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A summary of the upcoming patch, which adds UAVs as a new gameplay element.

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The next patch, version 0.1.20, is nicknamed "Eye in the Sky", because of it's core feature: reconnaissance drones. Four UAVs are included. They are slower than planes, but have long loiter times and the optics module of a recon helicopter, meaning they can spot ground units. Some of them are even armed and can carry out independant strike missions.

Russia gets only one UAV, which is the Altius-M. Rumors say it is being deployed in Syria. In Crimean Escalation, it is an unarmed, though cheap and available drone with prototype status. The US have more advanced UAV technology, so they get three models. The first one is the MQ-1B Predator. It's armed with two Hellfire missiles (which are for gameplays sake F&F, as laser guided bombs are in the original game). The big brother of the predator will be the MQ-9 Reaper, which is more expensive, but carries more missiles and a pair of bombs in addition. The most advanced UAV in the US arsenal will be the Avenger, a development of the Predator-series, featuring stealth and a turbofan engine. It carries six Hellfires internally.

The powerful ability of spotting targets from the sky comes not without cost, however. UAVs have low HP counts and usually no ECM. Once they are spotted, most AA units will deal with them in no time, so the best way of conducting airborne reconnaissance is staying undetected.

Some other units apart from UAVs will come in the next patch. For example, Russia gets the Sprut-SDM1, a prototype airborne light tank. And the US get the notorious stealth Blackhawk, which was allegedly used in Operation Neptune Spear. And those are not all. Additionaly the new loadscreens and the new intro, which I already posted here, will also be part of the patch.

I hope I can release v0.1.20 until the end of next week. The following patch is already in conception, and it is to add other new gameplay elements: long-range cruise missiles, AA-units able to intercept them and jammers on SEAD aircraft.

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