercise of these options will provide additional hardware for test and shows the continued support for much needed capability in the fleet," said Dennis Gersomino, U.S. Navy IDECM Integrated Product Team Lead.

"Risk reduction testing has proven that BAE SYSTEMS will be providing exceptional defensive capabilities to the Navy and the Air Force," said, Joe Mancini BAE SYSTEMS' IDECM programme manager.

IDECM RFCM incorporates avionics, including the onboard receiver and processing system developed and manufactured by ITT Industries' Avionics Division, and the off-board countermeasures, which include the FOTD and deployment canister developed by BAE SYSTEMS. The system will be deployed initially on Navy F/A-18E/F aircraft, followed by U.S. Air Force B-1B and F-15 aircraft. BAE Systems is hoping to complete the Operational/Validation (OPEVAL) testing by July 2002.

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