I take solace in finding examples of where a Raitaru is defended while ignoring the horrendous statistics to indicate it is rarely done.
The next step is to investigate how I might fit one. I use Pyfa to do this.
The Raitaru has 3 High Slots, 2 Medium Slots, 1 Low Slot and can fit 1 Launcher.
It seems like an anemic frigate. I think – incorrectly, that this won’t take long.
I start with that single weapon hardpoint. Just what weapons can be fitted to a structure? I go find out.
There’s something call a Point Defense Battery. It looks like a very short range smartbomb. I’m guessing it is only useful to clear drones. It is however banned from High Sec and can’t be used on a Raitaru anyway.
Next there is an Arcing Vorton Projector. It is a Doomsday Device – I presume like a Titans. Unsurprisingly it is banned from High Sec and will only fit on a Keepstar.
The third option is a Guided Bomb Launcher. It does area effect damage and can be loaded with either a Light Bomb for small to medium sub-cap targets, or a Heavy Bomb for medium to large sub-cap targets. Again however – it is banned from High Sec.
The fourth type of Structure weapon available are Standup Fighters. I’ve never used the latest Fighter interface and it would be interesting to see how it works. I don’t notice any reference to it being accessible in High-Sec or not. It is again not an option however as the Raitaru has no Fighter tubes.
So that leaves only the fifth type of weapon which I can use on the Raitaru – Missile Launchers. The illusion of choice.
There are two variants, an Anticapital and an Antisubcapital. Logically the Anitcapital is called an Anticapital Launcher, but oddly the Antisubcapital is called a Multirole Missile Launcher.
The Anticapital launcher has a 15s rate of fire. It can fit:
XL cruise Missiles
Velocity up to 6,000m/s, flight time 100s, base damage 48,000, explosion radius 15,000m
Super Heavy Torpedoes
Velocity up to 4,000m/s, flight time 140s, based damage of 72,000, explosion radius 25,000m
The Multirole Missile Launcher has a 3 second fire rate. It can fit:
Standup Light Missiles
Velocity up to 10,000m/s, Flight time 95s, Base Damage 400, Explosion radius 100m
Standup Heavy Missiles
Velocity up to 7,000m/s, Flight time 105s, Base Damage 1,200, Explosion radius 200m
Standup Cruise Missiles
Velocity up to 6,000m/s, Flight time 115s, Base Damage 2,400, Explosion Radius 500m
The damage for all of these is spread evenly across the four damage types.
You might think some of the damage figures are impressive – but they are misleading. The explosion radius makes a world of difference to what damage is applied to the different sizes of ships.
So, my only choice is to fit a single Standup Multirole Missile Launcher.
The T1 version costs around 30M ISK. There is a T2 version of the Launcher, which holds 32% more ammo and fires 20% faster. Unlike normal T2 weapons, you don’t need a skill to use the T2 version. It however costs a lot more – around 153M ISK at the time of writing. That is too much to spend.
I’m not sure on the ammo to use. I think I would fit the Heavies, and swap to Lights if required.
Next, I turn to weapon upgrades.
There are two I can fit – both low slot modules. There is a Structure Missile Guidance Enhancer which has small sub 5% improvements to Missile speeds and precision, or a Standup Ballistic Control System which adds 7% to the damage.
I would go the Ballistic Control System, but I only have one low slot so I need to check if anything else might be more suitable.
There is a skill called Structure Missile Systems. Each rank gives you +2% to Structure Missile damage. I have rank IV on my main and would aim to have any other character using the Raitaru to get to the same level.
So, what does 500 give or take DPS do? Nothing really by itself. What is it – a T2 Cruiser or a T1 Battlecruiser – that just happens to be some 50 something kilometres long and unmoving, with a much bigger tank?
I have two active accounts. My current tactics for defending my POCO are based around two heavy buffered battleships, both of which do a lot more DPS. If I was defending the Raitaru instead, I could consider using one Battleship and the Structure. It would be easier to manage. If I used the Structure for Neuting or EW, it would also give me some options to adjust my Battleship fit.
Hell – it takes very little SP to man a Raitaru. For less than 500K SP, I could just set up another Alt on my third Alpha Account to do it, and PLEX it if needed. Two Battleships and the Structure could work. Then I remembered that it currently costs an eye watering 1.8B ISK to PLEX an account for a month. I could plant three Raitaru for that price. Maybe I just plant two of them and man them instead?
So, after all that effort, all I’ve ended up doing is hypothetically fit one module.
(Spoiler alert – I’ve already concluded it would be smarter to use an Astrahus instead.)