Can you make Khartu-Al invisible?

FZD

Space Marshal
Nov 22, 2016
828
3,042
1,500
RSI Handle
FZD
Okey, so I was kinda bummed out that my Cuttlas Black wasn't really great at stealth, so I was dicking around in Erkul calculator to figure out a good stealth ship. Now Freelancer Mis is probably the one I'd actually want, with a good balance between stealth and damage dealing capabilities.

𝓱𝓸𝔀𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻

I also couldn't help but notice that Khartu-Al is has very low IR rating even without stealth components. With stealth components and couple ballistic cannons, it'd then start with 5244 IR, and even while manouvering and firing with overclocked weapons would only give off 975 EM.
Now, that 5244 IR, well, suppressing it gets rid of like 25%, right? Then if you wait 45 minutes you'll get rid of 2700, right? (I'm really unsure about that, just something I observed while playing around with the Cutlass Black)
So you'd already be looking at... 1233 IR. That's very, very low. In fact, it's so low that, do you actually need shields? I don't own Khartu-Al (yet) but I tested with another S1 ship, getting rid of the shields would save you 500-520 from the initial value (edit: when the initial value is 5622 due to having Civ-C-Grade shields instead of Stealth-As), so you'd get down to something like 1050 IR, while EM would be 720. Then if you're fighting a ship with S2 Radar, you should remain undetected at even 790m! Now, if it's a player they'd probably try to active ping you, but if you can take shots at 2km and they have a slight cooldown spamming active ping, couldn't you just move around without them ever actually achieving radar lock? Against NPCs, well, NPCs would probably just be totally dumbfounded and fly into an asteroid. Either that, or they'll cheat and somehow see you regardless.

Now, the problem with this is, this loadout does jack all damage and would be absolutely destroyed if spotted. (Though having shields wouldn't really change much, that's what, 1600 hp per shield face? Yeah, that's nothing). Like, okey, 2k DPS overclocked (which can be done and won't change detect distance), and it's ballistic damage so it does penetrate shields to an extent. And it'll be fine against smaller ships, probably quite deadly actually, however you probably won't be running VHRT group bounties. Since it has S4 weapons, you could swap in a distortion scattergun, but... that definitely broadcasts your location.

Anyhow... I guess what I was kind of going for here is, am I completely mistaken about how awesome stealth you can get on this ship? I mean, it's still 2 million aUEC to buy and I'm not *that* loaded in-game that I could buy both this and Freelancer MIS. Is there some distance where you'll always be radar locked regardless? Am I worng about that 45 min = 2700 IR thing? Haven't really tested out stealth that much, just thinking it'd be fun to give it a try.
 

Shadow Reaper

Space Marshal
Jun 3, 2016
3,416
10,676
2,350
RSI Handle
Shadow Reaper
Yeah, your use for the ship was my first question. You did grab my interest though so i pulled up erkul and looked at the numbers. They're pretty surprising.

I have not found any configuration with IR so low as you're suggesting. However, with all stealth grade A components and a pair of Revenants, this thing is a killer for several reasons. Let me just note a few.

This IR is still way below almost any ship. With everything on I'm reading 5541. With this you can surely build a bushwhacker, where you attack from stealth. No missiles, so very unconventional for this, but a pair of Revenants is cheaper by far and I think most small ships would go down very fast.

One thing to keep in mind is that dominating in several skills creates a force multiplier. So here you have a stealthy ship, that does good damage, that does damage to much greater range than other light fighters and that is blazing fast and acrobatic. A good pilot will be able to control the distance between himself and his enemy in this ship, and since the S4 guns have more than an extra km range, you can outclass opponents with this mix. Also note Revenants are very fast to target so get lots of hits.

I would certainly want to look carefully at the ship. Probably it is an error in the ships page, but they're listing not 2, but 4 small coolers. I'd verify which is correct. Likewise the ships page says not 2 small shields, but 1 medium. Probably erkul is right, but it's worth checking. If it had room for 4 coolers, it would indeed be a VERY stealthy ship and a single medium shield is a big upgrade from 2 small. Ships page also says it has 4 small fuel tanks, for twice the range of the Gladius or Arrow. I'd really like to know how much of this is true. Sounds too good to be true. 4 fuel intakes, too.

Very cool ride. I had no idea.
 

