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T3 Spy Planes are a late game ordnance used for gathering intelligence. They are upper tier versions of the T1 Air Scout, equipped with more health and abilities for intelligence gathering, but still fast, cheap, and weak planes. By faction, T3 are quite diverse. However, all Spy Planes have the same Radar (96), Visual (64), Omni (30) range. All Spy Planes also share the same Movement Speed (30), Build Time (900 seconds) and Build Costs (195 mass /5000 energy).
Spy Planes fill the mobile reconnaissance niche. They are able to:
- Scout Enemy Bases
- Provide Mobile Radar, Omni Detection (Cybran and Seraphim Planes also provide Sonar)
- Substitute for Intelligence Installations
Spy Planes are most able to provide additional intelligence. When scouting enemy bases, it is often necessary to use groups of Spy Planes to get enough intelligence. A stream of Spy Planes can also be used for continuous intelligence. Cybran and Seraphim Spy Planes are especially useful for scouting Naval Bases due to their Sonar Abilities. Due to the prevalence of T3 SAM Installations, scouting missions are often suicide missions. Having a Spy Plane accompany a force working outside the bounds of a radar installation is especially useful, and they are key when dealing with the possibility of stealthed or dangerous enemy units. As Spy Planes require no power and are mobile, they are useful backups for Radar Installations. They can also substitute for an Eye of Rhianne or Soothsayer, often with better results.
Spy Planes can also be used for a variety of other purposes, such as drawing SAM Fire, however these techniques are more controversial.
The best health of all Spy Planes (1150).
Comes equipped with Sonar (96 range) and free Personal Stealth. However, it has by far the lowest health (700) and lowest Fuel (16 minutes 40 seconds). Its stealth grants it improved ability to scout bases, making it perhaps the best choice available.
Has the second least health (1050) , and no other distinguishing features. The worst of the T3 spy planes, although the difference is minimal.
Comes equipped with Sonar (96 range) and the second highest health (1100). Especially useful due to the lack of a Seraphim T3 Sonar.
-The UEF's Spy Plane, the SR 90 Blackbird, is named after the real-life SR 71 Blackbird, a retired spy plane. It also resembles the SR71 blackbird very closely.