The Covert Ops class is split into two sub classes of scanning and hacking oriented covert ops frigates and combat oriented stealth bombers. Both of them have the ability to use covert ops cloaking device and warp while cloaked, ability to use the covert cynosural field generators and the ability to take covert jump bridges.
As scouts they can stealthily gather intelligence and use their scanning bonus to probe out enemy targets. They can watch enemy targets while in cloak and provide a warp coordinate for a much larger gang of heavy hitting ships in an organized surprise attack. Explorers can use the same scanning bonus to probe down PvE exploration sites. Due to their extreme fragility, cov-ops frigates should not generally be used in a tackling role, and are typically invisible at all times.
The four covert ops frigates mostly differentiate from each other by their skill bonus and slot layout.
- Buzzard - 5M-3L slot layout. Scan deviation bonus. Strongest pure scanner/hacker thanks to slot layout and deviation bonus.
- Anathema - 4M-4M slot layout. Scan deviation bonus.
- Helios - 5M-3L slot layout. Speed bonus when cloaked. Compromise between speed and scanning.
- Cheetah - 4M-4L slot layout. Speed bonus when cloaked. Fastest base speed and agile.
There is also more combat oriented Pacifier. In addition to the usual scanning and hacking bonuses it has a full array of combat bonuses. It is a ship with limited availability and high price.
Fitting Covert Ops Frigates
A Capsuleer's options for fitting Covert Ops frigates are highly dependent on their Covert Ops skill level, as each level of the skill provide a 20% reduction in CPU for Covert Ops cloaking device. Covert Ops IV or V are recommended, depending on how tight the desired fit is. The following heuristic<may be useful as a basis for fitting Covert Ops frigates with a primary role of probe scanning and a secondary role as hero tackle. In the fitting window, simulate the hull of the relevant Covert Ops frigate and add the modules of your choice in the following order:
- Expanded (or Core) Probe Launcher (T1, T2, or Sisters)
- Covops cloak
- 5MN MWD (restrained on first attempt, may later be changed to compact)
- T2 point
- Fill mid slots with scan arrays: one acquisition, one pinpointing, and the rest rangefinding
- Fill lows with inertial stabilizers
- Rigs, depends on what kind of launcher and rangefinding array you are using: 2x T2 gravimetric upgrades (better at cheaper levels) or 1x T2 gravimetric upgrade with Sisters launcher and/or T2 rangefinding.
- Now, start shaving off lows for MAPC (for Power Grid) and Co-processors (for CPU)
- Finish off by switching inertial stabilizers to Nano until you're barely before a tick in your align (with prop OFF)
- Main article: Stealth Bombers
Stealth bombers are very specialized ships which can warp cloaked and don't have a sensor re-calibration delay preventing them from locking targets after decloaking. They can fit torpedo launchers (battleship sized missile launchers) and bomb launchers, which fire area-of-effect weapons that can only be used in nullsec or wormhole space. Stealth bombers put out extraordinary alpha strike damage and die very fast if anyone manages to put some damage on them, so bomber pilots will typically fire a few salvos and/or a single bomb then recloak. They are the bane of large ships, especially in nullsec. In groups and flown well, stealth bombers can take down a capital ship.
Each stealth bomber has a damage bonus for bombs and torpedoes which do its empire's associated damage type.
- See also: Frigates