FZD

Space Marshal
Nov 22, 2016
828
3,042
1,500
RSI Handle
FZD
Whats your goal here? To sneak up or just be hard to target?
For the Khartu-Al?
To be hard/impossible to target even when firing. For basically playing the role of a submarine (invisible killer / convoy harasser / scout / etc.), but in space.

For the Freelancer Mis, a more practical use of just doing bounty missions with missile spam without the assisting NPCs targeting me.

Yeah, your use for the ship was my first question. You did grab my interest though so i pulled up erkul and looked at the numbers. They're pretty surprising.

I have not found any configuration with IR so low as you're suggesting. However, with all stealth grade A components and a pair of Revenants, this thing is a killer for several reasons. Let me just note a few.
Oh, right, sorry I should've probably provided a link

Note here that removing those specific shields, which you can't do in Erkul but you can do in game, gets rid of around 520 IR. (I TESTed with those shields, as I happened to have those on my Nomad)
So starting with 5100 IR, you can then suppress that, right? So you'd go down to 3825 IR.
Then, the IR naturally dissipates over time, to a maximum of 45 minutes / 2700 IR (again, that's just something I observed with my Cutlass Black, I've no idea if it depends on the ship or something) so you'd get down to 1125... Could go a few IR lower if using Deadbolt IV instead of C-788 but C-788 has more range and dps. Revenants would take EM values to 1500 while firing even without overclocks, not bad but also makes you much more spottable. Not to mention if it's a player you're collecting a bounty on, then providing a dotted line to where you are might be a bit... less stealthy.
Revenants have faster projectiles though... on the other hand, revenants provide less total damage when considering ammo... lot's of things to consider.

Anyhow, finally, presuming opponent has S2 radars, would result in 850m detection range with C-788 or 780m with Deadbolt IVs.

I mean, I've not done stealth much so please correct me if I got anything wrong here. And I mean, sure, I don't mean to wait 45 minutes before doing anything, but you can start with few less intensive missions and as the ship becomes increasingly stealthier go on to more tricky ones. Or maybe you're fine with the tricky ones from the start, but the ship just keeps getting better at it.

This IR is still way below almost any ship. With everything on I'm reading 5541. With this you can surely build a bushwhacker, where you attack from stealth. No missiles, so very unconventional for this, but a pair of Revenants is cheaper by far and I think most small ships would go down very fast.
Well, yes, it could just snipe smaller escorts without ever being discovered, cause mysterious engine breakdowns to the haulers being escorted stopping convoys dead in space, but like, it won't be able to take down a hammerhead, so can't quite run ERT bounties. It can't down the shield, and it'll run out of ammo before doing enough damage through the shields.

I would certainly want to look carefully at the ship. Probably it is an error in the ships page, but they're listing not 2, but 4 small coolers. I'd verify which is correct. Likewise the ships page says not 2 small shields, but 1 medium. Probably erkul is right, but it's worth checking. If it had room for 4 coolers, it would indeed be a VERY stealthy ship and a single medium shield is a big upgrade from 2 small. Ships page also says it has 4 small fuel tanks, for twice the range of the Gladius or Arrow. I'd really like to know how much of this is true. Sounds too good to be true. 4 fuel intakes, too.

Very cool ride. I had no idea.
Yeah, it's definitely something that would be interesting to play around with.
 

Cugino83

Admiral
Apr 25, 2019
1,297
4,121
700
RSI Handle
Cugino
....

Now, the problem with this is, this loadout does jack all damage and would be absolutely destroyed if spotted. (Though having shields wouldn't really change much, that's what, 1600 hp per shield face? Yeah, that's nothing). Like, okey, 2k DPS overclocked (which can be done and won't change detect distance), and it's ballistic damage so it does penetrate shields to an extent. And it'll be fine against smaller ships, probably quite deadly actually, however you probably won't be running VHRT group bounties. Since it has S4 weapons, you could swap in a distortion scattergun, but... that definitely broadcasts your location.
....
Just like to point it aout that you don't need to remove the shield to limit your emission: just turn them off, there is a keybind for that.
So you could easily fly with a military and an Industrial shield for some protection when needed while turn them off during the initial stealth fase.

