Squadron Command System

From Elite Wiki

For controlling a squadron of ships.


This piece of equipment was introduced by Ramirez's Resistance Commander mission .oxp to enable a player to give commands to a small squadron of ships. It is a "primable" equipment.


The Squadron Command System (SCS) is activated by using SHIFT+N to cycle through available equipment and selected using the N key. Once activated, the SCS opens a comms channel and brings up the unit selection panel:

Unit Selection Panel

The Unit Selection Panel

This panel allows you to send a message to each of the four units, with the diamond being used to send a message to all active units. Use the Y key to cycle through the icons; use T to 'arm' the icon and M to select it.

Unit 2 selected

Note: if you're currently locked onto a target and either the unit selection panel or the unit command panel is obscured, press T to reveal the relevant panel while still maintaining the lock.

Unit Command Panel

Unit Command Panel
From left to right:
Undo, Sweep, Hold, Regroup & Engage

Once a unit has been selected, the command panel is revealed:

You can now navigate and select the icons using the Y, T, and M keys in the same way as for the Unit Selection Panel. From left to right these icons represent the following commands:

• Undo
• Sweep
• Hold
• Regroup
• Engage

The nature of these commands and associated rules of engagement are described below:

  • Undo: returns to the unit selection panel without sending any command.
  • Sweep: unit conducts a sweep within scanner range for Dictatorship forces. Any targets identified in the sweep will be engaged immediately.
  • Hold: unit holds its current position and awaits further orders.
  • Regroup: unit cancels any current orders (including any current engagement) and returns to formation.
  • Engage: unit engages the leader’s current target.

In addition:

• A unit’s default status is to remain in formation. In this state, units will engage any ships that are a threat to the leader, but will not attack other targets unless ordered to do so.
• Once an order has been completed, a unit will automatically return to formation.
• Where a unit is out of action, the unit selection panel will return an error message.
• Similarly, if the leader has no target locked, the ‘Engage’ command will return an error message.
• A unit will always attempt to acknowledge a valid command.

NOTE: The SCS uses a dedicated low-complexity protocol that enables commands to be sent reliably to units at extreme distance. This means that, while active units will always receive and execute an order, they may be too far away for you to receive their acknowledgment over standard voice comms.

To exit the SCS, select it again using the SHIFT+N method.


Ramirez had plans for expanding this, which he never realised prior to being devoured by the Witchspace Lobster and returned to RL.

Special Functions (to be completed)
In addition to the commands described above, the SCS provides a further set of functions used by commanders to help manage their squadron. These apply to all active units and mainly consist of different types of status check, and are useful when units become separated and are beyond visual range.
Check status: units report their current status, confirming the orders that have been issued to each of them by the leader. This is the quickest way to determine the position of each unit without overriding any existing orders.
Check systems: units report on any problems with their on-board systems, e.g. low energy or equipment damage. It’s good practice to call this check before sending your squadron into a potentially risky engagement.
Check hyperspace: units confirm whether they’re ready to follow the leader into hyperspace (see hyperspace procedure in the .pdf).

Integrate SCS into a HUD

While the BB was down I had a flash of inspiration for a potential OXP. Now, we've seen random mission generation done in various ways, we've seen the player join in battles with different factions, and we can also buy armed escorts to see us safely through the spaceways. But what other experiences are there to offer?

I was having a break from Oolite, leading my squad of Paras through the dusty streets of Zargabad in ARMA2 when I suddenly had a thought: wouldn't it be interesting to command a small group of NPCs in combat?

Quickly I tried some tinkering and have managed to come up with a fairly simple command system. No prizes for guessing the method - it's the old pylon-mounted weapon trick - but it works reasonably well. Ramirez, 2011


Escort Deck

Norby developed the Escort Deck MFD in 2014. Here, the escorts are controlled through the MFD. It allows the following instructions (Deck-related ones are italicised)

ATTACK: Attack a hostile ship (your target first)
 DECK: Landed on the deck
FLEE: Flee from a missile or recover some energy (from 40% to 80%)
FOLLOW: Follow your ship at 2km range
GOTO: Go to a hostile ship using Injectors if available until arrive within Beam Laser range (15km)
INJECT: Attack using Injectors until distance is over 10km
 LANDING: Landing approach, will not do anything else until landed
 LOCKED: Stay on the deck and will not launch with the other ships
 SALVAGE: Unusable ship, will be salvaged in the next dock for a few thousand credits
SNIPER: Sniper attack, need a forward laser over 15km range, like Military Laser

There are four obvious differences. No overall commands to all ships. More than 5 possible commands. More than 4 possible members of squadron. Uses MFD not missile bay interface.


Norby developed Fighters in 2015. The associated MFD merely reports on their status and does not control them. There is no individual control for individual ships. Their activity is controlled either by being in green alert status, being in red alert status, and/or engaging hyperdrive.