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by Gail Helmer

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Thursday April 18, 2002

PC News
Jane's Attack Squadron Patch v1.01b
A first patch for Jane's Attack Squadron has been released. Details on the changes are however not available. Download

LucasArts To Publish WWII Flight Combat Game
LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC today announced the resumption of its relationship with Lawrence Holland and his company Totally Games to develop a World War II flight combat game for next generation consoles and PC. Previous associations between LucasArts and Totally Games produced the critically acclaimed and best selling X-wing and TIE fighter series of Star Wars games, as well as Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe and Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain. The latter two games will serve as inspiration for the upcoming World War II flight combat title.

The new game, expected to release in 2003, will immerse would-be fighter pilot aces into dynamic, edge-of-the-seat air-to-air and air-to-ground battle scenarios in a variety of combat theaters over Europe and other territories. The story-driven game will drop players into a secret, elite squad of pilots who undertake the most dangerous missions of World War II.

SH2/DC V4.0 Special Effects Packs
Naval Warfare Simulations has just posted NWS SH2/DC V4.0 Special Effects Packs for Silent Hunter II and Destroyer Command. These include several updated special effects that that are compatible with the SH2/DC V1.1 official patches.

Ubi Soft Unveils Splinter Cell
Ubi Soft unveiled the latest creation inspired by the works of Tom Clancy. Splinter Cell is a third person stealth action game, featuring cyber-terrorism, shadow agencies, and covert operations and is set in the realistic, highly detailed geopolitical universe.

Splinter Cell will grant players access to the highest echelons of national security, where shadowy operatives have the freedom to do whatever it takes to safeguard America. In Splinter Cell, the player controls Sam Fisher, a field operative of a secretive "black-ops" NSA sub-agency called Third Echelon. Sam Fisher is geared up to infiltrate high-security strongholds, seize critical intelligence, destroy threatening data and neutralize the enemy - all without leaving a trace.

Splinter Cell will be seen for the first time at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this May in Los Angeles. Release Date: Fall 2002. Screens

New Screens: Medieval: Total War
Medieval: Total War allows players to take control of one of twelve world powers as they attempt to rewrite history through a mixture of trade, diplomacy, resource management and wars of conquest. Featuring an incredibly powerful 3D engine, the game supports real-time 3D battles of more than 10,000 troops and more than 100 unique unit types, including knights, infantry and siege engines, in terrain as varied as deserts, forest, plains and mountains. Players will utilize authentic battle strategies and tactics as they unleash their forces against medieval castles and mighty fortresses with an arsenal of battle-field weapons including long-bows, muskets, cannons and catapults which can pound castle walls and buildings to rubble. Screens

Military News
Four Canadian Soldiers Dead in Afghan Bomb Accident
(Reuters) - A U.S. F-16 warplane dropped one or two 500-pound laser-guided bombs on Canadian soldiers involved in a live-fire exercise in a clearly defined training zone in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing four and wounding eight others, Canadian Gen. Ray Henault said.

The deaths early Thursday were the first Canadian casualties in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and the first casualties Canada has suffered in offensive combat operations since the 1950-53 Korean War. They came just three days after the most recent U.S. casualties in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien promised a thorough investigation to determine how the incident, which took place at 5:25 p.m. EDT Wednesday, could have happened.

"(U.S.) President (George W.) Bush called me tonight to offer the sincerest condolences of the American people to the Canadian families. He also pledged complete cooperation with Canadian authorities, who will carry out a thorough and complete investigation," Chretien said. [More...]

Northrop Grumman Awarded "Falcon 2020" Contract
F-16 fighter fleets worldwide will maintain air superiority and strike capability through at least 2020 because of a contract Northrop Grumman Corporation has received from the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The award, worth up to $487 million, provides engineering services and technical support for the aircraft's fire control radar (AN/APG-66 and -68) over a 23-year period. It will cover the U.S. Air Force and 16 other air forces through foreign military sales.

This firm-fixed-price award represents a consolidation, restructuring and expansion of previous agreements between Northrop Grumman and the Air Force. In addition to engineering and technical support, it will include radar spares, repair and return of major components, acquisition of modification kits and on-site contractor support.

The name of the program, "Falcon 2020," signifies that the F-16 will remain in the inventories of the U.S. and international air forces beyond the year 2020 and also reflects the commitment to fully support the aircraft over its service life. As a Department of Defense acquisition reform initiative, Falcon 2020 provides flexible terms and conditions, making it easier for the department to contract with suppliers for F-16 support annually. Actual disbursements will depend on customer needs and available funding.

USAF F-15's to Receive Radar Upgrades
Raytheon has been awarded its fourth production buy, worth $116 million, for the U.S. Air Force APG-63(V)1 radar retrofit program. Raytheon's Air Combat and Strike Systems business unit is performing the work under contract to Boeing Co.

Current test data indicates the APG-63(V)1 fire control radar system provides the F-15 Eagle with significant improvement in system reliability, along with performance improvements, higher throughput and greater memory that improves the warfighter's ability to identify enemy aircraft. Raytheon will deliver 34 APG-63(V)1 radar systems, spares and special test equipment.

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