For the weapons I'll suggest a couple of C-788 balisstic canon: the range is a bit shorter, but you have a better damage and most important is a single shot, not a bullet steam, that make you even hader to spot (since you can follow the bullet stram upword...)
 

FZD

Space Marshal
Nov 22, 2016
828
3,042
1,500
RSI Handle
FZD
Just like to point it aout that you don't need to remove the shield to limit your emission: just turn them off, there is a keybind for that.
So you could easily fly with a military and an Industrial shield for some protection when needed while turn them off during the initial stealth fase.
This only affects the EM value of the shield, it still gives out the full IR value even when off. So it would work in situations where your EM value is higher than the IR, but I think you'll find the IR to usually be the problem one, or at least it is in this case.

For the weapons I'll suggest a couple of C-788 balisstic canon: the range is a bit shorter, but you have a better damage and most important is a single shot, not a bullet steam, that make you even hader to spot (since you can follow the bullet stram upword...)
Agreed 100%, on all accounts. Additionally, C-788 does more total damage than the Revenant (not dps but bullet dmg * number of bullets).
 

Shadow Reaper

Space Marshal
Jun 3, 2016
3,416
10,676
2,350
RSI Handle
Shadow Reaper
For the Khartu-Al?
To be hard/impossible to target even when firing. For basically playing the role of a submarine (invisible killer / convoy harasser / scout / etc.), but in space.
I think for this role you may be better off with a Talon Shrike, firing missiles. Even though the Shrike only has 2 launchers, they're S3, so you get impressive range. It's certainly quiet enough no one is going to see you out at 9 km or so. 12 shots, ~ 9k damage each. No sighting trail back to your location.
 

FZD

Space Marshal
Nov 22, 2016
828
3,042
1,500
RSI Handle
FZD
I think for this role you may be better off with a Talon Shrike, firing missiles. Even though the Shrike only has 2 launchers, they're S3, so you get impressive range. It's certainly quiet enough no one is going to see you out at 9 km or so. 12 shots, ~ 9k damage each. No sighting trail back to your location.
The problem with missiles is, it's very obvious you're being targeted. First you'll see a radar lock, then you'll see a missile lock, then you'll see the incoming missiles and the direction they're coming from.
Not to mention you got counter measures against missiles.

Though I'm currently looking at Freelancer MIS as a stealthy missile boat, so like, yeah. Talon Shrike is a great option as well. But I was thinking of Khartu-Al as a bit different kind of, more invisible attacker.

But if Khartu-Al can be made as invisible as I think it can, well, it requires some skill on the part of the pilot but you can hit stuff even without radar lock. So the first warning the target ship gets, is when they're already taking damage.

I imagine it'd go something like this: a convoy is arriving at a rest stop or something, they got a caterpillar and two Reliant Tanas escorting. You got an ambush with two Khartu-Als and a as stealthy as possible Mantis behind an asteroid or something.

The Khartu-Als get in to the position and open fire against the Tanas, Tanas got like 2x Pallisades or something giving them 15840 / 4 = 3960 shield HP per face. Khartu-Al alpha strike is 1462 (C-788) and the second hit comes 0.75 seconds later. Reaction time is 0.25 seconds and if you randomly start taking damage out of nowhere you'll probably go "Wait, what?" before you realize you're being shot at and start moving out of the way, so let's say the Tanas take 2631 damage on the rear shield and 292 damage on hull or something. Now there is a radar lock and the tanas are frantically searching for the opponent, meanwhile the mantis has charged it's QED and is now jamming, stopping the convoy from escaping.

Tanas being unable to find any other attackers start targeting the Mantis, they take another hit 1136 to shields and 284 to hull, can't get missile lock through and asteroid so they start moving in that direction, another hit, shields are now down and hull takes 1269 more damage. According to Hardpoint.io this would be enough to... I'm really not sure what, destroy the cockpit? Tana is listed 1750 min to 8010 max hp. Having flown Kore for quite a while, you'd definitely have lost something by that point, not sure if the ship would've blown up, but not very far from it, couple more seconds at most. Well, altogether, even if you had to do 8010 damage to the hull of the Tana, the total you need is 3960+8010. Of that, you can deal 2*1462 before they even realize there is an attack going on, and that's if they're quick about it. (I can imagine at least one Tana pilot going in the discord "Hey, I think there is some bug or something? It seems like I'm taking damage but I can't see anyone and there is no missile lock or anything" and then blowing up.) You then need 6-7 hits, 6.19 to be precise, to blow up the Tana. That's 5.3 seconds if you're not missing, so like, no time at all.

