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Covert Ops

Covert Ops ships are Tech 2 frigates. Before being flown, the covert ops skill should be trained to level 4 to allow for good fits and ship bonus's. In addition, covert ops ships are able to fit covert cynos.

Type Amarr Caldari Gallente Minmatar
Covert ops Anathema Buzzard Helios Cheetah
Stealth bombers Purifier Manticore Nemesis Hound

The Covert Ops ships are broken up into two categories, Stealth Bombers and Scouting ships. All Covert Ops ships are notable for being able to fit Covert Ops Cloaking Device II, which don't have the speed penalties of regular cloaks and allow a ship to warp while cloaked. This makes covert ops ships ideal for scouting for a fleet. In addition, the small signature radius of being a frigate, and quick align time make them difficult to catch even with a warp disruption bubble on the gate.

For comparison and fitting advice for probers, see Covert Ops.

Stealth Bombers should fit 3 torpedo launchers in the highs, and a Covert Ops Cloaking Device II in the highs, with the remaining high slot being a wildcard between a bomb launcher or a covert cyno generator. In the low slots, generally ballistic control units should be fitted, and for mid slots, a target painter, sensor booster, remote sensor dampener are the order of the day.

Specific fittings can be found in the individual ship pages listed above.

Helpful Guidelines

A very interesting ship class, stealth bombers are not only capable of moving and warping while cloaked, but they also wield battleship-sized weapons (torp launchers to be specific). This gives bombers the highest damage output of any frigate by a considerable margin (up to about 500dps) usually out to around 50-60km, or potentially more 100km with range rigs and javelin torps. Additionally, the stealth bomber is the only cloaky class which can begin locking a target immediately after decloaking (all other ship classes have a short targeting delay).

The downside to the bomber's obscene dps is that its weapon system can barely scratch other frigates. In fact, even battleships need to be target painted (and ideally webbed) for the bomber to hit for its full damage. This makes bombers incredibly effective when supported by rapiers (minmatar cloaky recon ships with web and painting bonuses) and arazus (gallente cloaky recon with a huge bonus to tackle range), but of limited use solo. That said, a well fit stealth bomber can successfully solo large targets like ratting battleships if they're able to evade damage themselves. These ships are also capable of lighting covert cynosaural fields, potentially allowing a black ops battleship to bridge additional cloakies to the stealth bomber's location.

Stealth bombers are very popular in lowsec, where they're used for Factional Warfare missions. If you're able to catch one in another frigate, expect an easy fight - bombers are rarely tanked, and will deal almost no damage to you in return. If you're engaged by one while flying a larger ship it may be cause for concern, however you may simply be able to drive it away with drones (providing you can weather its dps for long enough to do so).

An additional feature of the stealth bomber is its ability to launch bombs - an area of effect weapon which can be very effective when used in a coordinated group (although these can only be used in nullsec). Bomb damage is determined by the sig radius of the target up to a maximum of 8000, so with the exception of frigates and destroyers which happen to be running mwds at the moment the bomb hits, nothing will die to a single bomb (although it doesn't stop the bomber pilots trying). Coordinated bomb strikes of 5 or more bombers can be devastating if done correctly - if you're in a gang in 0.0 and know you have a large number of bombers in system with you, expect them to be setting up for one of these. I won't go over each bomber individually since they are all really quite similar. All bombers receive large damage bonuses to their racial damage flavour, and will almost always use that variety of bombs/torps as a result. The hound is the fastest (which is useful for moving while cloaked) and as a result tends to be the most popular, and its 4/3/3 slot layout (also shared by the purifier) allows it to enhance its damage output and/or speed further. The manticore and nemesis have 4/4/2 slot layouts which favour additional ewar, and these two ships seem to be more popular for FW missions.

All bomber fits tend to be fairly similar, with target painters and sometimes sensor dampeners being popular mid slot items. Tank usually consists of a medium shield extender, if anything at all.

Like stealth bombers, covert ops ships are capable of warping while cloaked and lighting covert cyno fields. They don't put out anything like the damage of stealth bombers, and although they do still receive damage bonuses they are almost always used as scouts and probers - a role in which they excel. If you see a covert ops ship in system, expect them to be scouting for a gang. You should also watch closely for scanner probes via your directional scanner, since these can potentially let the covert ops ship warp themselves (or more dangerously, their fleet) to your location within seconds.

For the most part, covert ops ships are not actually dangerous in combat themselves, although they provide enormous utility to a gang. Due to their speed and cloaky nature these ships are notoriously hard to catch, and they rarely decloak other than to go through gates and drop probes. If you are able to catch and decloak one, they will generally die very quickly indeed.

One thing which covert ops ships do have is a very generous allocation of mid slots - 4 for the cheetah and anathema, and 5 for the helios and buzzard. Unfortunately, mid slots on a covops are almost entirely useless since the ship spends most of its time cloaked. However, there are a couple of exceptions…

Covert Ops Groups

eve/ships/frigates/covert_ops.txt · Last modified: 2019/02/25 16:58 by Fof