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For the ZOCOM variant of this aircraft, see ZOCOM Orca.
Orca, ready for liftoff!
- Orca rolling out of the Airfield
CNCTW Orca Gunship Cameo

The A-15[1] Orca Gunship or Orca Mk. III is the third major variant of the Orca Aircraft.


The SAAB/Lancaster Lifting Body, Inc. designed the new variant basing on the "make the tech visible" doctrine of GDI's design. The resulting A-15 Orca is the most advanced attack aircraft in GDI's engineering history.[1]

Technical specifications

Stabilizers engaged.
- Orca

The new model of the Orca features two ducted VTOL aerodynes, providing a maximum speed of 400 knots, with a combat range of 482 kilometers, or 1899 kilometers when stripped of combat gear. Its maximum flight altitude is 12 801 meters, with a climb rate of up to 762 meters per minute, with a power to mass ratio of 0.19 lbs/hp.[2]

It is 58.3 ft long, 48 ft wide, and 12.7 ft high, the Orca also utilizes wing warping for enhanced agility in-flight.[2] It features a NOTAR (NO TAil Rotor) tail assembly,[1] with a retractable carriage for landing.[3] The NOTAR based design was not actually required as Orca's basic design is naturally stable by two VTOL contra rotating closed fan. The NOTAR based design was meant for added convenience. The major departure from the previous design is the model's ability to have a reload of fuel and ammo while flying; it enables them to fly near indefinitely. This feature is useful for patrolling and area guard and gave them similar capability with Nod's Venom.

The aircraft is crewed by a pilot and a copilot/gunner.[2]


Its armament varies, but is in every way superior to its predecessors, and can be armed with an M230 30mm autocannon with 1200 rounds, Hellfire V rockets, AIM-500 Stinger air to air missiles, AGM-240 Sidearm air-to-ground missiles, AIM-18 Sidewinder air intercept missiles and Hydra 70 unguided air-to-ground rockets. Missiles and rockets are mounted on pylons just below the cockpit.[2]

Unfortunately, the standard Orca used by most GDI commanders do not have the autocannon or the air-to-air missiles: only 6 air-to-ground Sidearm guided missiles, upgradeable to 9 later in the war. As a result, they are only effective against vehicles and structures and are sitting ducks for any aircraft with air to air capability (Venoms, Stormriders, Firehawks, etc.). The missiles cannot track moving infantry, but will kill most with a single hit. ZOCOM Commanders receive a sonic grenade package instead on their variant A-15 Orca.

In addition, the Orca is equipped with pulse scanners, allowing it to discharge a pulse, revealing all stealthed units within a radius for a short period of time.


CNCTW Pulse Scan Cameo
Pulse Scan Emits a stealth-detecting scan in a small radius around it. This ability has a 1 minute cooldown (Ctrl+A).
CNCTW Sensor Pods Cameo
Sensor pods Deploy a stealth-detecting sensor pod. This activated ability costs $100 to use, but has no cooldown (Ctrl+S).
CNCTW Return to base Cameo
Return to Base Orders the Orca to break off and immediately return to its docking station (Ctrl+D).


CNCTW Sensor Pods Cameo
Sensor pod This upgrade allows the Orca to deploy a stealth-detecting Sensor Pod that can be launched onto friendly or enemy vehicles and structures, or onto the ground (Ctrl+F). Purchasable at any Command Post for $500 and takes 0:15 to research.
CNCKW Hardpoints Cameo Hardpoints Adds 50% more ordnance to the Orca, for a total of 9 missiles (Ctrl+S). Purchasable at any Airfield for $2500 and takes 1:00 to research. (Kane's Wrath only).


In the concept art, several other upgrades appear, including:

  • Nominal Extended Range Fuel (NERF) tanks - extended flight time and range[1]
  • Linebacker Lifting Body Combat Thrust Retrofit (LBCR) engine upgrade[1]
  • Hammerhead High-Frequency Massive Radiant Disruptor (HMRD) EMP[1]


Release the rockets!
- Orca on the offensive

This aircraft follows the legacy of the old Orca Assault Aircraft, as it is still equipped with air to ground missiles. The difference between the Venom's stealth detection and its stealth detection capabilities is that the Orca will only activate its scanners when ordered to do so, whereas the Venom will automatically detect any stealthed units that are nearby.

The Orca's rockets are effective against vehicles and good against buildings (though the Firehawk far outperforms the Orca versus structures). As an assault aircraft, what the Orca specializes in is the hunting of vehicles—with a plentiful load of powerful guided rockets: it can quickly reduce to scrap most vehicles it can manage to get a lock on. A single orca can destroy most singular Tier 1-2 vehicles and battle tanks such as Scorpions and Devourers in just one attack run.