Meanwhile, the caterpillar was told in discord or something that the Tanas are under attack, and then the Mantis showed up before it could quantum. After a second or two it made the decision to make a run for it, and has been trying to gain momentum for just 3 seconds before the Khartu-Als are on it. The only thing the turret gunners can see is the mantis, but the Tanas have seemingly blown up for absolutely no reason so, scary stuff.

This is where the attack runs into bit of a problem though. Let's say the Caterpillar has an overclocked FR-86 with 6772 hp/s regen. That's not easy to overcome. Maybe the Mantis could come in with few missiles and two ballistic scatterguns for 3640 dps + 15k damage, with that they could get the shields down so the engine can be destroyed, but I think you'd kinda want something more, maybe something with a distortion weapon so you could more reliably disable... Maybe another Khartu-Al with a bit different loadout, let's say two Salvation distortion scatterguns overclocked for 7497 dps and actually having shields since it'll be quite visible after it starts firing. And you'd need something with a boarding party to take over the caterpillar, and the operation just keeps getting bigger and bigger...

Well, as I said, they don't do much damage. But they'd be just really confusing to deal with. You can't see them, there is no warning, just sudden damage which you might shrug off as hitting some space debris. You might even die before you realize there is an attack going on. That is, unless everyone is flying stealth Khartu-Als with a strategy like that, then you'd probably be a bit quicker figuring out you're under attack.
 

Shadow Reaper

Space Marshal
Jun 3, 2016
3,416
10,676
2,350
RSI Handle
Shadow Reaper
That's a good analysis, but I question who is going to fly Tanas as escort. the only reason I can see to do that is if you can attach escorts with NPCs or AI pilots. Generally, there are plenty of capable fighters out there. You might find you have to contend with Sabres, and that's a very different problem.

Also, you don't have the ability to haul cargo in your attack team, so why are you attacking a cargo ship?

Another option to consider is the humble Hornet Ghost. It's not nearly so fast, but has more firepower and adds missiles.

 

FZD

Space Marshal
Nov 22, 2016
828
3,042
1,500
RSI Handle
FZD
That's a good analysis, but I question who is going to fly Tanas as escort. the only reason I can see to do that is if you can attach escorts with NPCs or AI pilots. Generally, there are plenty of capable fighters out there. You might find you have to contend with Sabres, and that's a very different problem.
Idk, I just remember someone saying they'd get Tanas as escorts, and I've grown to like Tanas myself as well.

As for the Sabre, well, it just goes to 9 (8.49) hits from 7 (6.19), so like 1.5s difference, it's sturdier yes, but it's still S1 shields. And the thing you'd need to have difference with isn't necessarily how much damage those escorts can take, but the scanner range. Can't avoid what you can't see, though I realize I'm being rather optimistic with the hit ratios, whether it's Tanas or Sabres.

Also, you don't have the ability to haul cargo in your attack team, so why are you attacking a cargo ship?
That's where the boarding party would come in, though again, I didn't really focus that much on securing the caterpillar, it's kinda like... The role of the Khartu-Als would be to just do the initial strike, get rid of the escorts and then when the Caterpillar is more or less defenseless, you got the second wave coming in that takes care of the rest. The point of the story was to focus on what the Khartu-Als would do, I know I threw in a Mantis but you kinda need that from start to finish. Idk, as I said, the operation gets kind of big though.
 

Shadow Reaper

Space Marshal
Jun 3, 2016
3,416
10,676
2,350
RSI Handle
Shadow Reaper
Well, three things to note:

1) Sabres have 3 shield generators, usually loaded with FR-66 that combined have a high refresh you need to take to account.

2) Friendlies are supposed to share radar data in the future, so the scan radius of a convoy is going to be formidable, especially if it's enhanced by stealth ships flying on the periphery.

3) If you want to board and take the ship, why not start with an EMP burst and see if you can't take out both the transport and an escort or two right from the start? That's what EMPs are for. Even large, manned turrets will be mostly ineffective with their computer aids missing. Ships are very hard to see without the computer lighting them up.

