Fitting a scanning covops

As a pure scanning ship, the Helios is currently the best of the covert ops ships. With the new scanning modules, mid slots are very much at a premium and the Helios has the equal most with the Buzzard. Both require a co-processor (assuming Covert Ops IV). The Helios beats the Buzzard, however, because of the Buzzard’s extreme powergrid limitations – to fit on all those 1pg-consuming modules after your microwarpdrive you’re going to need a micro auxiliary power core. That ties up the buzzard’s second lowslot, leaving no room for nanofibers.

Assuming you want to fit a point or scram, as you should, and a microwarpdrive, as you must – you’ll have two mid slots for scanning modules in the Anathema and the Cheetah, whereas the Helios and Buzzard get three each.

Instinctively, the most useful is the Scan Rangefinding Array. It provides a nice 10% increase to your scan strength with tech 2, or 5% with the tech 1 version. However, before you fit a second one remember that they run into stacking penalties with your Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rigs. Not only that, but if you use a sisters or tech 2 probe launcher*, their bonuses are stacking penalised with it as well. What this means is that on a covert ops with a faction probe launcher and two scanning rigs, your first Scan Rangefinding Array II only increases your scan strength by 2.8%. It’d probably take more effort to drag the second rangefinding array into place than it’ll ever save you in scanning.

Next up is the Scan Pinpointing Array. A tech 2 version provides a 20% reduction in scan deviation, and the tech 1 version a 10% reduction. Those are useful bonuses, and they don’t stack with anything else. If you’ve looking for a scanning module to double up on, this is the one to go for.

Lastly is the Scan Acquisition Array. Here, the tech 2 version reduces scan time by 20% and the tech 1 by 10%. When you’re scanning down all the signatures in a system, you’ll probably spend more time repositioning your probes rather than actually waiting for a scan to complete, meaning that for system scanning you’d probably be better off using a pinpointing array. The primary use of a scan acquisition array is in combat scanning. When combat scanning, you’ve generally got the target sufficiently localised using your directional scanner that it only requires a single scan to actually hit the target, and the sooner you can get the scan completed the less time passes before you can get a bubbler warping on to their location. It still isn’t a big bonus – the scan time really isn’t that long, and given the choice between one of this and a second pinpointing, a second pinpointing is probably the better choice.

The following fits each assume you’ve got Covert Ops trained to IV. If you’ve got covops trained to V, you may be able to do without the co-processor if you use a meta warp disruptor. User choice. You can alter the scanning modules to suit your needs – all the fitting requirements are the same.

[Helios, Odyssey]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanomechanical CPU Enhancer I

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Scan Rangefinding Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I


Warrior II x1
[Buzzard, Odyssey]
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Co-Processor II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Scan Rangefinding Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Cheetah, Odyssey]
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Co-Processor II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Scan Rangefinding Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Anathema, Odyssey]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Scan Rangefinding Array II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

* Tech 2 probe launchers also provide a scan strength bonus, but of only 5%. This also gets stacking penalised with your rigs and rangefinding modules. However, because of the way that stacking penalties are applied, a tech 2 rangefinding will get a lighter stacking penalty than the probe launcher will, meaning that it is still making a useful bonus. A tech 1 rangefinding gets the same bonus as the tech 1 probe launcher, so one or the other is going to get penalised into oblivion.

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