Due to their formidable firepower against vehicles, most GDI commanders will find it ideal to use Orcas as a counter to enemy armor divisions lacking any anti-air capability, or rocket infantry support. Alternatively: by utilizing their high mobility - they can be effectively used as a lethal harvester-hunter. A small group of just two Orcas can maneuver around enemy forces undetected, and into hostile harvester lines—bearing enough firepower, speed and utility to detect any harvesters (stealthed or not), take out one and heavily damage another (in short order) - and still be able to retreat and re-arm fast enough to leave most enemies reeling, incapable of retaliating, and vulnerable to yet another attack run.

For all its firepower and speed, a notable downside to the Orca however, is its poor resilience. Against any enemy ground force with relatively decent anti-air capability, Orcas are likely to cause but a fraction of their full damage potential—as they would likely be destroyed, or called back to the Airfield before they are able to expend their entire load. This epitomizes their role as harassment or support assault craft: using their high firepower on exposed targets and critical opportunities, whenever they present themselves.



  • One of the best army harassment units—a lethal threat to undefended harvesters
  • Powerful damage against all ground targets
  • Can quickly destroy most vehicles
  • High accuracy even against infantry
  • Can easily control rocket strikes: allowing them to attack multiple targets in one attack run
  • Agreeable ammo capacity (Can be expanded further with the Hardpoints upgrade)
  • Rockets are guided, and home in to even the fastest vehicles
  • Re-arms rockets very quickly
  • Sensor pod upgrade allows Orcas to counter ambush tactics
  • Can use Pulse Scan to detect invisible enemy units in close proximity


  • Very weak armor, threatened by even light anti-air defenses
  • Rockets do not track infantry, and will miss them whilst on the move
  • Pulse Scan requires manual activation, has negligible duration, and takes very long to recharge
  • Sensor pods are temporary and will expire after a period of time
  • Unable to target air units
  • Rockets lose guidance against stealthing targets
  • Must return to Airfield for reloading
  • Limited production on each Airfield
  • Only decent performance against structures


The Orca Gunship went through many iterations during development (some can be seen below). When the final look was nailed down, the developers had to decide on what weapons should it use. Early versions included a machinegun and rockets, but before release, the machinegun was axed.

The Orca was featured in the E3 C&C3 Trailer alongside other weapons in the GDI arsenal, including the iconic Mammoth 27 tank. It was different in that it had only a single crewman inside and had the aforementioned machine gun.


The final model was created by Chance Rowe.



  • Orca ready, sir!
  • Orca, ready for liftoff!
  • Orca, cleared for takeoff!


  • Orca unit!
  • Channels open!
  • Systems on!
  • Orca pilot!
  • Pilot responding!
  • Command?
  • Orca here!
  • Orca standing by!
  • Yes sir, ready for orders!


  • Copy!
  • Confirmed!
  • On our way!
  • Yes sir!
  • Stabilizers engaged!
  • Nice and easy!
  • Got it!
  • Airways clear!
  • Orca in flight!
  • All systems go!
  • Affirmative!
  • Copy that, Orca is on the way!


  • Attack is a go!
  • Take it out!
  • Commencing attack!
  • Target acquired.
  • Release the rockets!

Move to attack

  • Approaching target!
  • Closing in!
  • Engage!
  • Moving in on the target!
  • Moving in!

In combat

  • Weapons on!
  • Enemy engaged!
  • Reload, reload!
  • Firing rockets now, sir!
  • Keep them coming!
  • That's right, we got 'em!

Using Pulse Scan

  • Scanning!
  • Scanning for enemies, sir!
  • Scanners enabled!

Using Sensor Pod

  • Targeted for sensor pod!
  • Sensor target confirmed!
  • Copy, target confirmed!

Returning to base

  • Returning to launch zone!
  • Returning to base!
  • Return for supplies!


  • Pull away!
  • Return to base! Return to base!

Shot down

  • We're losing control!
  • Orca, going down!
  • We're losing altitude!
  • Ah, ah, AAAAAH!
  • Aaaaaah!




  • It is shown equipped with the same chain gun as the AH-64 Apache, though it is unusable in-game.
  • Even though it is referred to as "Orca Mk. IV" in the Intelligence Database, the Mk. IV designation was later given to a failed attempt to improve on its design in the backstory of Tiberian Twilight. This implies that its designation was retconned to "Orca Mk. III".

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Duane Loose. 2006. "Block 10 Technical Bulletin #1: Designn". File mirror
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Electronic Arts, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Video: GDI introduction.
  3. C&C3 E3 teaser
CNCR Orca Ren ORCA Aircraft CNCTW Orca Gunship Cameo
CNC3 GDI logo Global Defense Initiative Third Tiberium War Arsenal CNC3 GDI logo
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