What you're describing now seems to me best handled by a wing of mixed Vanguard.
 

FZD

Space Marshal
Nov 22, 2016
828
3,042
1,500
RSI Handle
FZD
Well, three things to note:

1) Sabres have 3 shield generators, usually loaded with FR-66 that combined have a high refresh you need to take to account.
The FR-66 only works if you manage to disengage for 3.9s, that might be difficult to do when you don't know where the enemy is and considering Khartu-Al is pretty nimble.

2) Friendlies are supposed to share radar data in the future, so the scan radius of a convoy is going to be formidable, especially if it's enhanced by stealth ships flying on the periphery.
Well, if the highest value is 1125, the S2 radar on caterpillar would spot at 850m and the S1 radars would spot at 570m, so the Khartu-Als could be basically right next to the targets without being acquired by any of them. Even if the escorts were flying with wingtips touching the caterpillar. And if you want to start by eliminating the escorts, every inch they move away from the caterpillar is an inch you can be closer to them. I mean, you'd still maintain some buffer ofc.

3) If you want to board and take the ship, why not start with an EMP burst and see if you can't take out both the transport and an escort or two right from the start? That's what EMPs are for. Even large, manned turrets will be mostly ineffective with their computer aids missing. Ships are very hard to see without the computer lighting them up.
Didn't they kind of nerf the EMPs a while ago? Even the S4 EMP generator on Vanguard Sentinel isn't enough to knock out tana with full shields, let alone a caterpillar. Can't really start the fight with an EMP, you'd need to get a shield face down first is my understanding. Hmm, well, this video seems to advice that you'd need to get two shield faces down to bypass the shields with EMP.

What you're describing now seems to me best handled by a wing of mixed Vanguard.
I mean, sure, maybe. But certainly there would be some use for a ship that can be so incredibly stealthy?
I mean, if it fights while being basically invisible, that has to have some use, right?
 

Ploeperpengel

Admiral
Jun 17, 2018
233
715
700
RSI Handle
Sadis
Turns out the Khartu-Al doesn't need to be invisible. @vahadar proved that much in yesterday's combat flight training standing his ground against 3 attackers for about 15 Minutes or more. At high velocities you can evade pretty much anything. There is a risk running out of oxygen and fuel though. :D
 

Ayeteeone

Vice Admiral
Donor
Oct 22, 2018
184
737
400
RSI Handle
Ayeteeone
There is also an Elephant in the Room, in the form of the upcoming changes to Radar, Scanning and Ping. John Crewe made some cryptic comments about this during the recent ship update show which seem to indicate major changes.

Having said that, I've enjoyed the discussion as this is near and dear to my blacked-out heart.

Once this next version drops in 3.14, I'll be doing extensive testing and may ping you guys in game to help out.

Edit: Freelancer MIS in full stealth configuration is my go-to for missions. Once cross-section is correctly implemented this may change.. or it may not, the 'lancer is not a big ship.

Second edit: @Shadow Reaper you and I had a conversation some months ago about cooler rates. The unofficial result, and response I received, is that Heat is not working to the intended design. So any conclusions based on the current system are temporary at best.
 
Last edited:

Esctasy

Vice Admiral
Donor
Nov 28, 2018
453
1,453
500
RSI Handle
Esctasy
I can't speak for PVP, but for bounty missions, I've tried all the stealth ships out (with every possible configuration). The only one that was viable was the prowler because of the range of a certain S5 weapon.
Keep in mind that when you fire weapons your IR goes up, continuous fire makes your IR sky rocket. Also you are up against multiple enemies each with different size scanners, so trying to keep the right distance and your weapons in range can be a challenge. Going without shields is not an option because you will be detected at some point.

It's been 6 months so I'm just going off memory. Sabre could be useful if you are going after a single target, gives you first strike. Eclipses are the best stealth in the game. Khartu is similar to Sabre but they don't have enough weapons for a first strike.

With any ships other than the Prowler, the moment you fire your weapons you will be detected. There's very narrow door between your IR/EM when weapons are fired to the range of the weapons, and this will be breached, you cannot maintain this distance it's too small. Also I cannot confirm 100% but I'm 90% certain that once a PVE ship is fired on (gets a hit) it will be able to detect you immediately. I've gotten away with the prowler undetected while firing, but sooner or later it still gets detected even though it should not have.
 

