The E-4 Overlord is an allied AI-controlled AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft. The type of AEW radar mounted to the aircraft is the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). It uses a mounted 360 degree rotating radar dish to sweep long ranges (250–400 miles) scanning for targets and allies. The E-4 can then transmit this data to allied units and direct attack missions, or assist in helping other units rendezvous with air refueling tankers.
The E-4's 360 degree radar is not just a remodeled clone of the SAM S/A Radar dish. Instead, it scans in a sphere rather than a half dome meaning there are no altitude blind spots. In game, units detected by the E-4 Overlord are always visible to the player, and there is no datalink or radio range simulated. This also means that there is no way to ask the unit about units outside the area visible on the NAV page of the MFD.
The E-4 has no defensive or offensive capability by itself, and instead relies on its powerful radar to detect threats and direct units to attack them. Players should be vigilant to defend it as enemy AI will engage it.
Interaction with it is facilitated through the game's radio communication feature. There is a section in the COMMS MFCD page for it. The available commands are as follows:
- Bogey Dope: Provides a BRAA (see section below) to the nearest enemy fighter squadron.
- Picture: Provides the BRAA for the three nearest enemy fighter squadrons.
- RTB: Provides a bearing and range to the nearest friendly airbase. While AWACS will say "BRAA", it will not give you altitude nor aspect, since they wouldn't make sense in this context.
These can also be used as Voice Commands; you will need to prefix them with "AWACS"* or "Overlord" and this will need to be enabled beforehand in the Mission Editor. The recognized voice commands are as follows:
- Bogey Dope
- "Bogey dope."
- "Request bogey dope."
- "Ready for tasking."
- "Who is next"
- "Give me a target."
- "Where are they"
- "Request picture."
- "Request RTB."
*Pronounced like "Ayy wax".
AWACS uses a specific terminology for its callouts, one that provides relevant information about an enemy's position in a fashion as concise as possible. Here is how a callout is formed:
"[Callsign], Overlord. (Popup) (Group/Hostile) [BRAA/Bullseye]: [BRAA data], [Modifiers]."
- Callsign - AWACS will address you by your callsign for all communications. This is a phonetic alphabet word along with two numbers and is shown to you in the briefing room. For example, Alpha 1-1 or Tango 4–2.
- Overlord - AWACS will always refer to itself as Overlord.
- Popup - If a hostile is spotted within the AWACS' scanning range, meaning that it did not simply fly in to the engagement zone, AWACS will say "popup" to indicate. Reasons for this include enemies hiding via terrain and then being unmasked, or if the radar simply loses a signature.
- Group/Hostile - If AWACS determines that multiple aircraft are flying in formation/a group, it will address them as "group". Otherwise, it will address them as "hostile".
- BRAA/Bullseye - If a bullseye is defined for the mission, AWACS will give you BRAA from the bullseye's perspective instead of your own in most cases. However, AWACS will always give you BRAA from your own perspective when you're requesting bogey dope.
- BRAA data - BRAA comes in the form of four terms:
- The first, bearing, is your true bearing to the target. For example, a bearing of 260 means that you should turn to heading 260 to head directly toward the target.
- The second, range, is your range to the target in whatever units you have set in your preferences.
- The third, altitude, is the target's altitude ASL in thousands of feet.
- The fourth, aspect, is the target's heading compared to you. Hot means that the target is headed directly at you, cold means directly away, and tracking north/south/east/west means the target is heading in that direction.
- Modifiers - AWACS will append a callout with several modifiers based on specific triggers. It will use multiple terms in one callout where appropriate:
- Low - Target is below 10,000 feet / 3,000 meters ASL.
- High - Target is between 25,000 and 40,000 feet / 7,600 and 12,200 meters ASL.
- Very High - Target is above 40,000 feet / 12,200 meters ASL.
- Fast - Target's speed is at least Mach 1 (600 knots ground speed).
- Very Fast- Target's speed is at least Mach 2 (1200 knots ground speed).
- Leans on Overlord - Target is becoming dangerously close to AWACS and it fears that it may be engaged. If this criterion is met, AWACS will immediately give you a callout to the target without being prompted.
In addition to this, AWACS will use the following terms where appropriate:
- Grand Slam - AWACS will say this when all hostile aircraft for the mission have been shot down. However, it will not say this term if a hostile is simply evading radar contact and cannot be seen.
- Clean - AWACS will say this if the player requests a picture or a bogey dope but it cannot see any hostiles.
- Homeplate - AWACS will refer to the closest allied airbase as this.
- The E-4's radome has no collision box.
- The model is reused from the aerial tanker. Although the refueling boom was deleted, the base is still attached to the fuselage.
|Aircraft||AV-42C • B-11 Bomber • E-4 Overlord • F-45A • F/A-26B • KC-49 Tanker • MQ-31|
|Ground Units||C-RAM Truck • Infantry (MANPADS) • M1 Tank • Rocket Artillery Truck • SRAD|
|Stationary Emplacements||Fire Ctrl Radar P • Storage Tent A • SAM Launcher P|
|Sea||Aircraft Carrier • Allied Cruiser • Assault Carrier|
|(Parenthesis) denote unit variants.|