|“||Elite Squadrons are made of high quality parts and maintained by expert ground crews. They improve upon the statistics of regular squadrons.||”|
|— In-Game Description|
|!THIS SPECIAL CAN ONLY BE EQUIPPED ON CARRIERS!|
|Weight (% Weapon Mass)||25%||32%||42%|
|Flight Time||+10 sec||+20 sec||+30 sec|
|Unlocking (Only obtainable in event Alien Decimation and Special Event)|
|Ship Lab Required||VI||VII||VIII|
|Time||1h 42m||4h 44m 30s||6h 38m 30s|
Elite Squadrons is a carrier special utility that increases the squadrons speed and flight time. They were first available in Alien Decimation. They are relatively uncommon due to the fact that carriers at MK I only have a single utility slot, which is usually occupied by fusion thrusters or armored thrusters.
Elite squadrons greatly extend the flight time of squadrons as well as their speed. Squadrons can close in on targets more quickly and inflict damage for a sustained period of time. This is particularly effective against targets that lack protection against squadrons, and notably, Alien Hives.
They can be combined with thrusters if the carrier is MK IV or above, increasing the carrier's effectiveness against ships moderately depending on how well protected the enemy ships are from squadrons. Elite squadrons is most punishing against fleets which do not adequately protect their ships from squadrons.
During PvP battles, when fleets are attacking each other at close range, squadrons are usually ignored in the firefight, during these openings squadrons can take advantage of their extended flight time to deal more damage.
A major disadvantage is that only Mk IV and higher carriers can equip this as they get a extra special slot on that mark. Mk III and below often have to choose between a thruster and elite squadrons. Thrusters are usually more important then elite squadrons on Mk III and below carriers, making them useless for a carrier under Mk IV. The Midgard Carrier cannot be upgraded to Mk IV.
Elite squadrons are quite heavy, meaning either your carrier will typically have weaker equipment, or the fleet will have weaker equipment to hold this mass. Elite squadrons do not increase the squadrons damage or health, so eliminating them is just made slightly more difficult due to their increased speed.
Squadrons that are heavily damaged have reduced firepower and cannot be recalled. They continue to attack a ship with minimal damage and not return to their carrier until they are destroyed or their flight time expires. This can stall a carrier's maximum damage potential.
- Elite Squadrons is the first special utility which affects squadrons.
- Elite Squadrons is the first special to increase squadron flight time and speed
- A common misconception is that Elite Squadrons are piloted by ground crews - this is not the case, the Crews described are teams of mechanics and engineers who maintain the ships in peak condition.