Ayeteeone

Vice Admiral
Donor
Oct 22, 2018
184
737
400
RSI Handle
Ayeteeone
I can't speak for PVP, but for bounty missions, I've tried all the stealth ships out (with every possible configuration). The only one that was viable was the prowler because of the range of a certain S5 weapon.
Keep in mind that when you fire weapons your IR goes up, continuous fire makes your IR sky rocket. Also you are up against multiple enemies each with different size scanners, so trying to keep the right distance and your weapons in range can be a challenge. Going without shields is not an option because you will be detected at some point.

It's been 6 months so I'm just going off memory. Sabre could be useful if you are going after a single target, gives you first strike. Eclipses are the best stealth in the game. Khartu is similar to Sabre but they don't have enough weapons for a first strike.

With any ships other than the Prowler, the moment you fire your weapons you will be detected. There's very narrow door between your IR/EM when weapons are fired to the range of the weapons, and this will be breached, you cannot maintain this distance it's too small. Also I cannot confirm 100% but I'm 90% certain that once a PVE ship is fired on (gets a hit) it will be able to detect you immediately. I've gotten away with the prowler undetected while firing, but sooner or later it still gets detected even though it should not have.

Whether you are detected or not depends on a number of factors; there is not a hard and fast 'now we got you'. Let's do a quick example based on the mission for clearing illegal miners.

I.E. a Raven fitted with 2 GT-870's hits nicely at ~3100 meters. With a Stealth A fit and given time to cool down, it's sig drops to 767 EM and 3340 IR. The game checks both, and uses the highest for detection. (3340m x .5 detection range of a fighter or Prospector) = 1670m. So around 1700m you should expect to be detected.

Now, if you are shooting, that IR spikes up. But the guns give you a great range buffer; for the Prospectors or mines to detect your ship at the GT-870's max range (3100m) you'd need to exceed 6200 IR for a short period of time. So by managing your fire rate, you can drop shots on that target without being detected. I suspect eventually the AI will be coded to respond to this situation, but as of 3.12 they were sitting ducks.

However, fit a Sabre to this standard, and the margin becomes much thinner. 4 GT-870's spike the IR much higher, much faster, and can exceed that detection threshold much quicker than the Raven. You can do more alpha damage, but have to shoot slower to compensate.

The mines in the mission run at least size 6 guns. They hurt when they hit and have better range than almost anything you can fit to a Vanguard. But again, they are only using Size 1 radars, so their detection range for your ship is half of your highest signature, and it is possible, even comfortable, to kill them without being detected.

The MIS, or any of the Freelancers really, do quite well here. It's numbers are around 1600 EM and 2500 IR.. so it provides a large buffer when fitted and flown for stealth, and has a huge alpha. You can practically get close enough to tag them with spray paint.

There is MUCH, MUCH more to this concept, but imo we need to wait for the changes coming in 3.14 and beyond and begin testing all over again.

I will add, that PvP is a different beast in the sense that players are (usually) more aware. I've had some luck following this concept with a Hawk, but the bulk of my testing is PvE for the repeatable nature of the targets and situation.

TLDR; stealth isn't something you buy, it's something you do.. ( with apologies to Stephen Hunter ).
 

Shadow Reaper

Space Marshal
Jun 3, 2016
3,416
10,676
2,350
RSI Handle
Shadow Reaper
This was a great analysis and I do love mixing the stealth capability with range to get the proper result. I had no idea tarantulas were such an advantage here.

I'm curious if anyone has seen a pattern for how long it takes ships to cool to what percent of their rafed IR when inactive. A lot of these comparisons reported, the pilot had to wait, and we can see from extended waiting that there is a first strike advantage you would not normally be able to leverage more than once. Ayeteeone is however talking about extended duration attacks. Anyone spot a pattern for heat management? Is IR management supposed to be disrupted with the new 3.14 capacitor patch?
 
  • Like
  • o7
Reactions: Talonsbane and FZD

Talonsbane

Grand Admiral
Donor
Jul 29, 2017
3,801
13,938
1,400
RSI Handle
Talonsbane
Poor Khartu-al received no love in the paint department. I find this rather odd given how long it's been active in the Verse. I guess it isn't as popular of a ship enough to get the artists boss's attention.
 
Forgot your password?